myBurbank Talks

Issues: Mayor Konstantine Anthony Discusses Video Controversy

September 19, 2023 Craig Sherwood, Ross Benson, Konstantine Anthony Season 1 Episode 55
myBurbank Talks
Issues: Mayor Konstantine Anthony Discusses Video Controversy
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Burbank's Mayor, Konstantine Anthony, sat down with myBurbank Talks hosts Craig Sherwood and Ross Benson for a conversation regarding the video that was posted of him earlier in which a drag queen was seen giving the Mayor a swat on the backside. This is a completely candid conversation in which the Mayor agreed that nothing was off the table and no questions were shared with him in advance. 

We ask you to give this a full listen and let the Mayor give his side of the story. This will cover all the facts such as if minors were present and what the event was. We even talk about his view of 'defunding' police, LGBTQ+ rights and issues, as well as the changing face of politics.

Before you make and assume facts, please give this a listen!

Speaker 1:

from deep in the Burbank Media District. It's time for another edition of my Burbank Talks, presented by the staff of my Burbank. Now let's see what's on today's agenda as we join our program.

Speaker 2:

Hey everybody, Craig Schruitt here, along with Ross Benson. How you doing?

Speaker 3:

Ross, I'm all together. Okay, you were something like that All together in a host.

Speaker 2:

We have a special guest today. Mayor Constantine Anthony is with us in a special issue episode we're doing today, Mayor, how you doing.

Speaker 4:

I'm doing okay. Thanks for having me back.

Speaker 2:

Okay, well, I really appreciate you coming in. I know this has been a tough week for you. To give a little background here and to also preface this, we've asked that the mayor agreed to come on the show and I told him no questions were off Off the you know we could do anything we wanted to ask, and that he would not see the questions in advance. I wanna make sure this is fair for everybody and he also has a chance to have his point of view said, which I think is very important to have a forum like that for him, because he deserves that. Everybody deserves to be heard.

Speaker 4:

Thank you, craig, I appreciate that.

Speaker 2:

So basically, what happened was last, I guess last Sunday. Saturday there was a fundraiser and somebody posted a video of you being spanked by a drag queen at, I think, a bingo, a fundraiser, and I first saw I gotta tell you, I first saw that on Sunday and I go, oh boy, hey, probably messed up on that one a little bit, you know, but it didn't bother me that much at first. I'm just thinking, okay, probably shouldn't have done that. And then on Monday I look at your Twitter and you change your name from Mayor Constananti to Mayor Spanky. Now I'm saying to myself, well, you know, if that was an unfortunate situation, he just kind of doubled down on it right now. Well, let's see how the council meeting goes. And I said you know what? I wanna give him a chance to explain and as a lifelong citizen of Burbank, you know I'm a little bit. You know, it's not the police. I wanna see, because of course it goes viral and every right wing Republican side all of a sudden takes off on it and starts attacking Burbank and everything else and not knowing the background of it. So I really didn't hear an apology when you spoke on Tuesday night and that kind of bothered me a little bit. You know I think you go in apology to appoint as the mayor of Burbank. You know, as you know, I know you didn't represent yourself as Burbank mayor that night, but you still have the time it goes through. You know, it's like being a doctor Wherever you go, you're doctor, you know. I mean. So that was my take on it then, but I still, like I say I think it's important for you to have your say so.

Speaker 3:

So, ross, you want me to go before we start? No, that was not the first question.

Speaker 4:

No, that was not the first one.

Speaker 2:

That's more of me ranting for a second.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, but yeah, if you know, I know it kind of has shocked a lot of people, a lot of repercussions from it, which will let you explain here in a bit. And we took I mean, our Twitter feed lit up, my personal Twitter feed fit up, people text me and so forth, and let's just jump into your questions.

Speaker 2:

I'll be honest to me it was not a story because it wasn't really to me a Burbank situation until it came at the council meeting. Then it became a Burbank story for me. That's how I looked at it you know, I appreciate that yeah, so. Okay, so to start with. So explain what the function was, where it was at, why you were there and what were the activities that took place during the evening.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, so it was in Santa Clarita. It was at a private sort of a country club part of a park. You had to be a member kind of thing, so it was not open to the public. No children were there. I think that was one of the big things. That sort of got the steam roll.

Speaker 2:

Okay, and not to interrupt you, but there were reports of children being there, right, right, and you know so. There were no children there at all. I mean no.

Speaker 4:

I think the original.

Speaker 2:

Nobody under 18 was there.

