Konstantine Anthony, 38, who is running as a candidate for Burbank, California’s City Council, knows what it is like to be homeless, being forced to sleep in a car and on a friend’s sofa.
“I understand what it means to lose your house, have nowhere to go, sleep in your car, ask a friend for a couch — while still having a job and earning a living and not being able to afford a place to live,” he told the Los Angeles Times in a recent interview.
Anthony, who described himself as a Democratic Sociaiist on the website berniecrats.com, is running for one of two empty Burbank city council seats, in an election which will be decided on November 3, 2020. Burbank, located twelve miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, has a population of 105,000.
The candidate, who has been a resident of Burbank since 2004, is interested in the imposition of rent control in the city, which he believes will “encourage people to invest in properties in Burbank.” He is also championing the hiring of local vendors, rather than outside interests, for city contracts, according to the Times.
We’re facing unprecedented times. I’m running for city council because it’s time for an unprecedented candidate. Let's build a solidarity movement of working-class Burbankers to enact a sweeping progressive agenda and make the real changes that all of us deserve.Donate: http://KonstantineAnthony.comVolunteer: https://forms.gle/DaegGP12o4t3ceqp7
Posted by Konstantine Anthony for Burbank City Council on Monday, May 4, 2020
In his past campaigns, Anthony focused such issues as affordable housing, rent control, and labor representation for “gig workers”, such as Uber and Lyft drivers.
“Three years ago, I ran for City Council on a progressive agenda which was unapologetically bold and far-reaching, ranging from homelessness to housing justice to community policing,” he explained to the Times.
“That year, our campaign reframed the conversation around working families and our city’s most vulnerable residents,” recalled Anthony, in a written statement.
“These aren’t just political issues to me – they’re personal. As an Uber driver, I’ve watched my wages fall, with no union to protect me or negotiate on my behalf. As a formerly homeless Burbanker, I know the anguish of sleeping in a car every night,” he added.
“Many employers won’t hire me because I’m autistic, and those that do rarely make accommodations. For these reasons, I have always been ‘behind the eight ball,’ struggling to keep up. If not for a helping hand when I needed it most, I easily could have fallen down a different path,” noted Anthony.