Anthony Portantino: Why I am the best candidate to replace Adam Schiff

Gun Rights

While Washington continues to be dysfunctional and our democracy is under daily attack, there is no time for on-the-job training or ineffective leadership in Congress.

Congressional acrimony is creating real, life-and-death consequences for us here at home as our community suffers from gun violence, the impacts of climate change or even just accessing mental healthcare.

More politicians than ever want to push our economy to the breaking point and ultra-conservative judges are actively rolling back or trying to undo landmark decisions on guns, abortion, equality and LGBTQ+ rights.

With no time to lose and so much at stake, I hope to earn your support to succeed my friend Adam Schiff in Congress.

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Congressman Schiff is the very definition of a hard act to follow.  I admire his tireless commitment to our district, his courage and character for holding the Trump administration accountable and his confident, unflappable leadership during tumultuous times. I was honored to follow Adam to the state Senate, and I am ready to follow him again in Congress.

I was a young filmmaker when Ellen and I arrived in the district, and we currently live in Burbank.

We raised our two wonderful daughters here, and I went on to serve on a City Council, in the state Assembly and now in the California state Senate.

As a local and state representative, I have come to know our communities and neighborhoods intimately and I have personal relationships with many neighbors and activists across our district.

Because this district has given so much to me and my family I’ve also been deeply committed to giving back, whether that was as a member of the local PTA or as a 20-year volunteer AYSO soccer referee.

I also share your deep Democratic values and I have a strong record of translating those values into results.

In the Legislature, I have championed increased funding for public education, the strongest climate change laws in the country, healthcare for all Californians and worked tirelessly to destigmatize mental health.

For more than a decade, I have fought the NRA in Sacramento and won, including passing legislation to ban the open carry of guns on Main Street, requiring gun owners to safely store their weapons and I raised the minimum firearm purchase age to 21.

This year, Gov. Newsom and I have partnered on my SB 2, to strengthen California’s concealed-carry laws because last year the conservative Supreme Court recklessly threw out decades of gun safety policies.

And when that same court overturned Roe v. Wade, I co-authored and campaigned to pass Proposition 1 to enshrine the right to abortion and contraceptives into the State Constitution.

I’m also very passionate about destigmatizing mental healthcare.  After losing my brother to suicide, I’ve committed myself to championing increased access to behavioral health services. And while we’ve significantly increased spending on mental health, we still have much more to do at the federal level.

When it comes to economic development, I have been a leading advocate for the state’s Entertainment Tax Credit. In the Senate, I increased the credit by $180 million and created a new $150 million incentive for studio construction, a major driver of economic growth in our area and help to keep critical union jobs in California.

I’ve also been an outspoken ally and champion for the Armenian American community both here and in Armenia and Artsakh.

I am honored to be endorsed for Congress by the Armenian National Committee of America – WR, as well as the Armenian Rights Council of America for my leadership strengthening relations between California, the Republic of Armenia, and the Republic of Artsakh, including the establishment of the Select Committee on California, Armenia and Artsakh Mutual Trade, Art and Cultural Exchange and the California-Armenia Trade & Services Desk in Yerevan.

Our campaign has already been joined by hundreds of local elected officials and local leaders like Sen. Maria Elena Durazo and environmental advocate Ed Begley, Jr. I would be honored to earn your support, too.

Whether it’s passing a national law requiring background checks, a new federal assault weapons ban, progressive climate laws or a national right to access abortion services, I will fight every day for you.

Anthony Portantino  is currently state senator for the 25th District.

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