SACRAMENTO, Calif.—California State Senators Anthony Portantino and Scott Wilk sent a letter to their colleagues in the California State Senate on June 27, urging them to support AB 1597, which calls for the divestment of California’s public pension funds from investment vehicles that are owned, controlled or managed by the Turkish government.
The State of California, through its Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) and its State Teachers’ Retirement System (STRS), directly invests public funds in the government of Turkey, which then reaps profits while actively denying the Armenian Genocide, funding its continued campaign of denial, at least in part, through these investments in its economy. AB 1597 will prohibit CalPERS and CalSTRS from investing in Turkey.
“We are committed to seeing this bill progress through the legislature this year. California has led efforts to recognize the Armenian Genocide and we understand the destructive and divisive consequences of denial. Now, it is the time to ensure that our taxpayer funds are no longer used to aid Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide,” Senators Portantino and Wilk said.
AB 1597 is authored by Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian. It passed the State Assembly with strong bipartisan support and is headed to the Senate Standing Committee on Public Employment and Retirement (PERS). Portantino is a member of the PERS committee. Senators Portantino and Wilk are continuing the spirit of bipartisanship by jointly authoring the support letter.
Sen. Portantino represents nearly 930,000 people in the 25th Senate District, which includes Altadena, Atwater Village, Bradbury, Burbank, Claremont, Duarte, Glendale, Glendora, La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta, La Verne, Lake View Terrace, Los Feliz, Monrovia, Montrose, Pasadena, San Dimas, San Marino, Shadow Hills, Sierra Madre, South Pasadena, Sunland-Tujunga, and Upland.