Senator Portantino Receives Awards From Epilepsy Foundation and California Arts Organizations

Monday, May 13 2024

For Immediate Release: May 13, 2024

Contact: Lerna Shirinian, (818) 409-0400


Senator Portantino Receives Awards From Epilepsy Foundation and California Arts Organizations


Sacramento, CA – Earlier this month Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – Burbank) was honored by California arts organizations for his ardent support of arts education and by the Epilepsy Foundation for being a champion of the epilepsy community.

The California Educational Theatre Association (CETA), California Dance Education Association (CDEA), California Art Education Association (CAEA), and California Music Educators Association (CMEA) honored Senator Portantino during Stand Up 4 Arts Education Day in Sacramento in recognition of his leadership and for being a long time champion of the arts community. 

“I have always been proud to support arts education and advocate for policies that strengthen music as part of our curriculum,” stated Senator Portantino. “Creating opportunities for students across California to have equitable access to arts education is critical, as it improves learning outcomes and empowers our youth. I am humbled to receive this recognition.”

Stand Up 4 Arts is powerful coalition of over a dozen state-wide and regional music education organizations and industry partners and provides a collective voice for the many who believe that music education is an essential and powerful learning experience.

“It was an honor to have Senator Portantino present for the annual Stand Up 4 Arts day and receive recognition from the state arts education organizations. He was so gracious and was inspirational with his words - true arts champion! Senator Portantino was also so kind and spoke with the teachers and students who were present during the day and made a point of connecting with the students to learn about their stories,” stated Anne Fennell, Immediate Past President of CMEA.

Epilepsy Foundation Board Member David Parker and Drew Wadler, a local teen with epilepsy, presented the Buddy Award 2024 to Senator Portantino onstage during the Epilepsy Walk Los Angeles at the Rose Bowl.

The Senator was honored for his leadership on Senate Bill 357, which gives doctors the discretion to report personal conditions they believe will impair a patient’s ability to drive and removes language that discriminates against specific conditions, including epilepsy.

“Current law discriminates against the 425,000 Californians living with epilepsy,” stated Senator Portantino. “SB 357 protects drivers with epilepsy by improving the patient-physician relationship and allows individuals affected by epilepsy to seek the care they need without fear of losing their driving licenses.”

"As the author of SB 357, Senator Anthony Portantino has spent the last two years fighting to end California's outdated and discriminatory requirement that doctors report any patient with epilepsy to the government,” stated David Parker, Board Member of Epilepsy Foundation Los Angeles. “He's a fierce, effective advocate and a true friend to the 425,000 people in California living with epilepsy and the countless family members, friends and colleagues who care about them."