Speaker 4:

No one under 18. And they checked IDs at the door and you know, because it was. You know it's bingo and there's alcohol, so there's gambling and drinking, so they wanna check and make sure who's there. But yeah, no one under 18 was present and that was a. That specific point of information was key for me because I think what was happening in the room was totally fine for adults. I think it was fun and hilarious in the room, but I didn't think it was appropriate for kids and so I felt comfortable being present there because there were no children.

Speaker 3:

And I just quick question, including your son.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, no, my son was with the babysitter and yeah, no, okay. And I think one of the reasons and this is just a side note, I think one of the reasons why it got so viral was this misconception that there were kids present. And a lot of people jumped on that and I got a lot of flack, for, you know, having done what I did in front of kids and most of the people I talked to who reached out to me directly when I explained to them, like no, it was adults. Only then the next thing they would say is, well, you shouldn't be doing this in a public event. And I said, well, it was actually a private event, the public wasn't invited. And then they turn around and say, well, okay, I guess the mayor shouldn't be doing that.

Speaker 2:

Anyways, I'm like, okay, fair enough, I'll take that criticism yeah because one person on Twitter says oh, he did this in front of kids, which of course was not true. But because one person says it on the internet, it becomes a fact immediately, right?

Speaker 4:

right, and one of the major problems we had is that the account the Twitter account that originally shared it had a huge, huge following. They're very well known, they have a lot of likes and shares, and so when they say something, their whole following takes it as gospel and suddenly it's taken off and it's got a life of its own. But, that being said, that's what happened on the internet. The actual event itself was pretty tame. A number of people who were there all participated in the event.

Speaker 2:

I think, if you go Was this a fundraiser for you or just for a number of candidates?

Speaker 4:

So it's a local party organization up in Santa Clarita. They were just raising money for future elections and for their prospective candidates. So I was only there participating and enjoying the crowd and talking to folks and just being my regular Jovial self hanging out.

Speaker 2:

And getting on to the public. You were potential voters down the line, Exactly Getting known.

Speaker 4:

And so a number of folks had done exactly what you saw me do in the video. There's actually some footage on the person who was hosting the event posted a number of videos to their page and you see a bunch of people participating in the spankings and the laughing and it's a whole thing. I think I got singled out because of my position and very vocal position on LGBTQ issues and Real quick question for you, Mayor.

Speaker 3:

I've never been to Bingo or Drag Queen Bingo. I've been invited many times. I know a lot of groups that have put it on as a fundraiser. People have asked me oh, would you? It'd be natural there, Ross. Well, that's what people have said to me, but I have not attended. So is the paddling, or whatever, the song that they were playing? That is kind of common.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, so basically the premise is if you call a Bingo and your card doesn't match, if you're missing one or something, then you get a punishment, like that's. So you play and there's always a different rule. It's not just straight Bingo. Every time they change it up they try to confuse you, so it's like you gotta get four in a row this time or you gotta get all the corners. They mix it up and it's hard to keep track, so people mess up and that's like the consequences of messing up.

Speaker 2:

And it looks like a lighthearted moment. She walked over. I'm not sure who it was, but the person walked over and gave you just two small little taps that weren't even there, was only one.

Speaker 4:

There was only one.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so the video made it look as though there's more Okay. They looped it so yeah, okay, I think they did that to go with the song.

Speaker 3:

Yes, yes, probably did.

Speaker 2:

So it didn't look like it was anything. No one didn't look anything sexual or didn't look anything that was in any inappropriate. In fact, that may or may not be verbatim Now, without giving names. Were there any other politicians there?

Speaker 4:

There were None of them got up to do what I did, but then again I'm a little different.

Speaker 2:

Well, yeah, I've had a little more experience in dealing with fallout.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, yeah, I'm also just me and my personality is very different than most politicians. You average politician? You know they're legislators or lawyers, or you know public servants you know I was an actor and a comedian for 20 years. Before I got this job, I did live comedy and I've done the most ridiculous stuff ever and a lot of it is on social media and I tell people all the time. I'm like I have done silly stuff as the mayor for eight months. You know, at the Dunkin' Donuts opening you can go on my Instagram and you see me. I'm trying to drink the mascot, like the mascot of a donkey. He's the cup, the cuppy or whatever. I'm trying to drink Like it's. I do silly things.

Speaker 2:

Was that a Ross Benson Pose picture?

Speaker 3:

No, well, Duncan was. I did want Duncan the cup in the shot, Right. But again when you bring a big character like that, Right.

