Ratevosian Meets Filing Deadline to Run in California’s 2024 Congressional District Election to Fill Rep. Adam Schiff’s Seat
LOS ANGELES (December 8, 2023) – Today, Dr. Jirair Ratevosian announced he is an official candidate for Congress in California’s 30th district. If elected, Jirair will make history as the first Armenian to hold this Congressional seat and it will mark the first time a gay Armenian will be in public office. California’s 30th District is home to the most queer and diverse population in the state and Ratevosian is poised to be the first queer representative in this district.
Dr. Ratevosian is an experienced policy advisor specializing in global health and human rights who served as the acting chief of staff to the United States Global AIDS Coordinator and was previously a legislative director to U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Working for the Biden administration in the State Department, Jirair was a senior adviser for health equity policy where he helped oversee the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR,) a global program to fight HIV and AIDS. He was also the highest-ranking Armenian American in the department.
“Since announcing my candidacy for my hometown district in May, I have received an outpouring of support from friends, neighbors, fellow activists, and Angelenos,” said Ratevosian. “After filing the official paperwork and continuing our work to knock on doors and meet voters, I am more committed than ever to being the voice of my community and advocating for the needs of all diverse communities that call Los Angeles home. From day one, I will prioritize earmarking federal resources to expand affordable housing, make healthcare more accessible, support an economy that works for all and fiercely defend the rights of women, LGBTQ+ communities and all marginalized people. I will be an outspoken leader on advancing diplomacy and development globally and holding human rights violators accountable for their actions.”
Recently, Ratevosian unveiled his American Dream Act addressing the barriers affecting Angelenos and all Americans. The plan will:
- Expand affordable housing and end homelessness by creating more pathways to affordable housing and incentivizing homeownership as a critical pathway for families to create economic security. It devotes at least 25% of earmark requests to secure unprecedented levels of funding to increase the supply of affordable housing in Los Angeles, focused on addressing the root causes of homelessness, and fostering home ownership.
- Make education affordable and available for all by ensuring every student has the opportunity to pursue quality higher education without signing up for a life-long sentence of paying student loans debts that only increase year after year due to high-interest rates and predatory lending practices.
- Create safe cities and support small businesses through tax incentives that grow small businesses, pushing for common-sense measures to prevent gun violence, and supporting law enforcement. Additionally, the bill will expand federal funding for police training, accountability, and community policing practices to help police recruitment and build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
- Protect our environment by ensuring the right to access a healthy environment, breathe clean air, and drink clean water. The bill will enforce a new carbon tax on emissions and environmental or occupational toxins, eliminate fossil fuel subsidies to oil and gas companies, and provide comprehensive climate change education so that young people grow up with an awareness for reducing their carbon footprint, furthermore supporting marginalized communities most impacted by climate change.
- Fight for a democracy for all, including LGBTQ+ people, Women and DREAMers by expanding access to voting rights, reproductive care, championing the needs of LGBTQ+ youth and families, supporting the rights of workers to organize and collectively bargain, and pursuing a permanent solution for DACA recipients and DREAMers.
ABOUT JIRAIR FOR CONGRESS:
Born and raised in Hollywood, Dr. Jirair Ratevosian is a first-generation American born to Armenian immigrant parents. With a doctoral degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University, Ratevosian has spent his career championing issues on behalf of underserved communities. As part of President Biden’s policy team recognizing the Armenian Genocide, as a legislative director to Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and as a corporate social responsibility director at Gilead, Ratevosian has used his positions for the betterment of communities in need. He currently resides in Burbank with his husband, Micheal Ighodaro.
Ratevosian is running for Rep. Adam Schiff’s seat to be a champion for all communities within California’s District 30. California’s 30th is an open Congressional District in Los Angeles County that includes the cities of Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, West Hollywood, Sunland, Tujunga, and Hancock Park. Incumbent Adam Schiff is vacating the seat to run for the U.S. Senate. The district has the largest citizen voting-age population of Armenian-Americans in the country at 14%.
More information on Jirair’s campaign goals, which include issues of equal opportunity and public health, can be found on his campaign website.