Archive for the ‘City Council’ Category

Antioch Council recognizes Homelessness Awareness Month in November

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

During their Tuesday night, Nov. 24 meeting, the Antioch City Council approved the following resolution recognizing:



WHEREAS, the month of November is recognized as Homelessness Awareness Month in the United States;

WHEREAS, the purpose of the proclamation is to educate the public and advocate with and on behalf of people experiencing homelessness about the many reasons people are homeless, including the shortage of affordable housing in Contra Costa County;

WHEREAS, there are over twenty organizations in Contra Costa committed to sheltering, providing supportive services, and/or basic resources to people experiencing homelessness;

WHEREAS, the City of Antioch recognizes that homelessness continues to be a serious problem for many individuals and families;

WHEREAS, the 2020 Point in Time Count identified 2,277 homeless individuals in Contra Costa County, with 52 percent experiencing a mental health condition, 50 percent with a substance use issue and 45 percent with a chronic health condition;

WHEREAS, 55 percent of the homeless population in Contra Costa County is between the ages of 25-54 and 33 percent of the population is aged 55 or older;

WHEREAS, 238 unhoused people were counted in the City of Antioch in Contra Costa County;

WHEREAS, a report by the California Housing Partnership found that Contra Costa County needs 33,477 more affordable rental homes to meet the needs of its lowest income renters.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, SEAN WRIGHT, Mayor of the City of Antioch, do hereby proclaim the month of November 2020, to be “Homelessness Awareness Month” and encourage all citizens to recognize that thousands of people in Contra Costa do not have housing and need support from citizens, and private/public non-profit service entities to address the myriad challenges of homelessness.

The council voted 5-0 to approve the resolution.

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Thorpe leads for Antioch mayor, Barbanica, incumbents leading in council races

Wednesday, November 4th, 2020

Lamar Thorpe and unofficial election results as of Nov. 3, 2020 at 11:44 pm. Screenshot of website.

Davis winning Treasurer’s race, Simonsen leads in squeaker for City Clerk, the moot Measure T winning overwhelmingly

By Allen Payton

It appears enough voters in Antioch are satisfied with the work of the current council members as all five incumbers are either currently in the lead in their respective races or placed second in the case of the mayor’s race. as of the 11:44 p.m. Election Night update from the Contra Costa Elections office.

Mayor’s Race

Although there are still thousands of ballots left to be counted, Councilman Lamar Thorpe has a commanding lead over incumbent Mayor Sean Wright and three other challengers in the race for Mayor of Antioch. Thorpe currently has 11,442 votes to Wright’s 9,194 votes.

Julio Jesse Mendez is in a distant third place with 2,392 votes, followed by Gabe Makinano with 2,014 and Rakesh Kumar Christian with 908 votes. But combined those only total 25,950 votes while in 2016, the last presidential election year, there were 33,436 votes cast in the mayor’s race and more voters were expected to turn out in this year’s election. The county Elections Division has 28 days to finish counting all the ballots and certify the results. Plus, based on state law mail-in ballots postmarked by yesterday have up to 17 days to be received to still be counted. However, a 2,248-vote gap will most likely be difficult for Wright to close.

When reached for comment late Tuesday night, Thorpe said, “I want to thank the voters of Antioch for a very decisive victory. They are clear they want us to house homeless people. They are clear they want something done on police reform and they want more investment in youth programs.”
“Antioch is now the second largest city in Contra Costa County and its time for our government to act like it. We need to lead by example,” he continued. “We need to come up with solutions so we can start to be a leader in the region and frankly throughout the county.”

“I look forward to working with all council members and all residents to solve the challenges we face, whether they voted for me or not,” Thorpe added.

He also shared that Wright called him last night and conceded the race.

Council Races

In the races for city council, newcomer Mike Barbanica is beating former Councilman Tony Tiscareno in District 2 by 561 votes. When reached for comment, Tuesday night, Barbanica responded, “I appreciate the support of the residents of District 2 and I will work very hard at getting Antioch Back On Track,” repeating his campaign theme.

In a post on his Facebook page Wednesday morning Tiscareno wrote, “Congratulations to all who prevailed in the Antioch City Council and School Board last night. I had the great opportunity to serve our community for 6 years and I’m proud of the work we did during that time. Now it’s time for the new council to continue to move forward. Antioch voices were heard and now it’s time for us to support our leaders. Best of luck to all.”

He later added, “No sulking here, I want to thank my great friend Charlie Richard for his support and loyalty to my campaign, family and most importantly for our love of our labor movement.”

