Katcho Achadjian was sworn in for his second term on December 3, 2012 to represent the 35th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Maria.
In 1971, Katcho came to California to complete his education and pursue the American Dream. He carried with him a distinctive work ethic instilled in him by his Armenian parents in Lebanon - an ethic that has served him well in his roles as businessman, community volunteer and legislator. On December 17, 1982, a day that serves as a continuous source of pride for him, Katcho became a United States Citizen.
Katcho attended Cuesta Community College and graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Business Administration. He and his wife Araxie were married in 1984 and they have a son, Hratch, and daughter, Nyri.
A lifelong community volunteer, Katcho has volunteered in support of numerous civic, service, and nonprofit organizations. He has served as a Member of the Board of Directors of Arroyo Grande Community Hospital and Chairman of San Luis Obispo's French Hospital. Since 2008, he has also served as a mentor to college students through the Executive Partners Leadership Council at Cal Poly's Orfalea College of Business.
The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Katcho was named a Cuesta College Distinguished Alumnus in 2007 and he was given the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Community College League of California in 2008. He was also recognized as Arroyo Grande Citizen of the Year in 1984.
Katcho knows first-hand how difficult the Legislature has made it to create and retain jobs in California. He founded a successful local small business in 1978, and has built it up to employ some 30 workers at three locations. In the Assembly, he is fighting to reduce the burdens of mandates, regulations and taxes that are driving businesses and jobs away.
Prior to his election to the Legislature, Katcho served for three terms as an elected member of the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors. Katcho served as Board Chairman in 2001 and again in 2006. As a member of the Board of Supervisors, he helped craft and secure passage of balanced and on-time budgets for 12 straight years and built up county reserves. He fought hard to protect taxpayers, property rights, and public safety while holding down the cost of government.
Throughout his career, Katcho has been a strong champion of protecting the region's abundant natural resources and pristine coastline. In 2006, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him to serve as a member of the California Coastal Commission, charged with protecting the beauty of California's coastline. He served as a member of the commission until his election to the Assembly in 2010.
Working hard to give our children the strong foundation they need to lead strong, healthy lives, Katcho was the founding chairman in 1999 of the San Luis Obispo County First 5 Commission. The Commission allocates funds and advocates for quality programs and services that support children prenatal to age 5 and ensure that every child is healthy and ready to learn in school.
In both his private and public service, Katcho has been a strong supporter of public safety. He has served as a Charter Board member of the San Luis Obispo Law Enforcement Assistance Foundation (SLO LEAF) since 2002, serving as Secretary in 2002 and Vice President from 2004 to 2010. He has been a member of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Advisory Council since 1989 serving as its Chairman from 1994 to1995. Katcho was recognized with the CA Attorney General's Certificate of Appreciation for Support of Law Enforcement in September 2004.
A passionate advocate for farmers and ranchers throughout the Central Coast region, Governor Pete Wilson recognized Katcho's grasp of the county's agricultural issues by appointing him to the San Luis Obispo County Fair Board. He served from 1992-99, and as Board Chair in 1995.
Reforming government to make it more efficient and accountable to taxpayers, cutting wasteful spending and programs, and making California's economy more competitive for job creation are some of Assemblyman Achadjian's top legislative priorities.
Fighting hard for the Central Coast's working families, Assemblyman Achadjian currently serves as Chair of the Assembly Local Government Committee, and as a member of the Assembly Committees on Accountability and Administrative Review, Banking and Finance, Transportation, and Joint Legislative Audit.