Speaker 2:

You know, and I've done other ribbon cuttings where yeah you've done many ribbon cuttings with politicians and asked them to do Something different. Yeah, different.

Speaker 3:

I had a politician who would take a scoop at 31 Flavors and lick it. Yeah, yeah, lick the scoop, even though he didn't, you know, but the manager's eyes were like this big and almost as a photographer. You got to do something different, or it's going to be the regular old ribbon cutting.

Speaker 4:

And that's not me. I'm not regular old politician. I'm a very different entity. But I want to circle back around to my position on LGBTQ issues. I firmly believe that if the exact same video had come out and it was a cisgendered beauty queen or a man dressed up like Santa Claus telling me I, you know, was naughty for the year like nobody would have shared it. They would have thought, oh, the mayor's doing something silly, that's goofy. I think that the reason it got shared is because of who it was doing this banking. A drag queen is typically a man dressed as a woman and wearing all of the dressings and the makeup and all you know and being very flamboyant about it, and the fact that I simply participated in it and was comfortable with it. I think that's the reason why it got spread so far so quickly. And your earlier point about why there was no apology on Tuesday If this was any other issue, if I had said someone's name wrong or spilled something and ruined something or, you know, did some other egregious offense to a dignitary or some other public event or any in that way, obviously I would lean into an apology and I would talk about what I'm going to do to be better. I think there's a part of me that is refusing to apologize for this because that would give credence to the complaint. I have taken a very hard stance against not apologizing for my ad to point out the wild hypocrisy that is being thrown our way, because I've gotten so many emails where one email will say, hey, this is very undignified, I don't think the mayor should be participating. And the very next email, from a totally different person, will be filled with vitriol and hate and the kind of language that you would see scratched into a bathroom stall like horrible stuff. So how can I look at these two messages and say, well, ok, I'm going to apologize to this one person publicly, but I'm not going to apologize to the other person, who doesn't deserve it and it doesn't jive for me and I know that's not what people wanted to hear. I know that changing my Twitter handle and making jokes about it is not necessarily becoming of a mayor.

Speaker 2:

So what was really telling you change your handle, mayor Spanky? What was behind that?

Speaker 4:

So for me it's about accepting the reality of what everyone has seen now. It's about taking it on and not letting the anger and the vitriol change who I am. You know. There's a style of dealing with attacks where you don't go on the defensive, you lean into it, and a lot of what I have seen in previous months Burbank, glendale, north Hollywood, around the Southern California area and really around the country is a full blown attack Trans, gay and bisexual and lesbians who are just living their lives. Now politicians have to come in and they're doing lawsuits and they're writing bills and they're attacking each other. And so I participated in what I believed was a very harmful event when I became the focus of this very specific attack, separate from what we see as the mayor and the duties and the pomp and circumstance that. I totally understand that and I can appreciate that and I think I said so much on Tuesday night. I understood that there's a level of that and I get it. But the other issue is eclipsing all of that. There is a concerted effort right now in this country to normalize that kind of hate. I don't know if I did it the right way.

Speaker 2:

I don't know if my actions I think it's proven ground for you. I also understand your saying and it's a huge issue the way you say things is racism. I think racism is very similar to what's going on with that community.

Speaker 4:

And in the same way that I'm not black and I don't know how to deal with that kind of hate coming at me, I'm not gay and I'm not trans either, so I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with that as well. I'm stuck in this position of trying to be a good ally who is not necessarily being oppressed, and I don't know. I am still learning, I'm still figuring it out.

Speaker 3:

Well, as it sounds and what I've seen, social media wise, it's not all Burbank that are all over you, it's majority of people outside are 17, 7 square miles. Yes, and that is we learned. There are people that will clip on to this from around the world. I think that's why it might have been aired in Australia, aired all over.

Speaker 2:

I think it's also because Fox is being, you know, he's a Democrat, Fox is, and we have this device division in our country now, which you know, it's them versus us instead of you know. So I think Fox is trying to do a gotcha moment to a Democratic person. I mean, that's what I took out of, I didn't think a lot about it, but then, like I say, it's kind of snowballed.

Speaker 4:

And so you know it's sensationalism, it has nothing to do with policy. And look, you know, Republicans aren't the only ones culpable of this. I know there's a congresswoman, lauren Boebert, had some naughty videos leaked and I saw a bunch of Democrats go online and try to shame her and say, hey, you shouldn't be doing this and hey, you're disgusting. And I'm like you know people make mistakes.

