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Candidate Profile: Dr. Sean Wright for re-election as Mayor of Antioch

Posted in: News, Politics & Elections | Comments (0)

Dr. Sean Wright

Dr. Sean Wright

Re-election as Mayor of Antioch

Office Held: Elected Mayor of Antioch in 2016

Occupation: Chiropractor

As your Mayor, I am committed to making Antioch a better place to live. Despite our challenges, we are a community of people who care for one another.

Most important is that you and your family remain safe/healthy. Here are some things I’ve been working on toward that goal:

  • Added 24 more police officers (for a total of 20) and beefed-up code enforcement. Crime is down. We opened a new Family Justice Center to support victims of domestic violence and elderly abuse. We’re working on homelessness solutions.
  • We’ve begun the critical journey toward identifying and eliminating racial bias in our community. Black lives matter and we need to do better. We also need body cameras on every police officer.
  • COVID-19 – We’ve sewn thousands of masks with the help of volunteers. We have a testing site in Antioch, ramped-up hospital beds at Kaiser/Sutter Delta, and increased 911 emergency/fire services. We’re helping unemployed individuals and small business owners get critical information; increased free and low-cost food supplies for seniors and families; and passed a moratorium on rental evictions.
  • We’ve preserved thousands of acres into permanent open space – protecting our hillsides/limiting development. And approved plans for a “desalinization plant” to ensure we have adequate water supply.

Antioch Police Officers, 911 emergency personnel, our legislators, county officials, education leaders and others support my re-election. Your vote means a great deal to me. Please call me anytime if you or your family need help.

Antioch Mayor Sean Wright

drseankwright@gmail.com

mayorseanwright.com

(925) 550-8026

 

 

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Publisher @ October 28, 2020

Antioch Police confiscate 33 illegal guns in October mostly from convicted felons

Posted in: News, Police & Crime | Comments (0)

Illegal guns confiscated by Antioch Police in October. Photos by APD

By Antioch Police Department

Since October 1st, your APD officers have recovered 33 illegally possessed firearms, the majority of which have been from convicted felons, or individuals already on parole or probation. Most of these seizures have occurred from traffic stops , where an individual in the vehicle was determined to be on parole or probation, or there was some other cause that allowed officers to search the vehicle. The rest of these seizures occurred during search warrant operations conducted by our Investigations Bureau, in conjunction with our Special Operations and Problem Oriented Policing (“POP”) Units.

Our violent crime rate for 2020 is trending downward from previous years, -39% since 2012 and -10% since last year. We attribute this in large part to increased staffing (120 strong and growing!) With a bolstered police force, our officers have more time to conduct proactive enforcement contacts and ongoing investigations.

More illegal guns confiscated by Antioch Police in October. Photos by APD.

Another HUGE factor on our side is the community we serve – Antioch STANDS UP in the face of crime, and works with us to keep things safe. There are a number of ways you can help us protect our city:

If you see something suspicious, you can call our Dispatch at (925) 778-2441 or 9-1-1 if you think it’s an emergency. You can also text 9-1-1 from a cellphone if you are unable to call. Some things you might be asked about include the location of occurrence, along with descriptions of persons, vehicles, and license plates.

If you have a tip regarding drug dealing or an ongoing crime problem, you can contact our POP Team by emailing popteam@antiochca.gov. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you can text a tip to 274637 and include the keyword ANTIOCH in your text. All text tips are encrypted and cannot be traced to the sender, unless you choose to give us your contact information.

If you would like to report a traffic problem in your neighborhood (including speeding vehicles, stop sign runners, etc.) click on this link www.antiochca.gov/police/traffic-unit and fill out the requested information.

If you would like to report abandoned vehicles on your street, including those with expired registration or illegally parked, you can leave a message on our abandoned autos hotline (925) 779-6981, or send them an email at parkingenforcement@antiochca.gov.

Working together , we can keep Antioch a safe place to live, work and play!

