After last week’s deadline to file candidacy papers to run for Glendale City Council, Glendale Unified School District Board of Education and Glendale Community College board of trustees, the candidates for each respective race are now officially set in the March 2024 General Municipal Election.
In the City Council race, there are seven candidates vying for two open seats: Vrej Agajanian, James Clarke, Vartan Gharpetian, Andre Haghverdian, Councilman Ardy Kassakhian, Karen Kwak and Denise Miller.
The two open Council seats currently belong to Kassakhian and Councilwoman Paula Devine. Devine, who was first elected in 2014, did not file for reelection — a decision she said was tough and took a long time to make.
“The dynamics of politics have changed and I’m ready to move on,” Devine told the News-Press. “I’ve given 20 years to this city and loved every minute and I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to serve such a fabulous community.”
Whichever two candidates are elected in 2024 will join Councilwoman Elen Asatryan, Councilman Ara Najarian and Mayor Dan Brotman on the dais.
Topics of interest for this race will include candidate’s views on whether the city should move to a by-district election system, public safety, government transparency and the city’s path to sustainability.
Royal Canyon Property Owners Association will host a candidate forum at Kreider Hall at Glendale on Feb. 3 at 10 a.m. for the community to learn more about those running for City Council.
There are two open seats for the March 2024 GUSD School Board race — one in Trustee Area A and one in Trustee Area E. The candidates for Area A are Jordan Henry, Shant Kevorkian and Telly Tse, and the candidates for Area E are Neda Farid and Aneta Krpekyan.
In 2016, the GUSD Board shifted to a by-area election system, where the city was divided into five areas with one Board member elected from each region. Area A represents north Glendale, while Area E represents southwest Glendale — although each Board member serves the entire community and supports all schools in GUSD, according to the district’s website.
Following a string of protests and counterprotests regarding LGBTQ+ policies, issues of equity and inclusion as well as a parent’s role in their child’s education is expected to be at the forefront of the race. Other notable issues include special education funding, Dual Language Immersion programs, student safety and curriculum.
Similar to the GUSD Board, the GCC board also follows a by-area election system and has two seats open — one in Trustee Area 1 and one in Trustee Area 5. Running for Area 1 are Harry Leon and Desirée P. Rabinov, who is the current board vice president. The candidates for Area 5 are Sevan Benlian, who is the current board president, and Armine Pogosyan.
Area 1 makes up North Glendale and dips into the Verdugo Woodlands; Area 5 is south of the 134 freeway, covering the City Center, Citrus Grove and Vineyard-Moorpark area.
Previous hot topics in the last GCC board election included prioritizing supporting students’ financial needs and forging more community partnerships throughout Glendale.
30TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
Additionally, the primary election for congressional representatives will take place March 5 where 16 candidates will compete to move forward in the race to represent the 30th U.S. Congressional District, which comprises parts of Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena and West Hollywood.
Current Rep. Adam Schiff is running for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by the late Dianne Feinstein. Schiff has been a member of the House since 2000.
The candidates in the predominantly Democratic 30th District consists of 12 Democrats, two Republicans, one Peace & Freedom Party candidate and one with no party preference.
Democrats who filed by the Dec. 8 deadline include former Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, state Sen. Anthony Portantino, Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education member Nick Melvoin, West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyne, Jirair Ratevosian, a former State Department official, and actor Ben Savage.
— City News Services contributed to this report.
First published in the December 23 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.