Speaker 3:

You know it's funny. I've had so many people over the years say why don't you run for office, why don't you get on the committee? And you know my reply to them if I wanted to see a proctologist I would go to a proctologist. And I know literally when you are in any political office. It has happened in this city, it's happened, it happens everywhere. People go through council members' trash to find out what toilet paper they use. I mean that's sad.

Speaker 4:

Oh, they went back into my Twitter feed and found like old jokes from 2009. And they're like oh my gosh, how could? You possibly say this horrible stuff. And then, like I went back and I looked at it, I'm like why did I write that? And I searched it and I'm like it's a totally normal joke for what was happening in the world at that time. It's like I don't know, it's strange.

Speaker 2:

Well, we're finding, actually we're seeing a lot of people are very hateful of this. And the other half? What's the big deal? Nobody sees me in the middle. It seems to be this is nothing or this is everything, so it's kind of a.

Speaker 4:

But look there are. I will say there are a handful of folks in Burbank who are still upset at me, people who have an idea of what the mayor is supposed to do, of how anyone in the office is supposed to behave. And to those folks I want to say I am still learning. I have, you know, four months left. This is my first term in office. It's my first run at being mayor. I tried to learn as best I could the things that I do when I'm you know, quote unquote off the clock. I wasn't in Burbank at the time and I definitely wasn't performing a function of my duties. I'm still, you know me. I'm still a silly comedian who happened to get elected to office. But I just want to point out to those folks take a look at the work that I do when I'm on the clock, how I run the meetings, how I host different events, how I welcome dignitaries and other electeds into the city. You know I was commended when I went off script at Chief Garcia's retirement and Danny Alvarez being sworn in. That was a very public event, a very important event, and I had individuals who had never met me before. Thank me for putting those words together and, honestly, the day that the video came out. We were at the 9-11 Memorial and my behavior? I wore a full suit and tie. It was six in the morning. I didn't have to do that nobody else did that but I knew it was important, so put on the best dress. I could get the outfit that needed presentation because I knew I was the mayor and this was an important function. So I understand how it looks and I understand what pomp and circumstance means, and so when I'm on the clock, I do my best and I'll challenge anybody to just point out when I've ever been flawed in eight months. I've taken care of what exactly needs to happen.

Speaker 3:

Well, we had a couple people send us notes and so forth and what we saw Now Tuesday night was they used to have a dinner for committees and commissioners and so forth. Because of Brown Act limitations, I've been told they didn't want to do that, so they had a reception during. It was weird how the agenda called it. You had a closed session, then you had the reception and everybody says you were there.

Speaker 4:

It had to be a public meeting at that point. Yeah, I was not at the meeting. You weren't at the reception, I guess when they were honoring.

Speaker 2:

You missed the closed session also.

Speaker 4:

I heard, I did miss closed session. Yes, there was one item that I needed to be there for that was pulled off Right, so I did not.

Speaker 2:

I know they actually pulled off the agenda when you weren't there at that special meeting, so that's why I was surprised you wouldn't have. Well, that's the only reason why you knew in advance that they were pulling that item Exactly. I knew in advance.

Speaker 3:

So you weren't at the commission's dinner and I know some of your co-other council members are very upset about that. It's the only time you I know I've watched every time commissioners get put on. You started off as a commissioner and those commissioners take that real personal yes and they you were not there, you were doing something else.

Speaker 4:

So two things. One, there was another event in Glendale specifically dealing with these LGBT issues. I was invited to attend and participate. And second, because of all of the fervor that was happening Monday evening and a morning, I felt that if I was at the function the boards and commissions I would be the center of attention. I didn't know if that was going to happen, but if I had attended from the beginning, I did show up at the end to just thank everybody. So I did get a couple of words in. But if I was there at the beginning and everyone started showing up, I would have taken focus and I think there was a part of me that simply didn't want to test those waters yet. And in fact for the rest of the week I ended up passing a lot of my public functions over the vice mayor, because I also didn't want any event that I went to in my official capacity to again be overtaken or overshadowed by this story. It was a choice that I made. I don't know if I would have made it again, but I used the best judgment I had at the time. It did make it to the end. So I was doing. I did end up doing the closing, thank you.

Speaker 3:

So with you not being there, like you say, that was a personal decision on your part because of the outcry and what was kind of expecting which would distract from the purpose of the event.

Speaker 4:

I'll say this when I did show up towards the end, I did get a lot of looks and I did get a lot of comments, so I feel comfortable thinking that it was the right decision.

