Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Community College Board Ward 5 candidate Sandoval endorsed by labor and civil rights leader Dolores Huerta 

Thursday, August 6th, 2020

Contra Costa Community College Board Ward 5 candidate Fernando Sandoval from his Facebook page on July 14, 2020 and Delores Huerta from DeloresHuerta.org.

By Doreen Moreno

Contra Costa County, CA — Community leader Fernando Sandoval is honored to announce the endorsement of Dolores Huerta, American labor leader and civil rights activist who, with Cesar Chavez, co-founded the United Farm Workers Union. Dolores Huerta, Founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation for Community Organizing, leads the endorsement list of elected officials, community leaders, small business owners, and college faculty, staff and students in supporting Fernando Sandoval for Trustee of the Contra Costa Community College District Board for Ward 5.

Dolores Huerta is one of the century’s most powerful and respected labor movement leader who has received numerous awards for her trailblazing leadership, including being inducted into the California Hall of Fame in 2013 and receiving the country’s highest civilian honor in the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2012.

“Fernando Sandoval’s humble beginnings in the migrant camps of Isleton along the Sacramento River to his low-income childhood in East County to his career achievements as a technology and finance advisor to prestigious banking companies worldwide is a perfect example of the perseverance and contributions individuals from labor backgrounds provide our communities and this nation everyday,” said Dolores Huerta.

Huerta adds, “His personal upbringing gives him an understanding of both the barriers and benefits of how a quality education can open doors of opportunity to good paying jobs and the economic contributions to our families and the greater economy. Fernando’s experiences position him to be a bold leader with a vision and a strong voice for all students in the community college system to be prepared as the future workforce for reigniting our post pandemic economy.”

Sandoval added “I am deeply honored to have the endorsement of international labor leader Dolores Huerta who has given tirelessly of herself for over 60 years to advocate for worker’s rights and fair wages, for equality for women and LGBQT rights and for public policies that provide fair employment standards and access to quality health and education for our diverse communities and future leaders.”

In alignment with Huerta’s legacy, Fernando has been continuously serving East County communities and the students in various roles, such as an advisory member of the Contra Costa Community College District’s committee on diversity, inclusion and equal employment opportunities.  He also Chaired the Bond Oversight Committee for modernization of schools at Pittsburg Unified School District (PUSD). Fernando has also organized mentoring, tutoring and motivational workshops for students at Los Medanos College and high schools throughout the area. This year he was recognized for his service by receiving the 2020 Cesar Chavez Award for Exemplary Community Service by Los Medanos College.

Fernando Sandoval is a published author of his memoir, “From Tortilla Chips to Computer Chips” that highlights his upbringing in a hard-working immigrant family, his experience in the U.S. Navy and Vietnam War and his career as a finance and technology management strategy advisor to top banking institutions worldwide.

For more information about Fernando Sandoval for Contra Costa Community College District Board of Trustees, Ward 5, contact fernando4collegetrustee@gmail.com. Sandoval is challenging two-term incumbent Greg Enholm for the second time. He ran in 2016 but lost with 39.75% of the vote to Enholm’s 59.82% . Ward 5 includes the communities or cities of Clyde, Bay Point, Pittsburg, Oakley, Bethel Island, Knightsen, most of Antioch and Discovery Bay, and portions of Brentwood and Concord.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Governor Newsom uses “dimmer switch” to shut down most of California, again

Monday, July 13th, 2020

Governor Gavin Newsom provides an update on the state’s response to #COVID19.

Posted by California Governor on Monday, July 13, 2020

“We’re turning back into a modification mode of our stay-at-home order.” – Gov. Newsom

Order affects some activities, businesses in Contra Costa County

By Allen Payton

“Looking at the conditions…based on the trend lines, based on the science…increased positivity rates…increased hospitalizations,” California Governor Gavin Newsom announced today he is using a “dimmer switch” for statewide actions.

“We are requiring all counties to close their indoor activities, including restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, card rooms and the shuttering of all bars,” he stated.

It applies to all counties, not just those on the monitoring list. However, all of those activities have already been closed in Contra Costa County, so that part of Newsom’s order doesn’t affect those in our county.

The governor called for the expansion of “opportunities for outdoor operations,” but didn’t elaborate.

He shared additional sectors that must be shuttered in the counties on the monitoring list, of which Contra Costa County is one.

