Last week, 25th District State Senator Anthony J. Portantino personally delivered to Governor Brown thousands of signatures on the No 710 Tunnel petition, rolling out an impressive scroll of signatures that activists opposed to the freeway tunnel have been collecting for several years.
“I was extremely honored that the No 710 Action Committee would ask me to deliver our petitions to the Governor and that Governor Brown would so graciously receive them from me.
In addition to presenting the petition signatures, we had a chance to discuss Metro’s recent unanimous action to terminate the tunnel project,” commented Portantino.
In May, the Metropolitan Transit Authority voted to recommend to the California Department of Transportation a different alternative than building a tunnel to complete the 710 freeway. The unanimous vote essentially kills the 710 freeway project after a 60-year ﬁght that divided the region. County Supervisors and local city leaders have begun in earnest to develop common interest projects that will meet local trafﬁc issues, tapping into Measure R resources previously dedicated to the tunnel.
“We are so grateful for all of the work Anthony has done for the past two decades to help us oppose the 710 freeway and thank him for personally delivering our petitions to Governor Brown. The local planning process is showing real promise and we are very pleased to have the threat of the 710 tunnel removed from our region,” added Claire Bogaard, No 710 Action Committee.
Since ﬁrst being introduced to the 710 issue by South Pasadena freeway ﬁghters, Portantino has spent the better part of the last two decades working closely with the activists opposed to the 710 completion. He is also the author of bills to bring tax and rent relief to the residents of the corridor’s Caltrans-owned properties now that the sale of the homes is imminent.
“The demise of the 710 tunnel is a testament to grassroots activism in its ﬁnest form. I am so pleased to have seen MTA respond to these local efforts, ﬁrst in stopping the threat of the tunnel, and now through the engagement of our local cities in moving into the future. Our region is certainly better served by this collaborative planning approach now that the tunnel threat is behind us,” concluded Portantino.