Press Release: BREAKING NEWS: City of Burbank Councilmembers Unanimously Approve a Resolution to Formally Recognize the Independent Republic of Artsakh
City of Burbank Unanimously Adopts Resolution Recognizing the Independent Republic of Artsakh and
Rescinding the Friendship City Status of the Town of Hadrut
For Immediate Release: (Los Angeles) March 3, 2021 – The City of Burbank unanimously adopted a resolution recognizing the Independent Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and Rescinding the Friendship City Status of the Town of Hadrut in Artsakh during last night’s city council meeting. The Council requested for the city staff to write the final text of the resolution to be approved in the next few weeks.
The request for the City of Burbank to consider the resolution was initiated by the Armenian-American journalist, radio host, and activist, Vic Gerami. It was sponsored by Councilmember Nick Schultz
“As an Armenian-American who grew up in Burbank, this is a very important recognition for me. I am grateful for Councilmember Nick Schultz for sponsoring the resolution, as well as other Councilmembers for their vote.” Vic Gerami, the host of THE BLUNT POST with VIC on KPFK 90.7 FM.
He continued, “Burbank is known as the ‘Media Capital of the World,’ so this historic move will have significant reverberations and send a clear message that Burbank stands for human rights, people’s right to self-determination, and in support of its large Armenian-American community.”
Burbank is a city built by People, Pride, and Progress. These three ingredients turned a tiny, rural town into the thriving community it is today. Throughout its 100-year history, Burbank has embodied a forward-thinking city that provides a high quality of life and strong sense of community to its residents. In keeping with this tradition, the City will continue to combine 21st century technology with the same small town feel that will make Burbank an ideal place to live, work and play for years to come.
Armenians make up more than 10% of Burbank’s population. Since 1990, the number of Armenians in Burbank has nearly quintupled, from 2,780 to 13,846, according to the most recent Census data. This number is likely much higher now as it does not reflect the results of the most recent census conducted in 2020.
“Early last month, I spoke with Vic Gerami about the steps taken by our regional partners (e.g., Los Angeles, Glendale, and West Hollywood) to formally recognize the Independent Republic of Artsakh. He encouraged the Burbank City Council to take action and I am thankful that he brought it to our attention. He was quickly joined by many members of our community,” said Councilmember Schultz.
He added, “Tonight the Burbank City Council unanimously requested that city staff bring back a resolution to finalize this recognition. This step will be incredibly meaningful to the Armenian members of our community who have been directly and indirectly impacted by the violence and loss of life stemming from the military aggression by Azerbaijan in the region. I look forward to formalizing this recognition of Artsakh in furtherance of promoting democracy and the right to self-determination.”
Approximately 900,000 Armenians live in CA, 700,000 of whom in the greater Los Angeles area, including West Hollywood, Hollywood, East Hollywood (Little Armenia), Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena, and throughout the San Fernando Valley.
Ten (10) states across the US have recognized the Independent Republic of Artsakh so far. They are CA, CO, GA, HI, LA, MA, ME, MI, MN, RI. Cities that have recognized Artsakh include Los Angeles, Glendale, West Hollywood, Fresno County, Highland, Gardena, Fort Lee Borough, Fowler, Englewood Cliffs, Clark County, Ridgefield, Cliffside Park, and Orange County.
In addition to dozens of cities across the US, hundreds of cities and principalities in France and Italy have recognized Artsakh, as well as cities in the United Kingdom, Spain, Uruguay, and Guatemala.
On November 25, 20202, the French Senate voted 305-1 recognizing the independence of the Republic of Artsakh, calling upon the US administration and Congressional leaders to take similar action.
Following the Senate’s vote, on December 3, 2020, France’s National Assembly approved a resolution calling on the government to recognize Artsakh as a “republic.” The resolution was adopted in the Assembly with 188 “yes” votes against three “no” votes, while 16 deputies abstained from voting.
Burbank is a city built by People, Pride, and Progress. These three ingredients turned a tiny, rural town into the thriving community it is today.