#antiochcapolice #antiochstrong  #apdpopteam #apdtrafficunit

 

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Publisher @ October 28, 2020

Op-Ed: Opponent says Ogorchock is off focus calling for moratorium on charter schools in Antioch instead of on city matters

Posted in: Community | Comments (0)

Dear Editor:

At the end of Tuesday night’s council meeting, Councilmember Lori Ogorchock called for a moratorium on charter schools in the city.  As a City Councilmember, why is she concerned with a school board issue, and not focusing on the major issues that the city is currently dealing with?  The topic on the Rivertown Revitalization came up, and she had no real comments on that item besides being confused on what Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts was asking.

When Mayor Sean Wright asked for suggestions for future agenda items, this is where a leader takes the opportunity to place ideas on the agenda for the city council to discuss. Revitalization of the Nick Rodriguez Community Center could have been placed on the agenda.  With property renovations and expansions of that center, both the youth and senior citizens can enjoy the community center.  Currently, the youth who live the vicinity of the Nick Rodriguez Community Center do not have the same luxuries as the Antioch Community Center on Lone Tree Way.

Revitalization includes reducing blight.  Antioch goes beyond the Rivertown and many area of Antioch are experiencing blight.  A new topic on city-wide beautification could have been added to the agenda.  As a council representative of District 3, losing focus on the rest of the city does the residents of Antioch a disservice.  We need broader thinking.  Focusing on something the city council has nothing to do with instead of on the issues they can do something about is what has brought us to where we are in the last six years since Lori Ogorchock was elected.

It is time to place cleaning up Antioch on the agenda, and really mean it.  The city is divided into districts.  However, we are one city.  My recommendation as an agenda item is to place citywide, small beautification projects on the agenda.  Let’s start small and work our way around the city.

Our city deserves the best.  As a candidate for Antioch City Council, District 3, I plan to focus on cleaning up our city, ensuring the development and availability of youth development programs here in Antioch, and ensuring our police department is funded and staffed in order to protect and uphold the beauty of our city.  This election year is our chance to make necessary change.  November 3rd, vote Antwon Webster for Antioch City Council, District 3.

Respectfully,

Antwon Webster

https://antwonwebster.com

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Publisher @ October 28, 2020

Yes on Measure T campaign takes ugly, xenophobic turn

Posted in: News, Opinion, Politics & Elections, Growth & Development | Comments (0)

Supporter also uses communist thinking and class warfare to gather support

By Allen Payton, Publisher & Editor

The evil of xenophobia raised its ugly head in Antioch, this week, as a supporter of Measure T, the Let Antioch Voters Decide: The Sand Creek Area Protection Initiative, which is the effort by out of town environmentalists and their supporters in our city, to downzone private property for the purpose of making it permanent open space that the parks district can buy on the cheap, claims she’s of the understanding that the family that owns the Zeka Ranch “are not U.S. citizens”.

In addition, clear communist thinking straight from the first of the 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto is being used as the reason to pass the initiative.

Screenshot of email from Antioch resident Lucy Meinhardt regarding Measure T on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020.

In an email to the editor originally asking about advertising for the Yes on T campaign from Antioch resident Lucy Meinhardt, Tuesday night, she wrote, “I support Measure T because I believe the good of the community outweighs the property owner’s preferences in this case. I have enjoyed for many years the views when hiking the trails south of Contra Loma to the views of the former Higgins Ranch. To see houses there would hurt me to the core.”

The first plank of the Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx reads, “Abolition of private property in land and application of all rents of land to public purpose.” That’s exactly what she and the supporters of Measure T are attempting to do to the Zeka Ranch and three nearby properties, for a total of 877 homes, which is all that could have been affected by the initiative.

Worse, Meinhardt wrote, “Though the owner owns a house in Antioch, I understand they are not U.S. citizens.”

Louisa Zee Kao, the head of the Zeka Group, Inc. and Zeka Ranch, LLC, who has been fighting for her rights to do with the land as the voters said three times she could, has been a U.S. citizen for over 40 years having emigrated with her late husband and her two children from Hong Kong in the 1970’s. Her grandchildren, for whom she’s working to leave a legacy, were all born in the U.S., as well.