Unofficial election results for Antioch City Council District 1 and 2 as of Nov. 3, 2020 at 11:44 p.m. From

In District 1, incumbent Councilwoman Joy Motts is barely beating newcomer and challenger Tamisha Walker by just 50 votes. Former Antioch Mayor Pro Tem and Councilman Manny Soliz, Jr. is trailing Walker by 183 votes. Only 4,406 votes have been counted so far in that district. So, the race is too close to call. The winner will only serve a two-year term and will have to run again in 2022 after the district lines are redrawn, next year.

In a post on her campaign Facebook page Wednesday afternoon Walker wrote, “We are currently only 50 votes behind! This election is not over till every vote is counted!  We are in this together Antioch!”

Unofficial election results in Antioch City Council Districts 3 and 4 races as of Nov. 3, 2020 at 11:44 p.m. From

In the District 3 race, incumbent Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock is most likely headed for re-election to her second full term, having been re-elected in 2018 leading all three of her challengers with 2,796 votes. Newcomer Nichole Gardner is second place with 2,206 votes, trailing Ogorchock by 590 votes out of a total of 7,717 votes cast in the race. Parks & Recreation Commission Chair Marie Arce is in third place with 1,507 trailing Gardner by 699 votes and newcomer Antwon Webster is in fourth place with 1,208 votes, trailing Arce by 299 votes.

UPDATE: In a post on his personal Facebook page late Wednesday night Webster conceded writing, “It has been awesome running for City Council. I appreciate and would like to thank all my supporters and those who voted for me. The campaign team put in many hours going door to door with me and I truly appreciate their commitment. There is still work that needs to be done in order to move Antioch forward. I will continue to be a voice for the residents and speak up when a voice is needed. Cleaning up the city can still be done by holding our City Council accountable for the blight that surrounds us. I will remain engaged in economic development issues and support their survival and success. Regardless of the final outcome of the Mayors race, we must not lose faith in the fact that we, the residents of Antioch, have a voice and will be heard. Let’s stay positive and be wise in our decision making.”

Finally, in District 4, running for her third term on the council, incumbent Councilwoman Monica Wilson, with more than a majority of the votes at 55.39%, has a commanding lead over first-time candidate and Police Crime Prevention Commission Chair Sandra White by more than double. Wilson has 3,930 votes to White’s 1,943. The third candidate in the race, Alex John Astorga who spent no money to campaign is trailing White by 721 votes with 1,222. Whoever wins the election will have to run again in two years, following redistricting. Depending on how the new district lines are drawn, since the growth in the city has mainly been south and east, and Wilson lives on the northwest edge of the district, that may end up causing her to have to move to seek re-election should she win.

In a brief post on her Facebook page last night, Wilson wrote, “OMG! Thank You Antioch!”

Unofficial election results in Antioch City City Clerk and Treasurer races as of Nov. 3, 2020 at 11:44 p.m. From

City Treasurer & Clerk

In the race for City Treasurer, appointed incumbent Jim Davis with 12,916 votes is beating challenger Lauren Posada by 1,075 votes who has 11,841. In the Clerk’s race, incumbent Arne Simonsen has a smaller lead of just 526 votes over Antioch School Board Trustee Ellie Householder. He has 10,165 votes to her 9,639. Police Crime Prevention Commissioner Dwayne Eubanks is in a distant third place with 5,149 votes. With the remaining ballots left to count, the results in both races are still in question.

Unofficial election results in Antioch’s Measure T inititiave election as of Nov. 3, 2020 at 11:44 p.m. From

UPDATE In a post on her Facebook page Wednesday afternoon Householder conceded the election writing, “First of all, I want to thank all of you who exercised your civic duty and voted. I also want to express my immense gratitude towards my supporters; our numbers were superb. This race was unlike anything we’ve ever seen and even though we did not get the results that we hoped for there is still a lot to celebrate. Lastly, I would like to congratulate Arne Simonsen, MMC – Antioch City Clerk on his win and all of the other amazing folx [sic] who were elected in Antioch last night.”

Householder currently has 934 more votes than the 8,705 she garnered in her race for school board in 2018, a non-presidential election with a lower voter turnout than is expected this year.

Measure T

In spite of the fact the initiative is moot and can’t go into effect, with the passage of new state law known as SB-330 Housing Crisis Act of 2019, the voters of Antioch overwhelmingly voted to downzone private property owned by four landowners by over 97% and attempted to stop the 877 homes left to be allocated by passing Measure T, the Let Antioch Voters Decide: The Sand Creek Area Protection Initiative by 20,166 votes in favor or 77.67% to just 5,435 votes against or 21.33%

So, while the voters are telling the council they don’t want more homes in the undeveloped land in the Sand Creek area, the council will have to ignore that message and comply with state law by approve the new homes in the plans for any subdivision project submitted between now and January 2025 that complies with the city’s General Plan. If not, the city will face a minimum fine by the state of $10,000 per housing unit proposed in the development.

