Armenian News Network / Groong


Conversations on Groong: The LA City Council Scandal



October 21, 2022


     Ardy Kassakhian

     Adrin Nazarian


     Asbed Bedrossian



Hello and welcome to the Armenian News Network, Groong, I’m Asbed Bedrossian.


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This episode was recorded on October 19 and 20th, 2022.


The LA City Council Scandal


Over the past month Los Angeles politics were wracked by a scandal that followed the Los Angeles Times leaking a secretly recorded audio tape of a meeting between LA City council members, during which a few of them made racist comments aimed at various LA communities. The paywalled LA Times article is here. Armenian-related parts of the audio are here, but you should listen to the whole thing.


So to get a sense of how this scandal is echoing inside the Armenian community, and also their thoughts about the politics around Armenia in the South Caucasus, first we’re going to talk with:



ArdashesArdyKassakhian who is a Glendale City Councilman, and the current mayor of Glendale.


And then we’ll talk with


California State Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian from the 46th District, representing the San Fernando Valley.


Glendale city councilman and current mayor of Glendale, Ardy Kassakhian.

Recorded on Wednesday, October 19, 2022.


California State Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian from the 46th District, representing the San Fernando Valley.

Recorded on Thursday, October 20, 2022.


In the last few weeks, we’ve had a political storm coursing through Los Angeles since the LA Times broke a story and leaked a secretly recorded audio of racist comments which targeted various LA communities by some members of the LA city council. Since then, Council president Nury Martinez has resigned; and two others, Kevin De León and Gil Cedillo are also under pressure to resign.

Earlier this week Councilman Paul Krekorian was voted to take the presidency of the LA City Council, so hopefully we’re on a better path at this point.

      What are your views on how we, in Los Angeles, move forward from this mess that tore through LA politics in the past few weeks?

      Your thoughts about Paul Krekorian taking the lead of the LA City Council?

      Why do you think it took the LA Times breaking this story, for this issue to come to public view? Shouldn’t others who were present at that meeting a year ago, have come forward and defended the LA community?

A year ago, when the decennial post-census redistricting process took place, many communities complained, and I think the Armenian community was also not pleased with the results.

      First, can you talk a little bit about how the Armenian community leaders felt about the outcome of last year’s redistricting, and why?

      Do you think those results will be revisited, now that we know that the process was maybe compromised by racist undertones, or objectives?

      How does this entire episode affect the LA mayoral race? Does it tip the balance in either direction, and is this council ready to work with either new mayor, whether it is Karen Bass or Rick Caruso?

For Mayor Kassakhian:

      Here in Glendale, we’re our own incorporated city inside LA County, with our separate local government from Los Angeles City. How do these events look from inside our city?

      How has this affected the Glendale city council?

      How do you rate the Glendale city council’s atmosphere?


For Assemblymember Nazarian:

      You did not re-run for your Assembly seat in the primaries this year. What are your plans for public service, going forward?



Let’s briefly turn our attention to the international scene:

In the context of developments in the South Caucasus, how can we, in Los Angeles, support a fair outcome for Armenia?

We’re referring to a context where:

  1. Azerbaijan conducts constant and unprovoked attacks on Armenia, invading its sovereign territory, kills civilians, and commits war crimes by executing soldiers in captivity.
  2. The ongoing Turkish-Armenian so-called “Normalization” process acts as an angle for Turkey to pressure Armenia into conceding maximally to Azerbaijan.


      What are your views of the so-called “peace negotiations” between Armenia and Azerbaijan under the auspices of the EU?

      Is a “Normalization” with Turkey possible under current circumstances?




That was our show and we hope you found it helpful. We invite your feedback and your suggestions. You can find us on most social media and podcast platforms, or our website Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel on YouTube, Follow us on Twitter, and Like our Facebook page.


Thanks to Laura Osborn for the music on our podcasts. On behalf of everyone in this episode, we thank you for listening. Stay well, we’ll be back next week.


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Ardashes Ardy Kassakhian, Adrin Nazarian, Paul Krekorian, Los Angeles, LA City Council Scandal, Nury Martinez, Kevin De Leon, Gil Cedillo, Ron Johnson, Karen Bass, Rick Caruso, LA Mayor, Mayoral Race, LA Times, Armenia, Artsakh, Nagorno Karabakh, Azerbaijan, War Crimes, South Caucasus, Turkish-Armenian Normalization,