Zareh Sinanyan

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Zareh Sinanyan
Mayor of Glendale, California
In office
April 2014 – April 2015
Preceded byDave Weaver
Succeeded byAra Najarian
Personal details
Born1973 (age 44–45)
Yerevan, Armenia
Alma materUniversity of California, Los Angeles
University of Southern California

Zareh Sinanyan (Armenian: Զարեհ Սինանյան, born 1973) is a city councilman and former mayor of Glendale, California. Prior to being appointed mayor, he won election as a city councilman and held posts in various commissions, including Parks, Recreation and Community Service, and the Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee.

Early life and education[edit]

Zareh Sinanyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia, in 1973 and attended the local school No. 172.[1][2] His father was born in Istanbul, Turkey and settled in Armenia in 1946.[3] His mother is from Talin, Armenia.[3]

He and his family immigrated to the United States in 1988 and settled in Burbank, California.[1] Sinanyan attended the John Muir Middle School in Burbank and went on to graduate from Burbank High School.[2] In 1997 he earned bachelor's degrees in political science and history in 1997 at University of California, Los Angeles.[4][5] He then attended law school at the University of Southern California, where he obtained his Juris Doctor.[4] While in law school, Sinanyan worked for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and interned for Justice Earl Johnson of the California Court of Appeal.[5] After his graduation from law school, he entered civil litigation service and ran his own law office.[5]

Political career[edit]

Sinanyan was appointed to the Parks, Recreation and Community Service's Commission of Glendale in 2006 and held this position until 2008.[4][5] He served as chairman to the Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee from 2009 to 2011.[4] He was also a commissioner to the Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee from 2008 to 2013.[4]

City Councilman[edit]

Sinanyan ran for one of three Glendale City Council seats in the April 2013 election and finished third out of twelve candidates.[6] He is the first Armenian-born politician to hold a seat on the Glendale City Council.[7] At his second City Council meeting, he publicly apologized for "racial and homophobic slurs" he had posted online for several years before the election.[8][9]

In July 2013 Sinanyan supported the establishment of a memorial to Korean comfort women in the Glendale Central Park, over the objections of the government of Japan and dozens of Japanese-Americans.[10] Sinanyan spoke at the unveiling of the memorial in late July, citing his own background as the grandson of an Armenian Genocide survivor and asserting: "The best way to resolve conflicts...the best way to heal to acknowledge them. My people, my grandfather, were subjected to a horrible, horrible crime...To this day, because no apology has come, no proper acknowledgement has come...the wound is deep, it's festering, and there can be no moving forward without it".[11]


In April 2014, Sinanyan was appointed mayor of Glendale, California replacing former mayor Dave Weaver.[12]

In November 2014 Sinanyan and Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti were among the California politicians invited to attend the opening of a BBCN representative office in Seoul, South Korea.[13] Sinanyan also met with Lee Koon-hyon, Secretary General of the Saenuri Party.[14]


In 2013, Zareh Sinanyan made several racist and homophobic remarks online, using slurs to describe gays, threatening rape, and insulting Mexican-Americans, Muslims and women[15][16] His derogatory remarks are still available online. [17]

Personal life[edit]

Sinanyan and his wife Lori have four children.[5]


Sinanyan endorsed Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party nomination in the 2016 presidential election.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Sinanyan to Run for Glendale City Council". Asbarez. 10 January 2013.
  2. ^ a b Corrigan, Kelly (4 October 2014). "Third graders get a visit from the mayor". McClatchy - Tribune Business News.
  3. ^ a b ""Փոսի" անգլիական դպրոցից մինչեւ Գլենդելի քաղաքապետարան. հարցազրույց նորանշանակ քաղաքապետ Զարեհ Սինանյանի հետ (English: From Yerevan's "Posi" English school to mayor's office of Glendale. An interview with mayor of Glendale Zareh Sinanyan". 13 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Mayor Zareh Sinanyan". City of Glendale.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Meet your next Glendale City Council Member". Vote Zareh.
  6. ^ Mendoza, Mariecar (2 April 2013). "Glendale council candidate Zareh Sinanyan, accused of posting slurs, among top finishers". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Glendale Mayor Zareh Sinanyan Visits the Western Diocese". Western Diocese of the Armenian Church. 22 May 2014.
  8. ^ Mendoza, Mariecar (1 May 2013). "Glendale councilman Zareh Sinanyan apologizes for online slurs". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Glendale City Councilman Apologizes For Past Racist, Homophobic, Vulgar Comments". CBS Los Angeles. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  10. ^ Villacorte, Christina (8 July 2013). "Glendale approves controversial 'comfort women' memorial". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  11. ^ Yamamoto, J. K.; Culross, Mikey Hirano (2 August 2013). "Comfort Women Monument Unveiled in Glendale". Rafu Shimpo. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  12. ^ "Zareh Sinanyan appointed mayor". Glendale News Press. 9 April 2014.
  13. ^ "BBCN Opens Representative Office in Seoul, Korea (press release)". Globe Newswire. 25 November 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  14. ^ "Glendale Mayor Zareh Sinanyan in Seoul". European Pressphoto Agency. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  15. ^ Levine, Brittany (2013-05-01). "Glendale Councilman Zareh Sinanyan apologizes for racist postings". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-04-20.
  16. ^ Hews, Brian. "Admitted Racist, Homophobic Glendale Mayor Zareh Sinanyan Supporting Montebello Mayor Jack Hadjinian's Election Campaign". Cerritos Community News. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
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