“For all the counties on the monitoring list we are directing they close indoor operations in additional sectors: fitness centers, places of worship, offices for non-critical sectors, personal care services, that includes hair salons and barber shops, and indoor malls” Newsom stated.

“It’s a dynamic list. Counties come on, counties come off,” he said.

Newsome spoke of the increasing number of cases, positivity rate, hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

“As of yesterday, in the latest reporting periods, we had 8,358 cases. For the seven-day average there were 8,211 new cases per day,” he shared. “So, you see that seven-day average trending up.”

“The positivity rate has settled in and…over a 14-day period is 7.4%, over a 7-day period it’s 7.7%,” he explained. “This represents a 21% increase in positivity rate over a seven-day period.”

He also spoke of an increase in hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

“We’re seeing a modest reduction in the rate of growth…in the total number of people hospitalized,” Newsom stated.

“That represents a 20% increase over a two-week period, last week it was a 39% increase over a two-week period,” he said.

Newsom then reiterated the wearing of masks, and said, “we’ll get through this” and thanked everyone “from the bottom of my heart for your perseverance, for your patience” and called on Californians to “our need to maintain our vigilance” and “continue to do the good work we’ve done as a state…so we can work through this, get to the other side more resilient, more capable than ever.”

Newsom then held a question and answer session.

According to a County Health Services press release, California COVID-19 closures affect some Contra Costa businesses.

Due to a sharp rise in COVID-19 activity, California Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the temporary closure of several types of indoor businesses and activities.

Effective immediately, all counties must close dine-in restaurants, bars, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers such as bowling alleys and arcades, zoos and museums, and cardrooms.

None of these types of businesses had previously reopened under Contra Costa County’s social distancing ordinance and must remain closed under the state order.

Breweries, brewpubs and pubs must “close all operations indoor and outdoor statewide,” according to the state’s COVID-19 web page.

Additionally, Gov. Newsom required counties that have remained on the California Department of Public Health’s county monitoring list for three or more consecutive days to close additional businesses and activities, effective immediately.

Contra Costa does meet the criteria, so this part of the governor’s order does apply to the county. Some businesses and activities that had previously been permitted in the county are affected:

  • Offices for “non-essential” business sectors, as determined by the state – visit ca.govfor more information when it becomes available.
  • Hair salons and barber shops
  • Indoor malls

All of these businesses and activities are required by the state to close today unless their operation can be modified to be outside or by pickup.

Other businesses and activities required by the state to close in watch-list counties include indoor worship services and indoor protests, which Contra Costa also suspended with its own local order effective today.

Fitness centers and personal care services, such as nail salons and tattoo parlors, were also named in the state order but had not previously reopened in the county.

For more information about today’s order from California, visit covid19.ca.gov.

Contra Costa Health Services urges everyone to continue taking simple steps to protect themselves from COVID-19: Follow the social distancing order, and wear a face covering when you leave home or when you are near other people. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, and always stay home from work or school if you are not feeling well.

Visit cchealth.org/coronavirus for local information about Contra Costa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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Regional agencies seek input on the future of the Bay Area

Friday, July 10th, 2020

For transportation, housing, economy and environment for next three decades

Plan Bay Area 2050’s Draft Blueprint is available for public comment through August 10, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO, July 10, 2020 . . . The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) are inviting the Bay Area public to provide input on the newly released Plan Bay Area 2050 Draft Blueprint, a 30-year regional vision that seeks to create a more affordable, connected, diverse, healthy and vibrant Bay Area for all. The Draft Blueprint is being released today for a public comment period that will run through August 10, 2020.

Given the myriad challenges the COVID-19 pandemic poses to the Bay Area, MTC and ABAG will hold virtual workshops and telephone town halls through August 7, 2020. Both organizations want to hear from all Bay Area residents in order to incorporate diverse voices from across our region. Input received by the agencies will be used to further refine the Final Blueprint to create a more resilient and equitable Bay Area for future generations. The Final Blueprint is slated for approval in late 2020 and will be integrated into Plan Bay Area 2050 prior to its adoption in 2021.

