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Sacramento State alumna elected first deaf female mayor in U.S.

The youngest member of the Angels Camp City Council has become the first deaf female mayor in American history.

Amanda Folendorf, 31, began a one-year term atop the City Council last month. The Angels Camp native studied at Bret Harte Union High School and Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. – a school for the deaf – before earning a political science degree from Sacramento State, and was Miss Deaf California from 2007 to 2009.

Amanda
Amanda Folendorf. City of Angels Camp

Folendorf was born with a hernia in her diaphragm, and medication she took to seal it caused her to lose most of her hearing. She can pick up some low-frequency noises but considers herself deaf, she told The State Hornet in 2007.

Angels Camp City Council representatives elect their mayor every January. Folendorf has spent the last three years on the council, including the last year as vice mayor.

The youngest active council member by at least 20 years, Folendorf broke with traditionalist views when she advocated for Angels Camp to regulate recreational marijuana sales during a November council meeting, the Calaveras Enterprise reported.

After attendees heckled Folendorf and demanded she be recalled, the council voted to allow non-cash commercial marijuana deliveries from dispensaries outside Calaveras County but prohibit all other transactions. Calaveras County banned cannabis cultivation for sale in January.

Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, @BenjyEgel

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