Plus, even foreign residents have rights, and it doesn’t matter who owns the property, because those rights are tied to the property.

Meinhardt went on to write, “I cherish this land for all of us, not a wealthy few who would help the owners reap huge profits. I hope the land will eventually be annexed to the East Bay Regional Parks that surround it.”

So, she admits she wants the privately owned land, purchased by the Zeka Group in 2000, with the first payment made in 1989, downzoned and devalued by over 97% so it can be annexed to and become part of the publicly owned park district land.

Meinhardt uses class warfare which is based in jealousy and envy to keep an immigrant family from increasing their wealth and leaving a legacy for future generations, while providing housing that Antioch doesn’t currently have, even though we the people voted  three times to allow for the new homes to be built in the Sand Creek area.

Screenshot of second email from Lucy Meinhardt on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020.

In a further email sent today, after being called out for her xenophobia, Meinhardt attempted to apologize.

“Apologies. I had heard this rumor. I usually fact check. Do any Kao’s live in Antioch? The Zeka company is based in Burlingame. I am not xenophobic. Both Zeka and Richfield are out of town firms and are investment real estate firms. The rumor took them a bit further out of town. We will never agree on land use with respect to this land. I am sure there will be lawsuits over the initiative when it passes.”

However, Meinhardt was being xenophobic, by definition, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary: “fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign.”

As for the lawsuits she mentions possibly happening, perhaps the supporters will sue the city and the landowners, but they won’t win because the property owners have rights. Plus, both Zeka – which is a family owned, boutique developer – and adjacent property owner Richfield/Oak Hill Park have already won the two major rulings in their lawsuits against both the city and environmentalists who are behind Measure T.

And again, it doesn’t matter where a property owner is from, where they live or if they’re U.S. citizens, or not. They and their property both have rights.

Devaluing property is in legal terms considered a taking.

How would Meinhardt and other Measure T supporters like it if that happened to something they owned and have it taken from them? Oh, we will just devalue it and then buy it at the lower price for the “good of the community”. I doubt they would appreciate that at all.

But at least she’s honest about what they’re attempting to do: downzoning and devaluing the privately owned Zeka Ranch and three other properties in the Sand Creek area, so the park district can buy it for pennies on the dollar, then annex into the public park land. That’s exactly what the environmentalists tried to get Louisa Kao to do three years ago, so that other developers could use her land as mitigation property for open space, for the to build their subdivisions. She declined the ridiculous offer.

Fortunately, the downzoning and devaluation can’t and won’t happen thanks to Gov. Newsom signing SB330 into law last year which bans cities from downzoning residential land by either council action or initiative.

That’s why Measure T is moot and will have no effect even if it does pass.

In fact, the homes will be approved and built. Because if the city council doesn’t approve the homes planned for the Zeka Ranch or any of the other properties currently zoned residential in Antioch within five hearings on each project, SB330 states the city will, at a minimum be fined $10,000 per housing unit, costing us taxpayers millions of dollars.

So, vote no on Measure T. Don’t take their land and save our tax dollars. It’s unfair and unAmerican.

For more details and to get the facts before you vote, visit antiochherald.com/no-on-measure-t.

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Publisher @ October 28, 2020

Antioch Police Chief Brooks gives video update on increase in staffing, improvements in public safety

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Screenshot of Antioch Police Chief T Brooks’ first Vlog on Oct. 26, 2020. From APD Facebook page.

On Tuesday, Antioch Police Chief T Brooks posted his first video message, known as a vlog, on the department’s Facebook page sharing good news about the increase in staffing to 120 sworn and reductions in Part 1 crimes.

Following is the transcript of his vlog:

“Hey, everyone! T Brooks here, YOUR Chief of Police in the City of Antioch.  During the past few weeks, I’ve had several community members contacting me in an effort to educate themselves about the police department.  And as I reflect back on several of these conversations, I realized they revolved around three specific topics:

  • Police officer staffing
  • Crime statistics, and
  • Response times to calls for service.