Speaker 2:

Everybody's going to judge. That's human nature. Everybody's going to judge and give a lot of very conservative people on those boards and commissions, you know, and I understand that. But I still got to be honest with you. The apology thing still has me a little bit Now. I don't think you should apologize for what you do, but I think you should to the point that it brought a negative light to Burbank, that's. I mean I don't think you should apologize for doing what you did, because I think you did what you explained why. But I feel think you still own the citizens here a little bit. You know I'm sorry that the blowback came onto our city. I know I can, I can live with that, you know. But I just think we mean something that says, hey, you know what I made a little I did not calculate that this would be such a huge thing and blowback into Burbank the way it did and affect the Burbank citizens the way it has and kind of put a negative spotlight on the Burbank in some ways. I mean that's that's kind of what you know I was looking for a little bit, very honestly.

Speaker 4:

I get, I get that, I get that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I think it's talking as a lifelong, literally lifelong.

Speaker 2:

I know both Ross and our are both lifelong Burbank.

Speaker 4:

We know the city pretty darn every alley and so I completely understand where you're coming from. I think the issue that I am trying to struggle with is why is it a negative light? Why do we as a city feel bad that this? And I want to just go back to I'm not a member of the LGBTQ community, so I don't know how this looks and feels for them when we get this kind of light shined on us and we feel bad for having happened. Is it an internal thing for us to actually think that it was bad, or simply because other people are telling us that it's bad? And the negative light, all the bad things that came from this, the thing that I did to the things that were shared to the spread that it happened. If we lived in a tolerant society, nobody would care, nobody would have thought twice about it, nobody would have shared it on social media, nobody would have emailed us. And so I struggle with the understanding that, yes, many residents feel that something negative happened, but I challenge everyone to look at their maybe even unconscious bias towards what they saw on the video and how they perceived that as a negative thing, regardless of the role of the mayor, if we remove that for just a second, and then look at the thing that happened. If we're OK, if we can look inside ourselves and think, ok, it's fine, it's just a playful thing. I'm not concerned with the fact that it was a man dressed as a woman spanking another man. I can get past that. Ok, if I'm OK with that silliness, now let's bring in the position, oh, an elected official, the mayor of a city. Is there a leeway that I can understand that some mayors may be a little silly and participate in something that just prior to this, I have accepted as totally fine? And once we make that leap in our minds and in our society in general, I think we can get past the negativity. And so I'll come all the way back to the statement that I made earlier about how I don't want to apologize for this. I am specifically refusing to do that because I want people to challenge their understanding of it. If there's a way to do that, I'm trying to find it, and that's where I'm at. I'm stuck in that limbo right now.

Speaker 2:

It's perceptions, it's observations, it's all those things. I understand that and I appreciate what you're saying. I may not agree with it personally, but I do appreciate your viewpoint of what you're saying and how you're saying it, because it does. There is some truth to it, absolutely. But once again, observations, perceptions and all that kind of thing, and you're never going to change that with people Like you're never going to change racism or anything else. People are going to have to believe what they believe and not much you can do about that.

Speaker 3:

You know, in our community and I'm, you know, hearing from people there are a lot of kids that are not sure about coming out and being part of and admitting their LGBTQ. And I'm finding what I hear their parents are wrestling with it. The kids are so close to coming out but they're afraid to, and something like this they see this and they go. What's wrong with it? What did he do wrong, you know? And it I know the the YMCA's center, they're having a ton of people and dealing with these kids that want to come out but they're afraid to In this city of Burbank because of how we were so conservative.

Speaker 2:

I think it's just about anywhere. Yeah, and in all honesty, I think in Southern California there's probably more chance they would compared to the Midwest. I think in the Midwest they're probably more scared of anything. You know where it's more conservative and the more of a bias.

Speaker 3:

You know, and you look, West Hollywood, this one, even have ruffled any feathers, and that's what you know. It's a sign of our times. And how do we not? I don't want to say, just move on, put it on, drop it under the carpet. But how do we learn from it?

Speaker 2:

And let me get to the next question here, and that is you know during the meeting council members, is that Mullins asked for an agenda item. He brought back and always have involved in the conduct of the mayor. How do you feel about that and what do you think is going to be the result of that?

Speaker 4:

I mean I'm more than willing to talk about that. I don't have a problem with the agenda item. I think I mean we've been talking about what it is to be a mayor in Burbank for a long time now. The selection process, the possibility of a directly elected mayor. You know we don't have a strong mayor council government, we have a council manager government. So the mayor is in Burbank just a figurehead. You gavel in and out of the meetings.