The Plan Bay Area 2050 Draft Blueprint weaves together transportation, housing, economic and environmental strategies, alongside an expanded set of growth geographies, to advance critical climate and equity goals. Designed to accommodate the 1.5 million new homes necessary to house future growth and address overcrowding, as well as 1.4 million new jobs, the Draft Blueprint integrates critical strategies to address our severe and longstanding housing crisis. With infrastructure investments in walking, biking and public transportation – as well as sea level protections designed to keep most Bay Area communities from flooding through 2050 – the Draft Blueprint makes meaningful steps towards the adopted Plan Bay Area 2050 Vision.

Plan Bay Area 2050 is a joint initiative of MTC and ABAG. For more information on Plan Bay Area 2050 or to provide comments on the Draft Blueprint, visit: www.planbayarea.org. The entire list of public events can be found here: www.planbayarea.org/meetings-and-events/upcoming-public-events.

See previous plans here – Plan 2040  Plan Bay Area

MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. ABAG’s mission is to strengthen cooperation and collaboration across local governments to build healthier, stronger communities.

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Gov. Newsom taps all former California governors and other leaders for new Business and Jobs Recovery Task Force

Friday, April 17th, 2020

Governor appoints business and civic leader, and former Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer Chief Advisor and as task force co-chair with governor’s Chief of Staff Ann O’Leary

All of California’s former governors and California’s legislative leaders across both political parties join the task force

Brings together Californian government, business, labor, health care and community leaders from across diverse range of the state’s economy to develop recommendations for a plan that works for all Californians, with a focus on the regions and communities hardest hit by the pandemic

Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger, ILWU President Willie Adams, President and CEO of the California Community Foundation Antonia Hernandez, former head of the Small Business Administration Aida Álvarez and Apple CEO Tim Cook will be part of the task force stepping up to help California pave the way toward a fast, safe recovery of jobs

SACRAMENTO (April 17, 2020) – Bringing together leaders across California’s diverse, innovative economic and social sectors to chart a path forward on recovery in the wake of COVID-19, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the formation of a state Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery. The Task Force will be co-chaired by Governor Newsom’s Chief of Staff Ann O’Leary and philanthropist, environmentalist and businessman Tom Steyer, who was also appointed Chief Advisor to the Governor on Business and Jobs Recovery. He will receive no compensation for his service.

Members of the Task Force include Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senate Minority Leader Shannon Grove, Assembly Minority Leader Marie Waldron, former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, Walt Disney Company Executive Chairman Bob Iger, former head of the Small Business Administration Aida Álvarez and dozens of prominent leaders in business, labor, health care, academia and philanthropy.

Read the full list of Task Force members here.

“This pandemic has forced millions of Californians out of jobs – with the most vulnerable hit the hardest,” said Governor Newsom. “While we have made significant progress in flattening the curve and increased preparedness of our health care delivery system, the actions taken have also impacted the economy, poverty and overall health care in California. We will use a gradual, science-based and data-driven framework to guide our re-opening timing while planning our economic recovery. I am honored that dozens of leaders in business, labor, health and philanthropy are stepping up to meet this moment by committing their time and talent to lift up all Californians. Through their leadership, and the leadership of California’s 40 million residents, I have no doubt we will emerge stronger from this crisis.”

The Task Force will work to develop actions government and businesses can take to help Californians recover as fast as safely possible from the COVID-19 induced recession and to shape a fair, green, and prosperous future. They will meet twice a month throughout 2020 to develop options that would work for all Californians, with a particular focus on those hardest hit by the pandemic.

“Governor Newsom has been a steady hand and shining example of how to lead during a crisis, and I am thrilled to help in this critical way,” said Tom Steyer. “In the coming weeks and months, we will bring together the public and private sectors, outside experts, organized labor, environmental groups, and activists to develop recommendations for a recovery plan that works for all Californians, with an emphasis on those communities hardest hit by the pandemic. Our goal is to present Governor Newsom with tangible actions that leverage the task force’s expertise to rebuild California, emphasize smart, green technologies and provide a model for just economic development for our country.”

The Task Force will craft ideas for short, medium, and long-term solutions that reflect communities across the state, and emphasize a fair and equitable recovery. There will be significant emphasis of the state’s strengths, including diversity and innovation. The Task Force will not only focus on our immediate recovery, but on actions to support a cleaner, more equitable and prosperous future for all Californians. It will build on the important work of other groups including the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, the Higher Education Council and the Commission on the Future of Work. Both co-chairs of the Future of Work Commission, President of SEIU Mary Kay Henry and Senior Partner of McKinsey & Company James Manyika, will serve on the new Task Force.

