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Agenda and Priorities

Gun Control

There is no question that gun control on the national level needs strong leadership.  Thoughts and prayers aren’t sufficient get the job done.  Senator Portantino is eager to bring his passion for stemming senseless gun violence and his record of accomplishment to Washington.  He will fight for a national assault weapons ban, raising the gun purchase age to 21, universal background checks and strong red flag laws that keep guns out of the wrong hands.  He is the author of California’s safe gun storage law that President Biden has called for implementation on the national level and will bring to congress the most accomplished gun control record of almost any congressional candidate in the country.


It’s no secret that Senator Portantino prioritizes public education, student well-being and mental health.  He will continue to do so when in Congress.  California Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren has pursued late school start efforts in Washington.  Senator Portantino looks forward to collaborating with Congresswoman Lofgren on positive education policies.

Mental Health

Having lost a brother to suicide, behavioral health isn’t just a buzz word for Anthony. He has worked tirelessly to destigmatize mental health and initiate policies to help Californians of all ages better cope in our complex world.  He will do the same in our nation’s capital.  Almost every mental health agency in California has recognized Anthony’s leadership on this important topic.

Abortion Access

California politicians have the luxury of living in a blue state that is solidly pro-choice. A proud Co-Author of SB 1 that placed abortion protection into the California Constitution, Senator Portantino believes that it’s not sufficient to just to say one is pro-choice.  California’s representatives must advocate that position in states and communities where women’s reproductive healthcare is under siege.  The same is true for LGBTQ+ civil rights and dignity.  Senator Portantino has never just been comfortable with taking a position.  He will take fights where they are needed.  He is no stranger to this type of bold leadership.  As far back as 2011 he was the only legislator who flew to Los Angeles and stood in solidarity with Planned Parenthood at a rally against the mean-spirited more recently, insisted that Assembly legislation include LGBTQ+ people in the definition of diversity in the face of opposition from the Assembly author.

International Relations / Foreign Policy

Although he is widely known throughout the district and is considered to be one of the most community focused and approachable political leaders in the state, Senator Portantino brings significant international experiences to the table.  Not only did he negotiate and help establish California’s Trade Desk in Armenia, he has taken a leadership role in Sacramento on issues related to Artsakh and Azerbaijan.  He is a harsh, unapologetic critic of Turkey’s backed Azeri aggression and recently helped draft a strong letter to President Biden condemning the Azeri blockade of the Lachin Corridor, calling for an end to US military aide to Azerbaijan and for humanitarian relief for Artsakh.  He has held hearings on the Sumgait Pogroms and on divestment in Turkey.  He negotiated further divestment actions with California’s two leading pension systems.  Anthony has traveled to Armenia and Artskah four times and looks forward to joining the Congressional Armenian Caucus upon election to Congress.  He stands firmly in support of preserving Armenia’s boarders, the safety of its people against encroachment and genocidal efforts promulgated by Azerbaijan and backed by Turkey.  In addition, he supports Artsakh self-determination, sovereignty and independence.


He has traveled to Israel, Japan and Korea where he has met with Government officials, diplomats, public safety departments, education officials and activists.  He has a record of opposing Antisemitism and he worked closely with Jewish leaders and educators on ensuring that California’s ethnic studies curriculum was sensitive to concerns raised by educators and activists representing the Jewish and Armenian communities.  He successfully wrote and passed legislation to close the gun purchase loophole that contributed to the deadly and tragic Poway synagogue shooting.  

Civil Liberties

Anthony believes in using his office for maximum influence.  Dating back to his time on the La Cañada Flintridge City Council he has led on several important national issues.  He didn’t just oppose the US invasion of Iraq, as Mayor he signed on to the Statement of Conscious opposing the War and attended several peace vigils.  As a member of St. Bede’s Justice and Peace ministry he hosted and moderated a human and civil rights panel on the loss of civil liberties during times of crisis. 