Speaker 3:

And you know how many people don't understand that you and I go to how many ribbon cuttings and people go with the mayor's coming and their eyes get big. And in Los Angeles I go to things with their mayor, you know, with the police, escort and everything else. It's a little bit different here, that ceremonial position.

Speaker 4:

And you know, historically there have been mayors who are very good at utilizing that ceremonial position to push for things that the city needs to fight for. You know the rights of the citizens in a way that maybe a prior or subsequent mayor isn't. And again, it comes down to personality. You know Justo Lomantes historically was a big force mayor. He was mayor three times and everybody, everybody talks about his influence and power simply when he gets rotated in and it's only for a year. But you know there were certain people that knew how to use that bully pulpit to really push for things that we needed. And I'm a loud voice in the room anywhere I go, even before I was the mayor, and so I have taken great care to understand that. Yeah, you're right, people see it as a little differently. I try not to abuse that authority and that power, but I'm hoping the things that I talk about, things that I do, the way I treat the office is a more inclusive style. And I have to point out you know I'm 42. I'm a whole generation away from most of the people who are criticizing me for this action. I think there's something to be said about what you're saying about parents, kids and thinking, well, what's wrong with it and why aren't we doing it? You know, I grew up in a time where, you know, I had very different presidents growing up than you guys had grown up. Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, at least for the first few years, were very much by the book, and that changed, you know, towards the end of the Clinton presidency and a lot of the things George W Bush did, and even Obama was very different in his demeanor and the jokes he would tell and the bits he would do with Joe Biden, I mean it was a very different. And then you get into Trump and all bets are off. So, like I, come up from a very different understanding of politicians and what they should and shouldn't do, and I don't want to say it's just a generational thing, but I think there's a component there that can't be ignored. I don't know.

Speaker 2:

Well, I'll say this we've talked about it in our weekly shows that I like the tone of the council, how it's changed since the new five members are there. I think we were very kind of stale before. I think it's probably in our national politics too. Is that they say now the age of the national politician is higher than it's ever been before? And I don't know how well they relate to today's society and what's going on. I know as a council, you guys, many times now you just don't take the staff's word for things. You actually look into things, you change things, you throw some wild cards at them. We like that. We don't want a rubber stamp on things, that a staff member who might be here for two years at a job and wants to change the world and then we do something and then they leave to go to another city. We're the ones who live here. We have to deal with this forever. So I think you guys, I like the tone that you guys have said in the meetings. So I agree with what you're saying. I think we have to have a new perspective on things sometimes. And the old council, they're all respectful people and everything else, but I just don't think they knew what was going on in the real world at the times.

Speaker 3:

It's funny you say that I just wanted to interject what I saw, a comment on Twitter today, that what you wear around Washington now can be a t-shirt and shorts. Did you see that comment from Senator Majority Leader who you the last? I think you would see that from, but you know, we always say the chambers is a place of decorum, but you, nowadays, the decorum is shorts and a nice shirt.

Speaker 4:

I mean, there's the guy who just got voted in, Senator Federman from.

Speaker 2:

Pennsylvania.

Speaker 4:

Historically he was known to wear a hoodie and shorts and flip flops. And they love him over there.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, here's my guy. Trust me, that's my wardrobe.

Speaker 4:

He's the man of the people.

Speaker 3:

I have a quick question for you and I wrote it down here. People are pulling, like you say now on social media. Then go back to probably when you were born and get a quote or so forth your plain tapes or reading stuff that you have on our show, your mayor's show here said like defunding the police. When you say defunding the police, it's their conception. Two million dollars for the animal shelter that moved to the parks and rec. You're not taking that money from the police, but that fund is defunding.

Speaker 2:

The police were budgeted two million dollars to run the animal shelter, and now they're not going to run it, so they don't need two million dollars anymore. What is your I?

Speaker 4:

mean we did a budget stuff. We fixed the workers' comp issue was way overpriced. We fixed the overtime issue which we were paying out through the nose on overtime because we weren't scheduling our officers correctly. Like saving money is reducing the budget and we didn't lose a single uniform officer and we actually made response times faster.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you're not looking to reduce the force, you're not looking to reduce the programs. The thing is, use some of that money for mental health programs, things like that, a new MET team and things like that that need to be done.

Speaker 4:

What cracks me up on the internet and my flooded inbox? People keep asking me how did you get elected? I'm going to tell everyone that you're a defund the police candidate and I'm like I ran on that. What are you talking about? I was very open and transparent.

