Ardy Kassakhian and Adrin Nazarian: The LA City Council Scandal [EP170]

Posted on Friday, Oct 21, 2022 | Category: US Politics, Diaspora, Artsakh | Series: cog



  • On the LA City Council scandal and how to move forward
  • On Paul Krekorian, elected LA City Council president
  • On redistricting in the aftermath of the scandal
  • On the effect of the scandal on the LA mayoral race
  • On Armenia’s Situation in the South Caucasus
  • On Armenia’s Negotiations with Azerbaijan
  • On Turkish-Armenian “Normalization”

Episode 170 | Recorded: October 19 & 20, 2022

Show Notes

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.


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?


We hope you found our Conversations on Groong helpful, we invite your feedback and your suggestions. You can find us on most social media and podcast platforms. Thanks to Laura Osborn for the music on our podcasts.


Ardy Kassakhian

Ardy Kassakhian

Ardashes ‘Ardy’ Kassakhian is a Glendale City Councilman, and the current mayor of Glendale.

Adrin Nazarian

Adrin Nazarian

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


Asbed Bedrossian

Asbed Bedrossian

Asbed is founder of the Armenian News Network Groong and co-founder of the ANN/Groong podcast.

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