In the beginning, the land occupied by the present City of Burbank was part of two large Spanish land grants. The first was the vast Rancho San Rafael, granted to Don Jose Maria Verdugo by the Spanish government in 1798. Nearby, Rancho La Providencia was created following Mexico’s successful bid for independence from Spain in 1821. The real history of the City, though, began when a New Hampshire dentist headed west with the thousands of other Americans seeking new opportunities.
Burbank is a city in the southeastern end of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County, California. Located just 12 miles (19 km) northwest of Downtown Los Angeles, Burbank is well known for being home to Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros Studios, as well as having the largest IKEA in the United States. The population at the 2010 census was 103,340.
Billed as the “Media Capital of the World” and only a few miles northeast of Hollywood, numerous media and entertainment companies are headquartered or have significant production facilities in Burbank, including Warner Bros. Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, The Burbank Studios, Cartoon Network Studios with the West Coast branch of Cartoon Network, and Insomniac Games. The Hollywood Burbank Airport was the location of Lockheed’s Skunk Works, which produced some of the most secret and technologically advanced airplanes, including the U-2 spy planes that uncovered the Soviet Union missile components in Cuba in October 1962.
Burbank consists of two distinct areas: a downtown/foothill section, in the foothills of the Verdugo Mountains, and the flatland section. The city was referred to as “Beautiful Downtown Burbank” on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, as both shows were taped at NBC’s former studios. The city was named after David Burbank, a New Hampshire–born dentist and entrepreneur who established a sheep ranch there in 1867.
About Vic Gerami
Gerami is the host and producer of his prime-time radio show, THE BLUNT POST with VIC on Independent Radio KPFK 90.7 FM (Pacifica Network). The program covers national breaking and headline news, politics, and current events, and Gerami offers analysis and commentary. He also interviews a member of Congress and other high-profile public figures on every show. A few of his recent guests include Congressman Adam Schiff, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Congressman Tony Cardenas, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and Congresswoman Judy Chu, Congressman Jim Costa, Congresswoman Norma Torres, Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, Congressman Raul Ruiz + Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, as well as Marianne Williamson. You can listen to all the interviews here.
Today reaching national international audiences, Gerami first built a foundation of knowledge and skills by learning the media industry during his years at Frontiers Magazine, followed by positions at LA Weekly and Voice Media Group. For the second time, Gerami was selected as a finalist in the Los Angeles Press Club’s National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards “Columnist of the Year” category in 2019, having first made the final round of consideration in 2017. His celebrity Q&A column, ‘10 Questions with Vic‘ is internationally syndicated.
The seven categories in which Gerami is a finalist are a mix of investigative reporting, political coverage, social justice issues, and interviews. He is recognized for his print and online journalism, as well as interviews on his namesake radio show.
Gerami is also a contributor for some of the most prominent publications in the nation, including Windy City Times, California Courier, IN Magazine, OUT Traveler, The Fight, and The Advocate Magazine, among others.
The Wall Street Journal featured Gerami as a “leading gay activist” in its landmark 2008 coverage of opposition to Proposition 8, the ballot measure that for years denied same-sex couples in California the freedom to marry. In addition to his years of volunteer work as a leading advocate for marriage equality, later Gerami went on to serve as a Planning Committee member for the historic Resist March in 2017.
In 2015, Gerami was referenced in the landmark Supreme Court civil rights case, Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court held in a 5–4 decision that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process and the Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Five months after activating an informal task force addressing Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s sudden, violent, and unprovoked genocidal assault and ethnic-cleansing attack against Armenians in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), Gerami set out to amplify the impact of his own and his news-media and entertainment-industry colleagues’ efforts to shine a brighter light on aggressor nations’ war of propaganda, Armenophobia, and disinformation by launching the Truth And Accountability League (TAAL).
TAAL serves as a watchdog organization conducting human rights-violations monitoring and reporting. With eyes open wide and specifically focusing on how nation-states, dictators and other antidemocratic forces manipulate international media, diplomats, and members of the intelligentsia, be they individual or institutional, TAAL is elevating its powers of observation and aspiration to greater governmental accountability.