Speaker 2:

The problem is the word defund means no funding compared to. I know it should be refund in a way. I don't want to say it or I don't know what you would call it, but I think it's been blown out of proportion that it's refund.

Speaker 4:

And it's so funny to me because I have very progressive politics but at the end of the day, there's five council members and we all have to find consensus and we're still working within the framework of the current system that we have. We can't make radical changes. It would be impossible with staff time to try to change everything.

Speaker 3:

Well, let's Well, we're back. Being a very older bedroom community, those older people are still concerned. When you go to the market or the pharmacy, you see a police officer driving by and they're afraid of losing that by. A lot of people live here. Okay, you wanted to move on.

Speaker 2:

Let's move on a little farther. So my question is what has the fallout been for you, both politically and personally, since this happened?

Speaker 4:

So there's a handful maybe four or five individuals who I didn't agree with politically but I still considered a friend that I could talk to, that we could debate the issues on not see eye to eye but still be cordial and see it functions and events around town and I could get their help on stuff. But hey, I want to move forward on this thing that we do agree on. Can you help me out? So I partner with people from all over the political spectrum to work on local issues and help people and do direct influence. That way, a handful of those folks have made it very clear that they don't want to be my friend anymore, which is disappointing. I don't think that's my fault. I did everything I could to reach out and explain the situation. That's the best I could do. I'm hoping that my conduct moving forward will bring them around. Very good at forgiving people, I don't hold a grudge. They want to come back around and say, hey, maybe I actually do harshly, I don't care, I like people. I don't want to be mad at anybody. I don't want them to be mad at me. So there has been some fallout there Politically. I mean, this is exactly in line with every single public stance I've ever taken. You can go back through all of my social media. There's no hesitation on any of these issues when I talk about it. I don't know. I'm very open and honest about what I believe in. There's this undertone to some of the comments that I get from people who aren't from Burbank like I somehow deceived people to get into office, like I was somehow crafty and lying. I'm really not. I don't know. I don't hide anything. I think that's what is shocking to people. If I see a problem, I jump into the fray and say this is what we need to do and this is how we fix it. I'm very much in favor of this. I've had friends, politically minded friends, who are like whoa, you can't just say you're pro this or anti that. You've got to put your toe in the water and gauge the temperature. I'm like no, I'm not doing that. I know what's right and wrong. I'm getting into it. If I lose a friend, fine, but it's not worth it to me to try to I don't know placate people or not be proactive.

Speaker 2:

It's just not who I am At the end of the day, you have to be true to yourself.

Speaker 4:

I have to, I have to and I always am, and I think that rubs people the wrong way sometimes.

Speaker 2:

I've been to it before as a coach to understand that Is anything you'd like everyone to know about this. And how do you want to move on from here Anything that you want to say about this and how would just keep going here?

Speaker 4:

I would encourage anyone in the community who's listening to this and thinks I'm totally nuts, reach out to me. Talk to me. Most of the people who know me, even people who disagree with me politically, they saw me do this and they're like, yeah, that's unbranded, that's Constantine Uh-huh, could have guessed that and they don't agree with it and they might be a little upset with me, but it's not a surprise. But to those listening in and to the people who were shocked by it, who suddenly had it emailed to them or texted to them, reach out to me. I will tell you all about all the wacky things I've done in my life. I am a very I can't explain it any other way a very silly person. My father was a total goofball. I don't know if it's genetic or what, but I was a comedian for 20 years. 20 years. I'm professionally trained as a clown and a mime. So, like you know, if I see some silly stuff happening, I'm gonna jump in. I'm gonna jump in, and I don't know if that's a lack of a filter or just my natural need to be silly, but I have never in my life taken what I do or who I am seriously. But but I always will respect what other people consider serious, and so that's why I will say again when I'm on the clock, when I'm gaveling in, I'm running a meeting, when I'm doing a ribbon cutting, when I'm hosting any event or giving a presentation, I know that perception. I know when there's a place and a time to be silly and I know when there's a place and time to be serious. I know that difference and people have commended me in the work that I do. When I'm serious, all I ask is give me a little bit of leeway when it's time to be silly, because I might be a little bit more silly than you think I am. So that's where I'm at.

Speaker 2:

All right, but my last question is we're looking at long range. Now you're running for county supervisor and if you do not, you'll get elected. You're still a Burbank City Council member term expires in 2024, you're now seeking reelection. What's your future plans when?