The governor formed the Business and Jobs Recovery Task Force just days after he announced a multi-state Task Force with Oregon and Washington to coordinate the reopening of our regional economy. Governor Newsom outlined a road map to recovery with six indicators that should be met before California’s stay-at-home orders are modified.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on California’s economy. The state has seen more than 2.8 million unemployment claims since March 12, 2020 – not including undocumented residents or independent contractors. The impact has been particularly devastating for California’s small businesses.

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Please tell CCTA: East County needs freeway from Brentwood to Tracy for long term economic growth

Monday, August 5th, 2019

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority is holding Telephone Town Hall Meetings to inform the public of the Initial Draft 2020 Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP) and get their input before finalizing the plan and placing another tax measure on the March 2020 ballot to fund it. The meeting for East County will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 8 (see previous post on this website, below)

The plan (www.ccta.net/theplan) currently has a total price tag of $3.061 billion and the tax is in addition to the county’s current half-cent sales tax for transportation from Measure J, which voters approved in 2004 and expires in 2034. The new tax would last until 2050. The CCTA attempted to pass a similar additional half-cent sales tax in 2016, known as Measure X, but it failed. The only new section of roadway in the entire county in that plan was the $117 million “limited access” connector between Vasco Road and the Byron Highway, next to the Byron Airport. Voters overwhelmingly voted against the measure and it failed.

Fortunately, that project was included in the Regional Measure 3 expenditure plan which did pass. But, RM3 didn’t include the long-planned Route 239, the proposed four-lane freeway between Brentwood and Tracy, which will connect East County to Interstate 5, the economic lifeblood artery of the state.

That road has been on the books for over 60 years. But, planning for it only began in 2013 as part of what was known as the TriLink Project, as it crossed the three counties of Contra Costa, San Joaquin and a sliver of Alameda, and was to also include two lines of transit down the middle, connecting the end of the BART line in East County to Tracy.

However, the TriLink Project website is no longer active and neither the four-lane freeway nor the transit lines are included in Contra Costa County’s plans for the next 30 years.

Yet, it’s Route 239 that will ensure East County’s long-term economic viability, allowing current businesses, including agriculture, to get their products to market quicker. Plus, it will open up our area for greater local job creation, and complete what I refer to as the beltway around Mt. Diablo, eliminating the cul-de-sac effect with the three two-lane roads connecting us to the east and south.

Antioch and East County have the freight rail connecting us to the east and west, plus the river connecting us to the world, to move goods. But we only have Highway 4 and BART connecting us to the west for moving people and goods.

Central County folks oppose Route 239 saying it will “induce growth in East County.” But they’ve been saying that for almost 50 years about every new road improvement, including the Hwy 4 Bypass/extension, which we had to fight for over four years from 1994-98 to just get approvals, not any money. In fact, it was that same mindset that prevented Hwy 24 from being extended to East County back in the 1970’s and the result is a surface road with the three names of Ygnacio Valley Road, Kirker Pass and Railroad Avenue, today.

I grew up in Walnut Creek and moved to Antioch because it was more affordable. In fact out of all us who attended the 35th reunion of the Northgate High School Class of ’81 in 2016, only four classmates still lived in Walnut Creek. Where did many move to? East County. So, as I said to my fellow elected officials when I was on a panel during a transportation conference back in the late 1990’s when I was serving on the Antioch City Council and Contra Costa Transportation Authority, don’t blame us for the growth. They had kids and we needed somewhere to live that we could afford. That was East County we were pushing for funding and approvals for Highway 4 widening and the Highway 4 bypass/extension. We received it and those projects are now completed.

It’s time we completed the transportation infrastructure in East County and Route 239 is a key part of it.

Besides, that road won’t induce residential growth. We have the Urban Limit Line to control that. But it will induce economic growth with more local jobs, which is what East County needs.

We need both Route 239 and the transit link between Antioch and Tracy. But, for now, let’s push for funds for the freeway to be included in the county’s new plan. Estimates are it will cost an additional $1 billion. I say add it to the total and let the voters decide.

We need bold leadership from our local elected officials and the voice of “we the people” to make it happen.

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Antioch launches major brand campaign, with “Opportunity” theme, new logo, website

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

An example of the creative for the City’s new branding campaign.