Senator Portantino is the only Candidate for this office who has actually cast a vote in favor of single payer healthcare.  SB 562 passed the State Senate with Senator Portantino’s  vote.  It unfortunately died in the Assembly for lack of support.  Senator Portantino strongly supports the Affordable Care Act and has worked to help implement it efficiently in California.  Anthony created California’s umbilical cord blood collection program, modernized eligibility requirements for mammograms, mandated fertility preservation for women facing cancer treatments, has provided access to the latest cancer treatment advances to medical patients and worked to expand insurance coverage for patients in need of follow up breast imaging.

Environmental Protection

Senator Portantino has two decades of environmental activism on his record.  As the former Vice Chair of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Advisory Committee and former Board Member of the Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy he has been instrumental in preserving and protecting precious hillsides and open spaces across Los Angeles County. He has been recognized by the Sierra Club and has worked to clean up our oceans and drinking water.  As a small town mayor, he led a historic effort to adopt a trails protection master plan into a City’s General Plan.  The city of La Cañada Flintridge became the first city in Los Angeles County to support the Sierra Club’s strategic plan for the Angeles National Forrest.  He supported local efforts to preserve Oakmont 5 in Glendale from development and to safeguard the  Rosemont Preserve in La Crescenta.  He secured state funding to protect Rockridge Terrace, expanded key trails and linkages across the Rim of the Valley Corridor -- including the historic bridge connecting the Arroyo Seco with the Flint Canyon Trail.  Ocean protection, clean drinking water and local sustainability projects have also been successfully championed by Senator Portantino.  He was the first legislator to support the Glendale Environmental Coalition’s efforts to reimagine the Grayson Power plant when he joined Sierra Club Member Susan Reyes in drafting an important position paper.  And, he worked with Councilmember Dan Brotman to help steer the city toward a new course for the future environmental protection and energy stewardship for Glendale.


Senator Portantino has long been a supporter of local non-profit shelters and services. Union Station, Ascencia and SELAH have all benefitted from the Senator and his families official and personal efforts. He was also a longtime board member for the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity.  But frankly, that is not enough.   He has supported local funding and planning initiatives to help our most vulnerable populations.  He long ago established himself as an ardent supporter of affordable housing when he opposec the dissolution of the state’s affordable housing fund.  Had the legislative leaders listened to the Senator in 2011 there would have been nearly 15 billion additional dollars spent on building affordable housing.   And, last year, he crafted the compromise legislation that ended parking minimums and included accountability and affordable housing production provisions.   He created the 3 to 1 affordable housing plan for the 710 corridor in South Pasadena and Pasadena and has encouraged communities in his district to build more affordable housing.


To further the construction of affordable housing in his district, Senator Portantino created a Join Powers Housing Trust between the cities of Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena.  He successfully secured $25 million dollars for the trust to facilitate the construction of thousands of units of affordable housing in the three cities.  In addition, the senator also authored SB 15 which sought to repurpose commercial property for housing before it became a hot topic.  He championed a first-time homeowners bond that would make millions of dollars available for Californian families seeking their first homebuying opportunity.


Though the homeless population is not monolithic with both economic disparity, mental health and drug dependency being part of its cause Senator Portantino has endeavored to increase mental health and drug treatment services for all Californians. He has also been one of the states strongest leaders in support of upward mobility plans, job training and educational opportunities to meet California’s demand for educational opportunities for all people in need.  


Senator Portantino has long supported infrastructure projects to create jobs and enhance the quality of life for all Californians.  Last year, he authored legislation to streamline the construction of environmentally friendly projects that help California reach its climate goals and creates middleclass union jobs for our work force.  He is again working closely with our building trade allies on legislation to streamline more projects.  

Active Transportation

Twenty-six months ago, Senator Portantino got on a bicycle and he hasn’t gotten off since.  He peddled nearly 6000 miles last year and along the way learned intimately about our state and county’s need for more active transportation plans and safer streets.  Last year, he worked with Streets for All and bicycle enthusiasts around the state on important legislation to use date and planning to implement bike and pedestrian safety measures across the state.  This year, he is working to prohibit landlords from restricting tenants from charging ebikes and scooters.  He also authored landmark legislation to create a tax incentive for Californian’s to go carless.

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