Public Education

There is a reason why many parents, teachers, administrators and almost every elected education leader in the 25th Senate District have endorsed Anthony.  He doesn’t just talk about education during election time, he’s on our campuses as an involved and dedicated parent. Both Anthony and Ellen Portantino are long-standing PTA members and volunteers for their children’s schools.  While in the Assembly, Anthony worked very closely with the PTA on legislative efforts to help children.  Ellen Portantino is currently serving as the middle school PTA President.  Together, the Portantinos are driven to improve our schools for every family and make public education in California a top priority.

Anthony was willing to stand up to leadership and even sacrifice his Committee Chairmanship in order to support public schools in his district and K-16 funding. And, he is determined to make the legislature reinvest in the Master Plan for Higher Education, 50 years after it was adopted.  Today’s children should have the same opportunity to benefit from post-secondary education excellence as past generations of Californians.

Although there have been several strides made to increase partnerships between high schools and community colleges more needs to be done.  Anthony understands that we must modernize our approach to education to equip our students for the global high-tech economy. Anthony encouraged the creation of an electrical lineman academy at Pasadena City College and a summer fellowship for undergraduate students attending Historically Black Colleges and Hispanic Serving Institutions on the University of California Campuses. Anthony also authored and passed legislation to create a fellowship in the capitol for science professionals, to bring their expertise to the public policy discussion in the Capitol without cost to taxpayers.

Holding our educational institutions accountable and coordinating goals and objectives continues to be necessary in our great state. Anthony worked closely with Chancellor Jack Scott on a statewide accountability initiative while in the Assembly, and he is eager to continue be a champion for our public colleges and universities in the State Senate.

Jobs & Economic Growth

The connection between educational opportunities, academic attainment and a healthy economy, are direct and discernible.  We must ensure that all of our students have access to our community colleges and universities, with the opportunity to achieve success. Anthony wants to correlate academic opportunities with our workforce needs. As the overall health of our economy improves, the need for well-trained professionals, from the building trades to emergency room healthcare professionals, will be imperative. As our workforce increases in age, we must increase the number of educated workers to fill this void, and support the economy. Having a specific knowledge of our workforce needs for the next four decades will help us tailor academic programs to meet those needs.

Small businesses are of immense importance to the 25th District and Anthony is proud to be endorsed by the California Small Business Association. As he did in the Assembly, Anthony will look at creative incentives to lower workers compensation costs without sacrificing worker protection. Anthony will continue to be a champion of the working men and women in California, while endeavoring to make our business climate more competitive.

Transparency & Accountability

A big reason why Anthony Portantino is running for the State Senate is to build on the transparency and accountability standards he set in the Assembly.   Anthony is recognized as a leader for open and transparent government. Asked often if his effort to embrace transparency was worth the effort, Anthony emphatically says “yes.”

Mental Health

Having watched a brother loose his struggle to depression has given Anthony a unique perspective on the current state of mental health coverage and treatment.   He is determined to tackle this important but yet taboo issue upon returning to the Capitol.

Fiscal Accountability

Anthony believes in changing the entire state budget dynamic to a public discourse that sets priorities and forces the legislature to live within its means. He has authored legislation to reshape California budgeting to a “pay as you go” financial model. Anthony believes that only through true oversight, and the setting of real priorities, can the state be held accountable to make sound fiscal decisions.

Civil Rights & Equality

Anthony is a strong supporter of equal protection and equal opportunity for all Californians. He voted for marriage equality, has been a constant and loyal supporter of Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley, Eagle Rock, San Diego and Los Angeles Prides and he has been recognized by the Stonewall Young Democrats with a Hero Award. He will continue to be a civil rights champion in the Senate.

Public Safety

Anthony sees the public safety crisis as a supply driven problem, not an early release problem. He opposed the “prison realignment plan” AB109 and other early release ideas because shifting the burden to Counties without the resources to properly administer rehabilitation and reentry programs creates a significant problem.  Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley said prison realignment would result in the biggest increase in crime in California in 60 years. It’s clear that the foothill communities that make up the 25th Senate District have seen their neighborhoods become less safe due to AB 109.  During several rounds of budget negotiations, Anthony stood firm in trying to get the state to set different priorities.  Anthony argued that to release inmates at the very same time as job training, reentry and drug treatment programs were being decimated, would not result in safer neighborhoods or productive citizens.

