In The Politics of Autism, I write: "Support from the general public will be an important political asset for autistic people. Another will be their sheer numbers, since a larger population of identified autistic adults will mean more autistic voters and activists." Previous posts have discussed autistic officeholders and political candidates in California, New York, Georgia, Texas, and Wisconsin.
In Burbank, California, the City Council chooses one of its members as mayor. (An appointed city manager is responsible for day-to-day administration.) Last month, the Council chose Konstantine Anthony, who now has a very important distinction
Konstantine Anthony grew up in the small suburban town of Castro Valley, just outside of Oakland, CA. He spent his middle school years in rural Iowa and studied film at San Francisco State University with a diverse group of students from all over the world. In 2004, he moved to Burbank and became a union actor in film and television.
With 20 years of experience in improv comedy, Konstantine has appeared in numerous television shows and movies. That experience, and a passion for social justice, made running for office in the Media Capital a natural next step. On his second run for Burbank City Council, he won a seat with a record-setting 17,529 votes. In doing so, he also became the first openly autistic elected official west of the Mississippi.
In a 2020 interview, he said: "My advocacy for disability rights stems from my autism diagnosis and witnessing the discrimination my fellow disabled Americans experience every day."