Latino, Asian, black, gay, Jewish and women legislators all have specialty caucuses, and now you can add Armenians to the list.
The California Armenian Legislative Caucus launches tonight with a fundraiser at Mayahuel featuring Armenian brandy tasting and dozens of lawmakers. Tickets range from $500 to $5,000.
The caucus is “a platform for Armenian-American voices at the statewide level,” said Natalie Bruton-Yenovkian, a founder and board member. Its focus this year will be on seeking recognition at the Capitol for the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.
Armenian Assemblymen Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, and Adrin Nazarian, D-Sherman Oaks, are both members, as is Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, whose wife is Armenian.
“We’ve made him an honorary Armenian,” Bruton-Yenovkian siad. “We call him Armenian by choice.”
The caucus is one of the few open to both Democrats and Republicans, and it will also accept non-Armenian legislators who want to learn about the community’s issues. Bruton-Yenovkian said Assembly members Ian Calderon, D-Whittier, and Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino, have already expressed interest.
BACK TO THE FUTURE: Want to see Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen ride an electric skateboard? The Riverbank lawmaker is reviving her bill to allow the motorized boards in bike lanes and on sidewalks, 2 p.m. on the west steps of the Capitol. This year, the legislation has a number of co-sponsors who plan to attend – including Assembly members Catharine Baker, R-Dublin; Calderon; Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens; Eric Linder, R-Corona; Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore; Mark Stone, D-Scotts Valley; and Marie Waldron, R-Escondido – so you might even catch a whole squad of lawmakers on wheels.
DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES: Assemblyman Bill Dodd, D-Napa, and Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, who both chair select committees on the California wine industry, host a special reception in honor of “California Wines: Down to Earth Month,” highlighting sustainably grown and produced wines, 4:30 p.m. in Room 317 of the Capitol.
Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.