Q&A: Anthony Portantino. Community Guy

3 mins read
Anthony Portantino wearing a pink shirt
Anthony Portantino, candidate for Congress, House of Representatives, District 30. Photo: Campaign
This entry is part 23 of 23 in the series 2024 Primary Election Candidates

Q – Let’s talk about your work on gun violence.

A – If you have a child in your house, you have to lock up your gun. If you let your gun fall into the wrong hands, we’re going to hold you responsible.

President Biden wants to make that a national law and the White House asked me to discuss my safe storage law. I was honored to be asked by the White House to share my experience with the safe storage law with legislators around the country. I’ve been working on sensible gun control for 20 years. I’m not afraid to take on the NRA. I was actually doing it before it was politically popular in California. I was pushing this agenda because it’s the right thing to do. I’ve been pushing gun control every year for twenty years – my entire legislative time. I wrote California’s law banning open carry and raising the legal gun purchase age to 21. I also worked to reform California’s concealed carry permit regulations in partnership with Governor Newsom and Attorney General Bonta. I’ve been working on sensible gun safety for a long time.

I’ve been working on sensible gun safety for a long time.”

Anthony Portantino

In addition to gun safety, I’ve done a lot of work in behavioral health issues, suicide prevention, making sure that school personnel know the warning signs of suicide, and putting the suicide hotline number on student identification cards. I’ve done a lot of education policy. I wrote the law to move the start time to later for high school because students are healthier when they get sleep in the morning.

So, education, sensible gun safety, behavioral health, and environmental protection are my issues. But I am always leading with education.

Q – How are you helping the issues surrounding the unhoused and affordable housing?

A – I’ve always been much more of an FDR Democrat on affordable housing. We should build it; we should fund it. I’ve tried to make sure that a lot of our housing laws have accountability in them. I have proposed a first-time Homebuyer Assistance Program, getting more homebuyers and more people into equity building to put some effort into home buying versus just rental properties. I’ve been putting that on my agenda for a while, as well as placing housing policies into the legislation. We need accountability to make sure we build affordable housing, not just market-rate housing.

“We need accountability to make sure we build affordable housing, not just market-rate housing.”

Anthony Portantino

Q – What’s on your climate control agenda?

A – I’ve been a leader in climate control, focusing on and identifying microplastics in drinking water. I want to continue working in that space. Obviously, we have a climate crisis and need to deal with it. I support many of California’s strong environmental protection laws, but I’m best known for my work on water issues.

Q – Does mental health play a role in the housing crisis?

A – Well, certainly, part of the homeless population has other challenges, whether it’s behavioral health or drugs. The governor’s plan is very exciting because we’re creating the infrastructure to deal with the unhoused population. We’re going to get help for people. I’m a big supporter of Care Court. It’s just been launched. LA is one of the counties that’s doing it.

Q – Let’s talk about the importance of your Entertainment Tax Credits.

A  The film and television industry is a very important part of the California economy, history, and folklore. I created the tax credits for sound stages and negotiated the five-year extension of the tax credit, which will keep those good union jobs in California. During the strikes last summer, I was on the picket line and wrote a bill to try to give striking workers unemployment insurance. I certainly supported the strike strikes and walked in solidarity with folks. It was a time of labor unrest, and it was a time to respect the working men and women in California who were putting their livelihoods on the line to make sure that there was a future.

Q How do you think your support for the entertainment industry might segue into saving local news?

A  We have to do a better job of respecting local newspapers, and it’s one of the reasons why I’m doing this interview with you. I think more of us need to respect our local papers as well as the big press. I think the Pasadena Journal doesn’t publish in print anymore. That’s a loss for the community. We need to encourage people to advertise in their local paper, read their local paper, and write for the local paper. We need to try to keep you all afloat. It’s a bit of a sad state of affairs. These are exceptional times. We need to focus on getting things done and helping us save democracy, but also to increase effectiveness. Congress isn’t getting a lot done. There are tremendous needs, and we need people with the experience and the wherewithal to be effective. That’s what I’m going to do.

We have to do a better job of respecting local newspapers.”

– Anthony Portantino

Q  What would you like for the electorate to know about you?

A  The important thing is I’m a community guy; first and foremost, I’m a dad and a spouse. I’ve been a local volunteer soccer referee for 20 years and active in the community. I think that’s one of the biggest differences among candidates in races. I’m the community-focused guy. I think that’s important. It’s not about becoming a Twitter star. It’s about doing work, getting things done and representing the district. I’m going to continue to represent the district.

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Sheryl Turner

Sheryl is Local News Pasadena's Publisher and Pasadena Media Foundation's Founder. When not saving local news, she devotes her spare time to finding the best meatloaf in town.
Email: [email protected]

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