So, I figured, ‘Hey! Maybe I can share this information with our loyal social media fan base? I mean, we do have more than 23,000 followers, and I’m sure many of you have these same questions and would love to hear the answers directly from me.’

Now in the past, when I wanted to share information with you, I’d type out a post for people to read.  And for those of you who know me, you know I can get pretty wordy with my posts.  I mean well and try to be as thorough and transparent as possible. But lately, I’ve seen a lot of people making videos to communicate their messages to the public. And I thought, ‘What the heck?  I’ll give that a try.’ So, here we go:

But before I begin, I want to establish a benchmark for the context of the conversation, and provide a little background on what helped us get to where we are now:

The year is 2012, and Antioch suffered its most crime ridden year in recent recorded history.  With more than 1,000 violent crimes reported, Antioch had the unfortunate distinction of being named the fourth most dangerous city in California.  Staffing at the police department was severely impacted due to the recession, and we were grossly understaffed.  At that time we didn’t have the resources or ability to do anything proactive to prevent crimes from occurring.  In fact, we struggled just to respond in a timely manner AFTER a crime occurred.

Our community, fed up with feeling unsafe, made a bold move.  In 2013, Antioch residents put their trust in our elected officials and police department when they overwhelmingly passed Measure C, a half-cent sales tax that, in part, had a goal of increasing police staffing to reduce crime and improve 911 emergency response times.  Then in 2018, with the expiration of Measure C looming, Antioch residents once again chose to tax themselves an additional half-cent, and approved Measure W.  And while Measure W had a broader focus on how funds would be used, public safety remained one of the identified priorities.

In short, seven years ago our community opted to invest in public safety. And we here at the Antioch Police Department took the trust you put in us very seriously. So, what’s the ultimate outcome of this investment?

Police Officer Staffing:

  • Prior to the recession, Antioch PD was fully staffed with 126 police officers. But then reduced budgets cut our staffing to a low of 78 officers in 2012.  Thanks to Measure C and now Measure W, we currently have 120 police officers working to keep you and your families safe!  That’s a 54% increase in police officers – putting the Antioch Police Department staffing at a level we haven’t seen in almost a decade.

Response Times:

  • In Antioch, response times are measured from the moment a dispatcher picks up the phone, to the moment an officer arrives on scene.  Back in 2012, the average response time to an emergency call for service reached a dismal 11 minutes and 4 seconds.  Today, our average response time is down to 7 minutes and 35 seconds – which means we’re getting to those most in need of help 31% faster than before!
  • But not every call for service we go to is an emergency.  In fact, emergency calls make up only about 9% of all the calls we handle.  Approximately 48% of calls are categorized as urgent, 34% are considered routine, and 10% are informational.  Response times to these calls also saw a significant decrease.  On average, we’re now getting to urgent calls 41% faster, routine calls 77% faster, and informational calls a whopping 91% faster!

Crime Stats:

  • As I mentioned earlier, the recession adversely impacted our community as well as our police department.  With the budget cuts we experienced, both police officer and non-sworn positions were defunded and crime surged in Antioch.  There were 1068 violent crimes, and 4757 property crimes reported in 2012.  But as our staffing grew and we were able to work proactively as well as reactively, as our response times to calls decreased and we were able to provide a higher level of service, and as we were now able to engage the community in ways that make our community safer, we are now in a much better place than we were before.  By the end of 2019, Antioch recorded its seventh consecutive year of declining Part I crime, with violent crime down 39% from 2012 levels, and property crime down 32%.  And this downward trend is continuing through September of 2020, with violent crime currently 10% lower than last year, and property crime 9% lower – which is definitely great news!

