Bill calls for naming part of 101 Freeway for Armenian-American Katcho Achadjian

A bill introduced by Republican California Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham on Wednesday seeks to name a portion of the 101 Freeway for the late lawmaker Kacho Achadjian, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported.

Achadjian, who passed away in March, 2020 was beloved member of the California State Assembly, representing San Luis Obispo for six years, before which he was a 12-year member of the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors.

“Katcho was my friend and mentor,” Cunningham said in a press statement Wednesday.

“He was an American success story and a true public servant who always put the Central Coast first. His legacy of energetic representation, consensus-building and public service is a model for all that seek elected office. While he will always be missed by the Central Coast community, the renaming of this segment of Highway 101 ensures that he will never be forgotten.”

“Katcho was the heart and soul of his family,” his wife, Araxie said in Cunningham’s news release Wednesday. “His love for his community was unconditional; his contributions to society were innumerable; his pride for this nation was unmatchable. … Thank you to Assemblyman Cunningham and this legislative body for honoring Katcho’s memory in such a meaningful way. We are sincerely grateful for their efforts.”

Achadjian, who grew up in Lebanon and moved to California, was a life-long member of the Homenetmen. In 2016, he and his wife, were named honorary presidents of the Navasartian Games.

In 2013, Achadjian joined the first California State delegation to Armenia and Artsakh led by the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region, and upon his return worked with his colleagues to create the first California Armenian Legislative Caucus.

A recipient of the Mkhitar Gosh Gratitude Medal bestowed by Artsakh President Bako Sahakian, Achadjian was also honored as the ANCA-WR Legislator of the Year at its annual gala banquet in 2013.

Throughout the six years of his tenure, he generously assisted in ensuring the success of numerous ANCA-WR events, including annual Advocacy Days in Sacramento, serving as a panelist at the 2015 ANCA-WR Grassroots Conference, traveling to Los Angeles from San Luis Obispo to enthusiastically support ANCA-WR town halls and banquets, and highlighting the ANCA-WR by recognizing its chair, Nora Hovsepian, as one of 80 Women of the Year in the State Capitol in 2015.

In 2016, Achadjian ran for Congress in California’s 24th District.

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