Elections 2024


Assembly District 52 is composed of South Glendale, East Hollywood, Silverlake, Los Feliz, Echo Park, Hermon, Glassell Park, Cypress Park, Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Elysian Valley, Montecito Heights, Lincoln Heights, El Sereno, Atwater Village, Monterey HIlls, Mt. Washington, Arroyo Seco, and unincorporated Los Angeles. This week we present the remaining responding candidates for Assembly District 52.

Anthony Fanara

Anthony Fanara is known by many in his neighborhood as the “mayor of Los Feliz” because of how connected he is to the people there. He’s run Palermo’s Family Italian Restaurant in Los Feliz for 45 years. Now he’s running for Assembly District 52. Fanara told the CV Weekly his goals if elected center around local access to health care, decreasing small business tax and neighborhood safety.

An Italian immigrant who migrated to Los Angeles and worked his way up from a shoe shiner to a business owner, Fanara knows the hard work that goes into making a name for oneself in the community. If elected, it’s his goal to elevate the concerns of local businesses. Fanara has seen how inflation and taxes on local business have caused closures and have negatively impacted the local economy of Los Feliz. He would lower the taxes imposed on local businesses that make fair wages unattainable. That way, small businesses can find and keep talent, and provide workers with the wages they deserve.

“I am not a politician, I am not an attorney. I will not be bought, I will not be a puppet. I stand by those four things. I will try to convince all the politicians by the things that I say that it’s better to have more businesses [in California] than walking away from the state. People willing to work hard should be able to save,” said Fanara.

Fanara doesn’t think it’s fair that through inflation and taxes the state is punishing businesses for hiring people and for doing well. Because of labor taxes levied on his business since the pandemic, Fanara has had to cut back from more than 50 employees to fewer than 30, and he continues to try and cut expenses where he can.

He said that if he is elected, he will sit down with politicians, show them his balance sheets and how he has had to run his business, and convince them to make changes.

When it comes to homelessness and neighborhood safety, Fanara wants to tax California for bringing in homeless people from outside the state.

“When they start paying they will know what it means to take care of the people,” he said.

He wants every Californian to have health care. He knows first hand how difficult it can be to manage the current system because he has his family and all of his employees on his health care plan. His health care costs increased from $9,000 per month to over $20,000 per month with a $3,500 deductible, forcing him to cut back on his number of employees. He would discuss a more manageable system with legislators to ensure affordable health care is achievable.

“In this country, you can do anything you want if you’re willing to work for it. Even if I am elected, I’ll stay here on weekends to run the restaurant,” he said. “I am this restaurant, the community is this restaurant.”

Shannel Pittman

Shannel Pittman began her political career as a housing advocate and became interested in running for office as she gained more experience analyzing and translating legislation. If elected, Pittman wants to make sure middle class and low income people have a voice in what happens in their district. Pittman feels she can bring a perspective to the assembly that is not reflected in legislation as someone who has lived with poverty and food and housing insecurity.

As one of her first acts in office, Pittman plans to send out surveys to get approval from the community before bringing bills to legislators, creating positions for envoys from immigrant communities to assist with translations of important information into locally spoken languages, and holding town halls and telephone meetings on a weekly or monthly basis. She said community involvement in the legislative process is important because it prevents legislators from making decisions that don’t benefit the communities they serve. Pittman wants to create legislation for small businesses and rent control. She said she would vote against gas taxes or utility rate increases that she sees as a detriment to working class people.

“The gas tax is raised whenever they want to raise it, without people even being consulted or having a chance to reconsider. Things like that happen when the legislators are not in tune with what is happening in the community,” she said.

As someone with cerebral palsy, Pittman also wants to use her platform to make sure people with disabilities are recognized in any work or health care reforms she pushes for.

“I know there are disparities in health care; it’s been proven by many studies already. So it’s going to be a matter of looking at the studies, remembering what we can learn from [these] studies [and] properly implementing necessary reporting tools so people can let us know if this is happening,” she said.

Sofia Quinones

Sofia Quinones emphasized the importance of building relationships with constituents and creating ways for eco-friendly policies to be affordable in Glendale. She also said that as an assemblymember for District 52 she would work on behalf of labor organizations as she has been during her career as an activist and organizer.

Quinones said often businesses don’t know there are state grants and a state business office to help them get money and support for their small business. She would make sure that community members and businesses would have open calendar days to discuss their worries so she can take action.

“A lot of small businesses – when owners die, sometimes the second generation or third generation don’t continue the small business. And why is that? There has to be an educational process on how to set things straight. There is a legal process [to keep businesses in the family] and some businesses aren’t aware of that, especially if nothing is set in stone,” she said.

She said there needs to be more of an emphasis on practical jobs and education that will help the economy prepare for innovative solutions to water problems and climate problems of the future.

“You need good stewardship and innovation, an edge of innovation. You have to invest in innovation but not in schools that do not allow for the intellectual property to be free,” she said.