Council hopeful brings along enthusiastic vibe

Laura Sturza

Though Michael Porco is new to Burbank, the City Council candidate

is convinced his chosen home is one he’ll stick with “for the long



“We have safe streets, beautiful parks -- anything you need is in

downtown Burbank. It’s like a little hidden gem,” Porco said.

The 29-year-old said he would find ways to reach out to residents

who don’t normally participate in city politics, “like working


families with children.”

“I think I have a great deal of energy that I can bring in getting

those people involved,” Porco said.

While ongoing concerns at the airport need to be addressed, Porco

said his goals include fo- cusing on families, public safety and

economic development.

If elected from the pool of nine candidates scheduled to face off

in the Feb. 25 primary, Porco would aim to upgrade technology and


keep wages competitive at the Police Department.

Another priority is to increase affordable housing and child-care

options, he said.

On redevelopment, Porco suggests “mixed-use properties that

include business and residential buildings to make downtown a vibrant


In addition, the city should “work with the entertainment

community and make sure that they remain part of our economy, and


also look at ways to diversify in case there are any downturns in the

industry,” Porco said.

Porco is in graduate school to become a school-based family

counselor. His past work experience was in strategic planning,

volunteer recruitment and board diversity with nonprofit groups.

The candidate participated in the Burbank Police Department’s

Community Academy, which helps citizens understand police operations.

He also completed Leadership Burbank’s 10-month program -- designed

to train up-and-com- ing civic leaders.