Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada) said he wants to turn lemons into lemonaid.
Portantino has to but the legislator wants to make sure constituents know how to access public agencies while the 44th District is dark, according to spokeswoman Wendy Gordon.
On Wednesday, Portantino and his staff will host a food-raiser for local food banks, as well as an open house event to show folks how to contact the various services that staffers won't be on hand to help them reach, come Oct. 21.
Assembly leaders mandated 40 furlough days for all Portantino staffers, running from Oct. 21 to Nov 30. The La Cañada resident called the move political payback for casting the solo Democratic vote against the proposed state budget in June. Assembly Speaker John Perez for Portantino staffers after Perez contended Portantino overspent his personal office budget.
Portantino disputes the speaker's calculations and has demanded the budgets of all members be disclosed to the public. While the Assembly Rules Committee released a breakdown of members' budgets, Portantino believes them to be less than comprehensive. The LA Times and the Sacramento Bee the Assembly to mandate full release of the members' budgets.
Thus began a public war of words between Portantino and Perez.
"It’s unfair for Assembly leadership to try to get to me by attacking my staff and disenfranchising the good folks who live in the 44th district,'' Portantino said in a prepared statement.
"But, I am proud that my staffers have decided to make the best of a bad situation and further show their commitment to the residents we all serve.”
Dubbed Lemon Aid (as in making lemonade out of lemons), the event runs from 4-7 p.m. at his district office, 215 N. Marengo Ave. Pasadena. Food donations will benefit Foothill Unity Center and Friends in Deed. Staffers will also show residents how to navigate services such as unemployment insurance, public assistance benefits, the Department of Motor Vehicles and business licenses.