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This is from that Burbank Facebook page:
Firstly, Hussein Anthony should be glad anuone wants to meet him, not vice versa. He seems quite the carpetbagger, not even living in Burbank for long. Dude, at least get an 818 number . Umm 323 is the other side of the hill.
Sounds like a Tool. We don’t need anymore of these on council.
January 9 at 8:04pm
Hi fellow Burbankians. I saw the previous post about the City Council Candidate Konstantine Hussein Anthony. He very nicely agreed to meet some of us from our neighborhood group called Neighbors of North Evergreen . After the meeting, we sent him a questionnaire with questions from our group members. I figured I’d share his responses here since there is so much discussion about him:
Tell us about your background. How does this qualify you to lead the city?
I first moved to Burbank in 2004 from my hometown in northern California. Since then, I have lived all over southern California and returned to Burbank several times.
My years of experience in property management and lease negotiation makes me uniquely qualified to tackle Burbank’s rising housing costs, which in turn adversely affect local businesses run by local citizens. Property owners who are out of touch with the local economy tend to make uninformed investments and expansions. My goal is to keep the informational power in the hands of thriving local small businesses.
As a ride-share operator, I have seen first-hand an increase in the number of carpool users and a maximized use of clean-air vehicles. I am currently in talks with these rideshare companies to get involved at the city level and revamp the Burbank bus system, in hopes of lowering the total number of cars owned and increasing total bus ridership.
For the last year, I have been a community manager and content curator for Disability Action for America (formerly Disability Action for Hillary). Since 2014, I have been an active member of the Autism Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), joining protests and marches to bring awareness and reduce stigma about mental health and autism rights. For the last 15 years, I have been a performer, teacher, and manager for ComedySportz, an improv theater company with 30 locations nationwide. Being committed to a single organization for such a long time, I have become accustomed to working with the good and the bad changes and not letting disappointment cloud or dissuade my efforts.
Why are you running for city council? What are the outcomes you intend to work towards if elected?
I’m running because Burbank is a vibrant city mired in old thinking. I firmly believe that a new voice needs to be heard in Burbank. Many large projects and expansions are underway or soon to be underway in the city, and my concern is that growth without oversight would do much to harm working families and the environment and compromise our small-town legacy. I want to be an agent of change for the betterment of Burbank.
In my four-year term as Burbank City Council member, I aim to:
1. Pass twenty-first-century rent control in the City of Burbank
2. Build a homeless shelter and ensure it is staffed with dedicated caseworkers
3. Increase our total number of full-time police officers by incentivizing community-based hiring practices
What are the biggest challenges facing Burbank?
During the lead-up to November 8, there was a large misinformation campaign presented to Burbank residents in favor of Measure B. I call it a “misinformation” campaign not because people knew the truth and presented the opposite, but because no one knew the truth and speculation was rampant. As your elected official, I will make certain that more concrete plans are presented to the public to create a more informed constituency.
As a city, we must strive to maintain absolute transparency. Any association that works with city funds must be held to the highest standard. As your city council member, I will work to pass legislation that will mandate that all independent associations that work with city funds record their meetings and publish these recordings within 24 hours of completion.
A lot of the panic from the larger players in Burbank politics is about our city’s deficit. That’s all that I hear from the top dogs in town. What it looks like to me is that the City Council is trying to be the solvers of problems for a very specific group of people. They want to bring in large developments, to increase taxes and jobs, and “fix the city.” Large-scale developments and high-priced housing do not benefit the middle class – the backbone of any suburban city with a small-town legacy. As council member, I will work with any developers who want to build in Burbank as long as they seek to build affordable housing, add well-paying jobs, are pro-union, pro-environment, and seek to reinvest their profits back into the city.
Residents love Burbank for its “Maywood” feel. How do we preserve it?
Maywood, California, east of Los Angeles, has its own individuality and issues, and I think Burbank needs to solve its own unique problems. However, as an avid watcher of The Andy Griffith Show in my youth, I love the small-town feel of his fictional home of Mayberry. The only way Burbank can preserve its integrity as a quiet suburb is to enact a rent stabilization ordinance that allows long-term residents the power to control their own destinies.
Everyone in our neighborhood loves Magnolia Park, but we see many small businesses struggle. What can the city do to help this situation?
Property Value Transparency. Burbank needs a dependable system that allows both the property owner and tenant to accurately and anonymously assess the real property value of their lot based on quarterly earnings divided by square footage. This will allow a level playing field for more equitable contract negotiations. When shop owners can communicate their profit margin effectively with landlords, more symbiotic relationships can develop in Magnolia Park, allowing small businesses to thrive.