Next Results Update Friday at 5:00 PM

The Contra Costa Elections Division is continuing to count the ballots that arrived by yesterday and will continue to arrive for as long as 17 more days including today. They have 28 days to finish the count and certify the election. So, final results may be as much as four weeks away. The next update of results is expected this Friday at 5:00 p.m.

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Candidate Profile: Manny Soliz Jr for Antioch City Council District 1

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020

Manny Soliz, Jr.

Manuel (Manny) Soliz, Jr.

Candidate for Antioch City Council, District 1.

City of Antioch Planning Commissioner.

Previous Offices: Mayor Pro Tem & Councilmember, 1996 – 2000

City of Antioch, Parks & Recreation Commissioner, 1994 – 1996 and 2016-2018.

City of Antioch, Planning Commissioner 2018 to present.

Occupation: Financial Advisor and Small Businessowner.

Top Issues: Public safety and clean neighborhoods and streets, Economic development, A humane approach to the homeless, well thought out, logical and realistic city planning.

Top Accomplishments:

  1.  In my previous term, hiring additional police and code enforcement to dramatically reduce crime and code violations city wide.
  2.  Refinanced existing Mello Roos bonds that reduced the public indebtedness by over $15 million and reduced the payback period by over 9 years.
  3.  Worked with telecommunications companies to place fiber optics along Lone Tree Way, paving the way for future retail businesses in Antioch.
  4.  Approved Slatten Ranch and Williamson Ranch retail centers on Lone Tree Way.
  5.  Worked and fought to include citizen oversight and a sunset to Measure W.

(925) 384-2629


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Candidate Profile: Sandra White for Antioch City Council District 4

Monday, October 19th, 2020

Sandra White

My name is Sandra White; I am running for City Council District 4 in Antioch. I currently work for an Autism services company as the Vice President of Human Resources. During my time away from the office, I serve as Chair on the Antioch Police Crime Prevention Commission. My volunteer endeavors extend to the Antioch Unified School District Advisory Board member and previously the Contra Costa County Advisory Board (CAB). As the next City Council, my goals are to decrease the blight, increase law enforcement personnel, and work with business owners on business revitalization and economic development. And implement sustainable solutions for homelessness.

If you are interested in supporting me to bring change to Antioch, please contact me:




Mobile: 925-437-9361


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Candidate Profile: John Astorga for Antioch City Council District 4

Monday, October 19th, 2020

Alex John Astorga.

Alex John Astorga

Candidate for Antioch City Council, District 4

Owner, Napravit Incorporated

Top Issues:  

  1. Antioch Police Department – we need to foster a trust relationship and reimagine public safety for the 21st Century.
  2. Housing and Zoning creating a sense of community
  3. How can we best position Antioch as we emerge from the pandemic?
    1. What kind of businesses/jobs?
    2. How do we encourage diversity hire?
  1. Jobs and training

Accomplishments: I am most proud of my unpaid work.

  1. Volunteered for 2, yearlong phase 2 drug efficacy trials.
  2. Volunteered for LGBT community outreach
  3. Planted trees in El Segundo, CA
  4. As an IT Project Manager, I delivered a construction project for AAA (CSAA).

What I bring to the table: I am an IT Project Manager and worked for the City Palo Alto for over four years. I understand enterprise applications and how to utilize them to provide City services effectively.

As a Project Manager, I understand budgets and can effectively prioritize the tasks to achieve the goal. My budgeting experience spans City, County, Federal governments, and global corporations and small businesses.

Facebook Page – alexastorga4antioch

YouTube – alexastorga4antioch

Instagram – alexastorga4antioch

(925) 776-4383

Size 9.5

Editor’s Note: Astorga was the only candidate who responded to a joke the Herald included in the email asking for their profiles, photos and shoe size.

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Candidate Profile: Antwon Webster Sr. for Antioch City Council, District 3

Sunday, October 18th, 2020

Antwon Webster.

Antwon Webster Sr.

Candidate for Antioch City Council, District 3

Member, Antioch Board of Administrative Appeals since June 2019.

Global Logistics Coordinator, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers

Top Issues:

  • Safety and Crime Reduction: Funding our Police Officers and Supporting Community Policing Efforts
  • Economic Development: Business development training and capital to support the growth and stability of our local industry and small businesses.
  • Transparent Government: Fostering transparent government through increased clarity about decision-making and resident education on how our tax dollars are spent.
  • Youth Development Outreach: Focusing on the future of Antioch through the development of youth outreach programs.