Now please don’t confuse my happiness at the fact we might see our eighth straight year of declining crime as being content.  Actually, I’m far from it.  We still have a lot of work to do to reduce crime in our community even further.  And I definitely don’t want to lose ground and go back to crime levels we saw in the past.  But with your continued support, along with the hard work and dedication of the amazing men and women of the Antioch Police Department, I believe we’ll continue making progress, and Antioch will be a safer place to live, work, and play.

So, there you have it, my first attempt at a vlog (as my kids called it).  Let me know what you think.  If you liked the video and want to see more – I can do that.  If not, at least I tried.  I hope you found this information helpful, and thank you for allowing me to be your chief of police!  It truly is My honor!

 

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Publisher @ October 28, 2020

Candidate Profile: Julio Jesse Mendez for Mayor of Antioch

Posted in: News, Politics & Elections | Comments (0)

Julio Jesse Mendez

Julio Jesse Mendez

Running for Antioch Mayor

Conga, Software Sales Engineer

Top Issues

Priority 1: Respond with urgency and action to the COVID crisis and its local impact on homelessness, job loss, and the soon to follow fiscal pressures we must face.

Priority 2: Begin the process of creating a self-sustaining economic engine that will be the City of Antioch. Prioritize local cooperative infrastructure projects around renewable energy, digital decentralized finance, and remote work.

Priority 3: Civic morality, accountability and transparency. Especially around general fund expenditures, education, and community development. Open the door to more direct community engagement and inclusion in the civic process.

Top Accomplishments

  • First Antioch home at the age of 27. Sold to a local working family without bidding up the price, 3 years later.
  • Top performer accolades in almost every company I have joined in the past 10 years, as well as recently recognized “Values Champion” by my current company.
  • Life is short, willing to put career and likability on the line to speak up for what is right; and sacrifice personal comforts, health, and privileges to “be the change”; so that we might all live and work a bit better.

JulioJesse4Mayor.com

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Publisher @ October 28, 2020

Get your Football Bundle “To-Go” from Champions Bar & Grill at Lone Tree Golf & Event Center

Posted in: Sports, Dining | Comments (0)

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Publisher @ October 28, 2020

Antioch Police add two more officers to the force bringing staffing to 120 sworn

Posted in: News, Police & Crime | Comments (0)

Antioch Police Chief T Brooks (center) is joined by new Officers Daniel “DJ” Naverrette (left) and Nicco Pedreira (right) following their oaths of office ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2020. Photo by APD.

By Antioch Police Department

Please take a moment to help us welcome our two newest police officers to the City of Antioch family. Officer Pedreira and Officer Navarrette recently graduated from the 190th Academy Class at the Law Enforcement Training Center in Pittsburg. Here is a little bit about each of them:

Daniel Navarrette

Daniel, affectionately known as DJ, was born in Walnut Creek and grew up in Antioch. He attended Liberty High School in Brentwood, where he played football and baseball. After graduating high school, DJ attended Los Medanos Community College where he received an AS Degree in criminal justice. In 2015, DJ enlisted in the United States Navy. His job while in the Navy was working in intelligence. He was stationed at the NSA near Washington DC for three years. While there, he won the Sailor of the Quarter Award and was nominated for Sailor of the Year. DJ returned to California in November of 2019 after his service was complete. In his free time, DJ enjoys spending time with his nearly one-year old daughter, Frankie, and wife, Erin.

Nicco Pedreira

Nicco grew up in Brentwood, California with his two younger brothers, Tre and Cole. Nicco‘s father, Ponch, along with several other family members, are law enforcement officers which had a huge influence on the way he was raised. Nicco attended Heritage High School where he played football. After high school, Nicco attended Los Medanos College and worked two jobs. Nicco always knew he wanted to be a Police Officer, so he took this time to go on numerous ride alongs with different departments to find the right fit for him. Nicco found that fit with the Antioch Police Department. In his free time, Nicco likes to spend time with his first son, who was born while he was in the Academy.

In a video posted on the Antioch Police Department Facebook page yesterday, Chief T Brooks reported that this brings the force to 120 sworn officers and that it hasn’t been at that level in almost 10 years.

 

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Publisher @ October 28, 2020