Housing is becoming increasingly unaffordable in Burbank, but many residents also don’t want to see the population and housing becoming denser. Is there any way to reconcile this problem? What is your position on what needs to be done? How would an increase in population affect our schools?
You cannot have it both ways. Either the city grows, or the city stagnates. I propose that we maintain high-quality education, affordable housing, and safe streets while allowing the city to grow organically. We do this by keeping a close eye on which developers we allow to build, and which policies work best for the middle class – the prosperity of which is the hallmark of any successful city. You cannot stop growth. Progress is a straight line, and the best way to navigate is to stay in front of it.
With the new airport, planned hotels and high-density residences on Hollywood Way, many residents are concerned about traffic congestion. What is your position on this?
The City of Burbank has already implemented timers on the stoplights downtown to create a better flow of traffic. I would like to add these timers city-wide and also invest in alternative transportation options like Metro Bike Share, a partnership with Lyft to invent a new style of on-demand city shuttle, and investment in light rail to connect North Hollywood with Glendale.
Speaking of the new airport, what is planned for the property adjacent to the airport which was sold to Overton Moore Properties? And what is becoming of the planned transportation hub now that the bullet train is being built from the North to the South with the Burbank portion not being completed until at least 2029?
The Avion space has yet to be finalized, but if you’d like to keep track of its progress, here’s an excellent resource on the Burbank website. I myself will be keeping a close eye on this. If you have any concerns please contact me.
With regards to the high-speed rail, we will have a long construction period, but I’m confident that the people of the surrounding area will appreciate the transportation services, the increased tax revenue, and the higher attention paid by the city to keeping services and public work in tip-top shape in neighboring communities.
The voter participation rate for the last city council election was 16.6% in 2015. It seems unhealthy for a democracy to have such a low rate of participation. What can the city council do to increase citizens’ involvement in their local government.
When elected officials fail to interact with their citizens, fewer people vote. The heart of my campaign and the very core of my belief is that I want to reach out to the people whom I represent. I make it a point to be at public functions, to join local political events and rallies, and above all, capitalize on the availability and ubiquity of social media. The ability to pull out your phone and voice a concern directly to your council member will change the very nature of how citizens participate in their city government.
Please let me know if you need clarification on any of these.
And, thank you again for the opportunity to meet up and answer your questions!
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Jonathan Orr, Crystal Jo Ortega and 14 others posted in City of Burbank.
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I agree with his goals, although the word “lofty” would describe most of them. This is Burbank we’re talking about.
I’m concerned with the “property management” background. It doesn’t jibe with wanting rent control. I’ve seen that movie before, on the LTC. So, so concerned about tenants, bla bla bla. He’s also a non-moratorium guy– a bit too boosterish about change and development. Like what’s wrong with a little stagnancy?
It depends on where you’re halted, really. I’ve been stagnant for years and it’s been quite pleasant point-of-view wise. I hate change, especially when it’s done for the sake of change.
He also seems to have come out of nowhere. It suggests he’s being brought in. What’s his personal background and specific work experience?
I’m concerned he’s a plant from developers and airport boosters. He told me he speaks to Lucy Burghdorf from the Airport Authority. Wonder if he’s their boy on the ballot?
He sounds a little too good to be true, doesn’t he? And where did he come from.
I think the biggest fear about him is that he could easily blow these issues for anyone else by turning them into total crank-dom. In that sense he COULD be a clever plant.
Like I said earlier, was Emzy Veazy III not available or something?
Unfortunately, there’s been a history at this blog of (paid?) trolls coming in to deliberately harm the message here by acting like agreeable, cheerleading, incoherent nutcases in the comments’ section. It still happens off and on, too. So I’m always sceptical.
I don’t think growth is inevitable and can’t be stopped. I do however agree with most of positions here – certainly more than most candidates. This is a progressive agenda which certainly won’t jibe with the power brokers of Burbank and I like that. Yes, I’m concerned about his somewhat itinerate background but given his willingness to directly address questions someone should just ask him about that. Now, what’s the point about adding his middle name “Hussein?” Isn’t this what Anne Coulter and others did to Obama to foment ugly, racist distrust by implying that Obama was Muslim and, by extension, not born in America? If I’m wrong on this please someone tell me how I’m wrong.
Um er there is nothing at all progressive about any of his agenda unless your talking about disabilities for Hillary or whatever that nonsense thing was he said. The guy sounds to me like he does not know or understand Burbank as a city. I say he a Fruitoes should put on hawaiian shirts and mud wrestle for a fundraiser. Funds could go to save the failing Magnolia Park businesses.
David Piroli pealed back another layer of the “50K” onion
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