Anthony Portantino served in the California State Assembly from December, 2006 to December 2012. Upon taking office, he quickly established himself as a passionate supporter of education and an independent leader who endeavored to put policy ahead of politics. He has been an outspoken champion for government reform, fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency.
On his first day in office, Portantino introduced a bill to establish the California Umbilical Cord Blood collection program. He was subsequently honored by the National Donor Marrow Registry for his leadership of public umbilical cord blood awareness and banking in California. Although best known for his work on cord blood, he is a leader on entertainment issues in Sacramento where he authored legislation that protects the legacy of legendary vocal groups such as the “Drifters” and “Coasters” and he is a staunch supporter of the entertainment financial credits to keep film and TV production in California. In addition, Portantino is the author of AB 48 which re-established the Bureau of Private Post Secondary Education which regulates private post secondary schools in California. AB 48 created a student tuition recovery fund to protect students who attend these schools.
Portantino has a strong public safety record, supporting efforts to coordinate the processing of rape kit evidence to bring violent felons to prison and worked to bring survivor benefits to the families of fallen Federal Firefighters. Anthony worked with chiefs and rank and file office on bills to ban the “open carry” of unloaded hand guns and rifles on Main Street California. He strongly opposed AB 109 and the Prison Realignment plan that has resulted in the early release of inmates from our prisons and jails.
In the area of public health, he has worked with the HIV/AIDS community and City of Hope Hospital to co-sponsor seven HIV/AIDS Action Summits for the San Gabriel Valley. In addition, he authored bills to streamline bureaucracy and bring more services to HIV patients and has endeavored to bring more mammograms to women who have greater risks of developing breast cancer.
He led efforts to bring more transparency to the State Assembly internal budgeting process. He was the only democratic legislator to have released his own budget and calendar voluntarily and he supported the Los Angeles Times and Sacramento Bee lawsuit to force the Assembly to release budget documents.
He served nearly eight years on the La Cañada Flintridge City Council including two years as Mayor. During his time on the City Council, he was the statewide President of the League of California Cities Mayors and Councilmembers Department.
Prior to his election to the Assembly, Portantino spent many years working in film and television production. Anthony was born in Long Branch, New Jersey. Portantino attended public schools and graduated from Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania. At Albright, he met his future wife, Ellen, a business executive for Warner Bros. Anthony and Ellen have two daughters, Sofia, who just graduated from UCSB, and Bella Rose, who attends a public elementary school. Anthony is a PTA member, Girl Scout volunteer, usher at St. Bed RC Church and an American Youth Soccer Referee.