First published in the Dec. 3 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
State Sen. Anthony Portantino recently joined the YMCA Youth in Government students for a robust conversation about public policy, behavioral health and LGBTQIA+ advocacy.
The senator also presented a $100,000 check to the Burbank YMCA Social Impact Center.
“I was impressed with the young people who use the Social Impact Center and with the YMCA leadership for recognizing how important it is to have a safe and nurturing space for all students,” Portantino said. “As someone who grew up in the 1970s with a gay older brother and witnessed firsthand discrimination and hate, I am honored to have been in a position to support the important work of the YMCA, its staff and most importantly the students. It’s comforting to know that everyone feels safe, valued and supported at the Burbank YMCA.”
The Burbank Community YMCA Social Impact Center is designed for middle and high school youth and offers free programming, a safe space to learn life skills, attend workshops, receive homework assistance and improve mental health.
“Sen. Portantino is one of those unique politicians who knows his constituents by name and understands their concerns,” said Burbank Community YMCA President/CEO Mary Cutone. “When Sen. Portantino learned about the Y’s programs to support LGBTQIA+ youth, he was one of the first to step forward and say how can I help? We can’t thank him enough for his support.”