In order to solve our prison conundrum, we must accomplish two very important goals:

  • Raise the High School Graduation Rate
  • Lower the Recidivism Rate

A 10% rise in the high school graduation rate will create billions of dollars for the California economy, and ensure that we have productive members of our society, rather than inmates.

California has the highest recidivism rate in the nation. Reducing recidivism by 20% would have a dramatic effect on reducing California’s prison population and increasing California’s fiscal stability. Anthony has authored legislation to set this goal. Releasing an untreated and ill prepared prison population onto our streets, or shipping them to county jails, will not help keep Main Street California safe, help the inmate or save the state any money, as 70% of inmates released reoffend and return into the system.

Ending Violence Against Women

Anthony authored and sent three bills to the Governor’s desk demanding that counties throughout California process the physical evidence derived from rape investigations. Anthony was recognized for his leadership to bring rapists to justice by the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault.  Despite Anthony’s efforts, rape kits continue to go untested in an unacceptable backlog and the statute of limitations on this violent crime is too short.  Anthony is passionate about continuing his work to bring rapists to justice and to lengthen the statute of limitations on this violent crime.  If imitation is the finest form of flattery, Anthony’s efforts have continued to be the focus of other legislative intents.

Public Transportation

The San Gabriel Valley is plagued with serious local and regional transportation issues, as well as blessed with terrific opportunities.  Completing the Gold Line to the Ontario Airport and supporting and finishing the work of ACE will continue to be a priorities for Anthony, while solving the 60 year-old challenges within the 710 corridor will also be an important focus.  Anthony was responsible for the important State Audit of the Caltrans properties in the 710 corridor which resulted in significant changes to Caltrans management practices and a cost savings for the state. Anthony advocacy was instrumental in making the Cost Benefit Analysis for the 710 tunnel available for public review.

Anthony believes that the limited Measure R tax dollars allocated for the San Gabriel Valley should be used on solving local transportation problems instead of being wasted on the 710 tunnel. Anthony has long been recognized as a strong leader opposed to the 710. He wants to redirect efforts to light rail, multi-mode solutions, and toward actual resolution of local transportation needs and problems, instead of the un-financeable tunnel that will exacerbate our local/ regional traffic air pollution and not lead to important construction trade jobs. By focusing on actually solving the acute problems in the San Gabriel Valley we can put men and women back to work.

Environmental Protection

Anthony is a champion of our foothill communities and our quality of life. He brings to the 25th Senate District race a record of accomplishment unmatched by any other candidate in this race. Back in 2002, Anthony joined the chorus of activists endeavoring to protect Glendale’s Oakmont V from development, and he has continued to work with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and local activists on the preservation of many important properties across the 25th District. As the National Park service is working on implementing a forest service management plan, it is imperative that we have a Senator representing the Angeles Crest Forrest and foothill communities who understands these issues. Anthony testified in Congress on behalf of the Rim of the Valley Corridor Plan and he was Mayor when the City of La Cañada embraced the Sierra Club’s preferred alternative management plan.

While the state evaluates the effectiveness of its chemical policy, air quality management, alternative energy, transportation and CEQA, Anthony is best suited to have those conversations. He cares deeply about the issue of climate change, and knows that California has been a leader in innovation and investment for our future. This is why he has been endorsed by the Sierra Club.

Advocating for Our Most Vulnerable

Anthony has a long been a champion for our local foster youth. Working with All Saints Foster Care Project and the California Youth Connection, Anthony held annual foster youth workshops and support programs. He authored important legislation to benefit foster youth and will continue his productive collaboration with other foster youth advocates in the State Senate.

Anthony also believes the affordable and senior housing crises must be addressed through creative ideas to make more housing available. In the Assembly, he was recognized for bringing more services to seniors.  In the Senate, Anthony he hopes to do even more.