Top Accomplishments:

  • $2 Million Delta Project Turbine Replacement: Provided budget and timeline management for replacement of a $1.5 Million hydroelectric turbine. Remained under cost, and on time.
  • COVID-19 Temporary Emergency Hospitals: Working under pressure, and time constraints, provide an itemized list of cost and availability of equipment required to outfit a temporary COVID-19 hospital rooms for 3 different locations in Northern California.
  • Established a Forward Economic Development Association with the sole purpose of informing and improving the practical well-being of under-resourced, businesses, communities and economies.

(925) 204-5482

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Candidate Profile: Lori Ogorchock for re-election to Antioch City Council, District 3

Sunday, October 18th, 2020

Lori Ogorchock

Lori Ogorchock

Elected to the Antioch City Council in 2014

Small Businessperson/Realtor

I have a big heart and genuinely care about people; and once I set my mind to doing something, I won’t give up.  Your trust in me has enabled us to    accomplish many things together.

  • COVID-19 Assistance for Seniors – Whether it’s delivering meals, providing resource information, or leading a team of volunteers to clean/repair seniors’ homes … WE MUST continue to protect Antioch’s seniors.
  • More Police, not Less – Since being elected, we’ve hired 20 additional police officers. Crime is down. Chokeholds are banned, but we need to do better. I support body cams for every officer, NOT “defunding the police.” I’m proud to be supported by our Antioch Police Officers.
  • Helping Victims of Domestic Abuse – Together we celebrated the opening of Antioch’s Family Justice Center, where victims of domestic violence, elderly abuse and human trafficking can get hands-on help/support.
  • First to Stand Up – I marched with Black Lives Matter, organized Antioch’s first women’s march for equality, brought Antioch’s first Veterans’ Memorial Banners to honor our fallen servicemembers.

I am here to serve you and am honored to be working on your behalf.

Cell (925) 628-7764


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DA Becton claims Antioch Mayor Wright made “repeated distorted untruths” about her policies

Sunday, October 11th, 2020

Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton and Antioch Mayor Sean Wright. Herald file photos.

Filed felony looting case, refers low-level drug cases to behavioral health care system for treatment

Dear Antioch Residents:

“The most dangerous untruths are truths slightly distorted.” Recently, Sean Wright, the Mayor of Antioch has made repeated distorted untruths about the District Attorney office policies, and about my record as your District Attorney. To have an elected official, make distorted truths, and then hide his head in the sand and refuse to learn the true facts is troubling to say the least. I take transparency and accountability very seriously, as any elected official should.

Facts matter. First, the Mayor bought a political smear hit piece from a biased website about looting. He never reached out to me to find out what my office guidelines actually require.  The guidelines do not prohibit the filing of any looting case – in fact, just recently, we filed a felony looting case. The truth is, my office guidelines assist prosecutors in making the distinction between thefts and burglaries that merely happen while we are in the pandemic, and lootings which are substantially motivated by a state of emergency. The guidelines are on the District Attorney website. I encourage you to read them. (See related article)

Second, your mayor attacked our office policies regarding low-level, stand alone drug cases. (See related article) What he fails to mention is that initially these cases are referred to the behavioral health care system for treatment. Please do not forget the failed policies of the War on Drugs. Arresting citizens for possession of small amounts of drugs, taking them to jail, and releasing them without treatment ensures that these individuals will soon be arrested again, and so the cycle continues. The aim of my office policy is to stop chronic patterns of arrest, to connect individuals to behavioral health services, to reduce the burden on the court system and law enforcement, and to allow prosecutors to focus on more serious and violent crimes. Of course, repeat offenders can be charged, diverted or suffer additional consequences.  As the chief law enforcement officer for the county, I take my oath seriously to protect the public. However, clogging our criminal justice system with low-level crimes does not deter crime nor find equitable solutions for our community. I am focused on common-sense solutions that are fair and equitable, and good for the entire community. 

Here are some items to keep in mind during this election season. We cannot let lies get in the way of the truth, even during campaign season. The mayor is making this a political attack against me in order to bolster his campaign for re-election, and to take swipes at his East Bay Times endorsed opponent, Lamar Thorpe. Stand on our own record Mr. Mayor, and please stop trying to bolster your platform by making distorted claims about our office policies. During the election season, we hear from elected officials about their vision for their community. Unfortunately, despite his message of unifying the community, your Mayor is trying to divide Antioch and use our office as a foil and create a controversy when none exists. Examine the facts. Facts matter.

Diana Becton

District Attorney, Contra Costa County

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