By Kwame Reed, Director of Economic Development, City of Antioch, CA

The City of Antioch today unveiled a major advertising campaign to elevate the City’s new brand promise that “Opportunity Lives Here.” The campaign, which was developed by San Francisco-based agency Evviva Brands will run across social, paid, outdoor and transit corridors connecting Antioch with other Bay Area cities.

New Antioch City logo and slogan.

The campaign features the many facets of opportunity Antioch provides, from expansion opportunities available for Bay Area businesses seeking a skilled, diverse talent pool and affordable, transit-accessible commercial real estate to the wide range of lifestyle opportunities Antioch offers.

The campaign will drive traffic to a new, opportunity-focused campaign site at www.AntiochIsOpportunity.com, where visitors can learn more about business opportunities, lifestyle opportunities, the advantages of Antioch’s reverse commute, and Antioch’s welcoming and vibrant community.

The goal of the campaign is to provide Bay Area residents with a more accurate, up-to-date view of the City of Antioch. From its beginnings as a landing on the San Joaquin River in 1848, Antioch has been a city of opportunity longer than California has been a state. And with increasing numbers of businesses and residents fleeing the high costs and development restrictions elsewhere in the Bay Area, Antioch may be the last Bay Area city offering opportunity for all.

“I’m thrilled to launch this campaign. With our new BART station, the massively improved Highway 4, our AMTRAK service and being the midpoint location between San Francisco, Sacramento, and the Central Valley, I look forward to welcoming businesses and visitors to the land of opportunity that is Antioch,” says Mayor Sean Wright.

“Antioch has always been the home of opportunity. We’ve always been a place for builders, for doers, for people who just want a chance to show what’s possible. This campaign speaks to them, because it’s for them,” says Economic Development Director Kwame Reed.  “Antioch is the center of a mega-region that stretches from the Sacramento Valley to the Silicon Valley and from the Central Valley to the Greater Bay Area, Opportunity Lives Here,” Reed said.

“This campaign has been a joy to create,” says David Kippen, CEO of Evviva Brands. “From our first days working in Antioch, we’ve been amazed by the variety and the diversity of opportunities the City has to offer. Antioch has been the Bay Area’s best kept secret. As of today, the secret’s out.”

You can learn more about the campaign by visiting the campaign website at www.AntiochIsOpportunity.com or by calling Kwame Reed at the number listed above.

Following are more examples of the campaign’s creative:

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Council chooses “Opportunity Lives Here” branding campaign to promote Antioch

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

Slide from City of Antioch branding campaign presentation by Evivva Brands 9/11/18.

At Tuesday’s Antioch City Council meeting Evviva Brands, the City’s Brand Agency of Record, presented rationales and creative expressions for three powerful, compelling brand campaigns to position the City around the idea of “opportunity.”  (See the full PowerPoint presentation, here – Antioch_Branding_Campaign_Presentation_9_11_18-final)

Dr. David Kippen, Evviva Brands’ CEO and chief strategist, reiterated some of the reasons opportunity had been recommended to the Council at the prior Council meeting. “The story of Antioch is the story of California. The story of California is opportunity. And Antioch is one of the last places in the Bay Area—the heart of the Golden State—that offers opportunity to all.”

Graphic by Evviva Brands.

Senior Copywriter Marin Van Young outlined that “each idea consists of a tagline, which will ultimately be part of the new logo. I’ll also read an anthem or a credo, which is the thought behind the idea. Then we’ll show you how the idea plays out in various executions—with some short copy, as a BART poster, on the antiochca.gov website, as a billboard, and as a street banner or banner series.”

However, she cautioned, “what you’re not going to see is finished ads. We’re using stock imagery, which can feel staged, and sometimes we’ve pulled a screen grab from a website, or an image from Antioch’s Instagram, which can be low-res and a little too gritty. What we’d like to do tonight is get a gut check on what’s working. And if something has gone way off the rails, we definitely want to know that too, so we can correct it moving forward.”

She added, “I also want to take a moment to reiterate the create challenges on this project. We want to express why people should come to Antioch. But we also need to express why people should stay in Antioch. And thirdly, we want to get Antioch to explore Antioch. We need to remind people—or educate them in the first place—of what the City has to offer its residents.”

The City Council deliberated over the three concepts presented and selected concept one, Opportunity Lives Here.