Speaker 4:

I think that I think that may have to be decided after the supervisors race. There is a big, huge district that I'm running right now 2 million Americans, district 5. And it is a very it's a very pro LGBTQ district that I'm running in. So I think my specific brand of politics may be exactly what the district is looking for in March of 2024. And if not, I'll see how much of my original agenda I ran on has gotten passed. You know I campaigned with very specific policy ideas in 2020. I want to see us open the homeless shelter. I've been yelling about that for years, for years. I want to see what we do with tenant protections. I want to see what we do with gun control ordinance and a zoning for the gun stores. I'm going to be working on all this stuff and we've passed a bunch of incredible historic legislation that no city council has ever passed before under my gavel and I'll challenge anybody to point out that I'm not doing the job well, doing the job very effectively. So we'll see how much I get done in my first term and if I'm satisfied, I'm satisfied. If I feel there's more work to be done, I may seek reelection. We'll see what new challenges bring us in 2024. And we'll take it from there.

Speaker 2:

We're going to bring it back in January and we're going to do a podcast about your county. You know running for accounting.

Speaker 3:

We'll bring it back before that.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, you know you don't have your Ask the Mayor show, but I'm just saying we'll do a podcast dedicated to your campaign and your reviews and opinions and what you'd like to see done and get your word out there, you know. So this was not the format for that today.

Speaker 3:

But, I have one last quick question, go ahead. Yeah, you're newly married.

Speaker 4:

Yes.

Speaker 3:

And I know Margot quite well, pretty good, you know, and I know what you're going to ask. You are ready. How does she yeah?

Speaker 4:

She told me. She said you know, this is exactly why I married you.

Speaker 3:

Okay, well, that you know we met.

Speaker 4:

our first date was at the comedy club that I worked at, so she knows, she knows who I am.

Speaker 3:

She, you guys have been together for a long time and you know, when you're a spouse of a politician and you see it all, you have to do it all.

Speaker 2:

You know you're the first lady or first person and it's so okay that well, I'm going to say this Thank you so much for coming on and talking with us. You're very honest, I mean. I mean I agree 100%, but I really appreciate your opinion and what you and you stand firm in what you believe, and I think that that's a lot. It gives you a lot of credit. Also, it's the fact you're not you're not wishy-washy or something. You're taking responsibility for your actions and I think that's that's important. But I appreciate coming on and giving those opinions and giving your you know, your insight into what happened, because you know there are a lot of questions out there and a lot of misinformation and that's why I want to really just get out the you know, get out the information out of the air.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we get you know, we run a program, tweetdeck, and it, and I'll tell you we have gotten a barrage and we see what a lot of other people are putting out there and it's just not true. It's right, yeah, it's just it's.

Speaker 2:

You know and people. Can we have their little code name and in their keyboard and sit somewhere in a basement and attack people? You know, and you know, look them in the eye if you're going to say something to them, that's all that we say you have your account, you have your critics.

Speaker 3:

They get up quite a bit on Tuesday, you know, and, but also every other, you know. I've been around since Jim Richmond since who was the other one we were talking about.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I'm at McConkie, yeah, and even David Gordon.

Speaker 3:

David Gordon, Susan Spanos, who just passed away, and then we've seen a ton of you're only there in that seat for so long. You can't ruin our city. People think about it. The sun will come up tomorrow.

Speaker 4:

It will be okay. And last thing I want to say is I had a number, a number of media outlets try to do an on air interview with me and I told myself I needed to do a show with Craig because you guys are fair and you have shown me the respect that I think good journalism needs in this country, and I didn't want to. I didn't want to disrespect you in that manner because I felt like this was a very Burbank issue, so I wanted to come on.

Speaker 3:

I know Craig was a little worried when he didn't hear from you from a couple of days. But, like you said, you had to take a breath of fresh air, you had to step back and I know him, being a coach for many, many years. He wants a play to keep moving fast and sometimes you just have to take. But we both appreciate coming in and sitting down with us and, like I said, thank you.

Speaker 2:

Okay, well, that's Mayor Costi and Anthony, and for Ross Benson, Craig Schurin. Thank you for listening to another edition of my Burbank Talks issues and we will talk to you later.

Speaker 1:

Goodbye and Grill UPS store on 3rd Street and Hill Street Cafe.

Mayor's Controversial Spanking Incident Discussed
LGBTQ Issues and Public Perception
Controversy and Perception of Mayor's Actions
Impact of Position and Changing Perspectives
Politics and Personal Integrity Conversation
Burbank Talks