About

Senator Portantino

Biography

Senator Anthony Portantino represents California’s 25th State Senate District, which stretches along the 210 Freeway from Sunland/Tujunga to Upland.  He proudly represents the Rose Bowl, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Griffith Park, Warner Brothers, Disney, Caltech and the Claremont Colleges.

Supporting public education, mental health, and sensible gun control have been priorities for Senator Portantino during his time in office. His accomplishments include increasing funding for special education and the K-12 Local Control Funding Formula. He has authored legislation that created California’s umbilical cord blood collection program, pushed back school start time for middle and high schools, banned the open carry of handguns on Main Street California, raised the purchase age of firearms to 21, and placed the suicide hotline number on student identification cards.  In addition, his efforts have created a science fellowship in the State Capitol and established a unique partnership between the University of California and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

He personally negotiated the end of the 710-freeway tunnel with the Brown administration and authored SB 7, which formally ended the threat of the freeway, protected the non-profits in the corridor, and paved the way for Pasadena to develop the dormant freeway stub.

Senator Portantino currently serves as the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a Select Committee to foster trade between California, Armenia and Artsakh.

Prior to his years as a representative, he spent many years working in film and television production, served on the California Film Commission, and spent nearly eight years on the La Cañada Flintridge City Council, with two terms as Mayor.  In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious Ellis Island Award at a ceremony in the historic island’s great hall.

Senator Portantino grew up in New Jersey, where he attended public schools and graduated from Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania, where he met his future wife, Ellen, a longtime business executive at Warner Brothers and Disney.  They have two daughters.

 

Awards & Recognitions

2022

  • Celebrating Children Award – Sycamores

  • Champion of Reproductive Freedom Award – Planned Parenthood

  • Policy and Legislative Leadership Award – California Mental Health Advocates for Children & Youth

 

2021

  • Stakeholder Appreciation Day – Comprehensive Community Health Centers

  • Plaque of Recognition – Comprehensive Community Health Centers

  • Distinguished Legislative Award – Los Angeles County Psychological Association

  • Behavioral Health Champion Award – California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies

  • CCA Champion Award – CalCCA

 

2020

  • Friend of CalRTA Award – California Retired Teachers Association

  • Recognition for Armenian Christmas Party – Los Angeles County Office of the Assessor

 

2019

  • Gratitude for Leadership – University of California Summer Institute for Emerging Managers and Leaders

  • 59th Summer Seminar – Independent Cities Association

  • Heart and Soul Award – East Area Progressive Democrats

  • Honoree Award – Glendale Youth Alliance

  • Commendation for Glendale Youth Alliance Honoree Award – Supervisor Kathryn Barger

  • Recognition for Glendale Youth Alliance Honoree Award – Congressman Adam Schiff

  • Champions of the Heart Gala – Congresswoman Grace Napolitano

  • Champions of the Heart Gala – Assemblymember Chris Holden

  • Mark O. Hatfield Public Policy or Advocacy Award – American Academy of Sleep Medicine

  • Children’s Hero Award – California Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

  • Healthcare Justice Champion – SEIU-UHW

  • Distinguished Legislative Leadership Award – League of California Cities

 

2018

  • Certificate of Recognition – Los Angeles Board of Education

  • Honorary Service Award – First District PTA

  • CrimeFighter Award – Council for a Stronger America

  • Appreciation for Support of the Armenian Community – American University of Armenia

  • Leadership and Support of the Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center of California – Armenian American Museum

  • Homenetmen Western United States 100th Anniversary

  • San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority 25th Anniversary

  • Go Human Champion – Southern California Association of Governments

  • Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee – Assemblymember Chris Holden

  • Armenian Genocide Memorial freeway sign – City of Pasadena

  • Armenian Genocide Memorial freeway sign unveiling – Supervisor Kathryn Barger

  • Legislative Leadership Award (Los Angeles County Deputy Probation Officers) – Congresswoman Judy Chu

  • Legislative Leadership Award (AFSCME Local 685) – Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

 

2017

  • Legislator of the Year – ANCA-WR

  • Senator of the People – Sunland-Tujunga Chamber of Commerce

  • Sincere Appreciation – The YMCA

  • Civic Award – NAACP – Pasadena Branch

  • California Sleep Society

  • Impact Award – Family Promise of the Verdugo’s

  • In Appreciation of Your Efforts – Think Together

  • AICCU Policy Maker of the Year – University of La Verne

  • Certificate of Appreciation – Lights On! Afterschool Pasadena Unified School District

 

2015

  • Truman Award/Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Kennedy Democrats/Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley

 

2014

  • Co-Parent of the Year - National Parents Day

 

2013

  • Marge Wyatt Award - Options Child Care

 

2012

  • Legislator of the Year - San Gabriel Valley Civic Alliance

  • Legislative Advocacy Award - Fertile Action

  • Legislator of the Year - Junior League of California Statewide Recognition 

  • Legislator of the Year - California Police Chiefs Association

  • Special Recognition / Appreciation - Project 10 / Models of Pride

  • Special Recognition - Project Amiga 

  • Special Community Recognition - Pasadena City College Commencement

  • Special Recognition Honorary Degree - Glendale Community College

 

2011

  • Extraordinary Advocate Award – California Coalition Against Sexual Assault

  • Los Angeles Chapter Award - Labor Council for Latin American Advancement,

  • San Gabriel Valley Chapter Award - Labor Council for Latin American Advancement

  • Legislator of the Year - Assembly Democratic Caucus – Around the Capitol

  • Legislator of the Year -  Armenian National Committee of America - Western Region

  • The Andrew Escajeda Humanitarian Award - Presented by the Pasadena Health Department on World AIDS Day

  • Metropolitan Baptist Church Recognition - Community Activism & Achievements in the Pasadena/Altadena Community

  • Hero Award – Stonewall Young Democrats

 

2010

  • President’s Award -  California Association of Museums

  • Assembly Legislator of the Year -  Aging Services of California

  • Special Recognition - Campaign for College Opportunity

 

2009

  • Assemblymember of the Year - AFSCME Local 3299

  • W. Bill Young Congressional Award - National Marrow Donor Program- Only California Legislator to receive award

  • Public Policy Award - Sierra Club

  • Legislator of the Year - Lobby Corps, Associated Students of the University of California, Davis

 

2008

  • “A” grade 2007–2008 California Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity

  • Friend of California Community Colleges Award - California Community Colleges

  • Legislator of the Year - AFSCME Local 3299

  • Legislator of the Year - American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

  • Pasadena Recognition and Keynote Speaker - NAACP

  • Legislative Leadership Award - Deputy Probation Officers

  • Leadership Award - Sons of Italy California

 

2007

  • Freshman of the Year - Faculty Association of California Community Colleges

  • Legislator of the Year - Teamsters Joint Council 42 (23 Teamster Locals)

  • Special Recognition - Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, San Gabriel Valley, Inland Empire

  • Distinguished Service Board of Directors - Habitat for Humanity San Gabriel Valley

  • Recognition - Campaign for College Opportunity

 

City of La Cañada Flintridge Awards:

  • PTA Founders Day Award – Presented by the PTA Council to the Measure LC Committee

  • PTA Founders Day Award – Presented by the PTA Council to the City / School District Joint Use Committee

  • La Cañadan of the Year – Presented by the La Canada Noon Kiwanis Club

  • Gilbert Smith Service Award – Presented by the La Cañada Community Center