Economic Development Director Kwame Reed stated, “It was important for the Council and community to see and hear the amount of time and care being placed on this effort by the Evviva Brands team.” He added, “Several members of the public approached me after the meeting to express their positive feelings towards the overall presentation and message.”

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Antioch Council decides on “Opportunity” theme for City’s branding effort

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Graphics from the slides in Evviva Brands’ presentation to the Antioch City Council on Aug. 14, 2018.

“There’s a lot of hope with good things to come…Antioch is where it’s happening. Opportunity is right here… It may be the last place in the Bay Area that has opportunity for everyone.” branding consultant David Kippen

By Allen Payton

During their meeting on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, the Antioch City Council heard a report about the city’s branding effort by consultant David Kippen of Evviva Brands in which they agreed the theme will be “opportunity”. Brand & Messaging Update_ 14 Aug 18

During his presentation, Kippen shared with the council about his team’s four-month “discovery phase”, as Economic Development Director Kwame Reed described it, during Reed’s first time at a council meeting in his new position.

“First off…this is a report on a work in progress…a gut check to see if this feels right to you. We’re looking for a big, broad message,” Kippen said. “When we talk about a brand, it’s really a simple thing. It has three parts. It’s a noun. A name. There’s a monetary part, an underlying value. The third part is action…where we find value in Antioch, how we want people to act, think and believe about Antioch.”

“We audited city messaging going back several months…to understand as a baseline what came before us,” he explained about their discovery process. “We interviewed city leadership, city staff, city leaders, a variety of community leaders. We conducted a variety of listening sessions. We participated in ride-alongs with police. We had one staff member stay in a variety of Air BnB’s throughout Antioch.”

“Where do we find themes and consensus?” Kippen asked. “When we first came to the city…it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Antioch does seem to be a city divided. There are some doing quite well, and there are others who are working hard to get by. Some angry people, here. Some optimistic people, here. There are a lot of divisions. A lot of frustration.”

However, he then said, “By in large, most the people we talked to want to get past that. We want to move on. It’s part of what Antioch is but it’s not what we want to be known for. People want it to be better. We see better massively overweighing” the focus on the negative.

“Without the city doing anything it will get better…with an expanding economy for 10 years in a row,” Kippen pointed out. “This city is doing a lot. Police and code enforcement are having an effect. Very recently crime was the primary worry, today it seems to be blight. It’s moved from security and fear to blight.”

“There are projects getting done across the city. Some big, Smith’s Landing and BART. Some are much smaller,” he explained.

“There’s a lot of hope with good things to come,” Kippen stated.

“Is there something that ties everything together?” he asked. “It’s opportunity.”

“It’s such a common word. It’s powerful word. It’s an important word and it has a lot of resonance with residents in Antioch,” Kippen said. “It means you have a chance. It means you can do something. It doesn’t mean you have to cure cancer. But it does mean you can do something.”

“It’s also quintessentially California. The California Dream…you can reinvent yourself, you can make something of yourself,” he added. “And Antioch is where it’s happening. Opportunity is right here.  It’s been fundamental to Antioch since day one, before statehood.”

“It may be the last place in the Bay Area that has opportunity for everyone,” Kippen stated.

“It starts back…with John Marsh. A Harvard-trained doctor,” he continued. “He’s also the guy who sold the Smith brothers the plot of land. That’s what is celebrated at the bottom of F Street. That’s where the Smith brothers managed to get the first shipload of people to settle here.”

“In 1859, it was coal. In 1863, it was copper. In 1864, it was lumber. In 1870, it was newspapers and In 1876, it was railways,” Kippen shared. “But it didn’t stop there. We have vineyards in Antioch. That’s remarkable. Or a greenfield property. Start a media company. I didn’t say a cheap home. Opportunity isn’t about being a bedroom community.”

He also mentioned a list of thing that are “in our way.”

“What we also heard was ‘Please, please, please don’t put lipstick on a pig. Don’t try to song and dance your way out of the challenges.’ The challenges start with bad press, real things. Negative coverage,” Kippen explained. “Fortunately, the trendlines in media tend to be slightly improving, where positive sentiment is running ahead of negative sentiment. But the press we’ve had is real. Crumbling infrastructure, bad roads, blight and crime. People wanted to know who to blame.”

“Opportunity is a chance not a gift. It’s not free. It’s not easy. It’s work,” Kippen explained.

What To Do, he asked and shared next.

“As far as the media standpoint, part of the effort has to be to get Antioch to come to Antioch. Whether it has to be getting 94531 to come to 94509 or vice versa…we need to knit the two back together. It’s going to require a lot of work.

He spoke of the need to include, “influence leaders in Antioch who drive the good in Antioch.”

“We’re thinking of the product…the packaging and the promotion,” Kippen shared. “Our focus is from a product stand point, how do we talk about opportunity. Antioch’s opportunity. How do we explain that? How do we get Antioch engaged with Antioch? How do we talk about Antioch to the rest of the Bay Area? How do we do a good job of not sweeping things under the carpet, but…looking at things that are already in the vision strategy? What are simple fixes? What can we do on a low-cost basis?”

Looking at the different locations in Antioch, clearly they’re going to need different messaging,” Kippen concluded.

Council Member Tony Tiscareno was the first to speak on the matter.

“I was intrigued by your perception of uniting the two Antiochs,” he said. “I love that idea. What do you think about splitting our city into four different sectors, now? I’m just curious of your mindset…of putting the two cities together…trying to bring in some from the ’31 area code to the ’09 area code? Was this a pre-districting mindset?”

Kippen replied, “The idea of opportunity ladders up the economic scale. You hired us, but we are trying to work for the entire city. Without respect to districts, that’s what we should land on. With respect to the districts, that strikes us as a fundamentally political effort. We’re talking about the economic aspect. It’s less about erasing lines within Antioch…than it is about macroeconomics in which a rising tide raises all boats.”

Tiscareno then said, “I still think we’re one city. We just happened to grow over the last 20 years. We just happened to get another ZIP Code.”

“Everyone felt that the heart of Antioch is the downtown,” Kippen shared. “There was a strong consensus that Antioch is one place and people have strong fidelity to that one place.”

Council Member Monica Wilson then had “A couple questions…about press and promotion. That’s a very important piece of your overall presentation.”

Kippen responded, “The difference between our firm and a public relations firm as far as a crisis response. We are in the business of saying we want the city to unite. We’re working on is putting together an editorial calendar… getting them all aligned on messaging standpoint.”

Wilson then said, “Maybe it’s just me. I thought we were going to get more actionable stuff. An outline of a gameplan of what the next steps could be.”

“The last page of the presentation is an outline of what we will be presenting to you,” Kippen said. “We wanted to get you a report on the general theme of opportunity.”

Mayor Sean Wright liked the idea of opportunity as the theme.

“I want to thank you for coming and your presentation. I do like that direction. I do like the idea that Antioch is opportunity,” he said. Something we can market from a branding standpoint to businesses that we want to come, to people who want” to come. I would just ask council’s input… so David can have direction.”

Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe was next to respond to Kippen’s presentation.

“You know I didn’t vote for this,” he state. “But I do like opportunity. It speaks to your point of why people come here. I think you brought up some very good points. Some of the information you received was similar to the two polls we did with input from 2,000 people. It’s in line with what you’re doing as far as branding. I love the idea, the concept of opportunity.”

Tiscareno then said, “Opportunity in my mind is creating positivity with whatever we’re going to do as a city. I like that concept. What are we going to do with that opportunity? I think you’re get more dialogue and feedback. I want to be able to look at these opportunities and dream…and what we’re going to do in the next few years to eliminate the perception out there. I hate that word. But, if we can eliminate that type of language…through opportunities and ideas, I think you’re going to get a lot of feedback. I’m just waiting to see what the next step is before I give more input.

Council Member Lori Ogorchock then shared her thoughts on the matter.

“Reading what’s in our way, I agree,” she said. “I truly don’t want to miss this opportunity. I’m encouraging you to keep going in the direction you’re going. I don’t see the bad press any more. I think it is the right opportunity, right now. I’d like to see the two ZIP Codes come together. I think you’re going to have some difficulties with districting the way the districts were split down the middle of the freeway.”

Wilson reiterated, “I think we’re all in agreement with opportunity. I love opportunity.”

“It’s very important to us, we think this is the idea,” Kippen said. “We’re going to make recommendations to staff about spending some money, clearly marketing this.”

He spoke of the city’s revised vision plan. “We’re going to build off of that.”

Wilson then said, “It’s a wait and see for me.”

Wright concluded the agenda item by stating, “I appreciate with what you’ve done in here of not only opportunities in the future, but opportunities in the past.”

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