Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

City of Antioch launches new website

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Screenshot of the City of Antioch’s new website.

The City of Antioch is excited to announce the launch of its redesigned website and new domain name at www.antiochca.gov. The site has a fresh, contemporary look and will be easier for residents and customers to navigate through with an improved search engine to help users more easily find the information they need.  

The new site’s graphics, navigation, and content provide a clear window into City governance, operations, and services while making it easy for users to access information on activities and opportunities, request services, and interact with City staff.  The site takes City Services to our local community, businesses and beyond, furthering our commitment to accessible, and efficient local government.

Website improvements also include clarifying content and adding consistent navigation at each page header. In addition, the new format is compatible with smartphones and tablets by automatically reformatting to the device being used.

“We are excited to have a website that is easier to use and provides better engagement for our residents,” said Ron Bernal, Antioch City Manager. “The new site gives us the opportunity to provide more transparency about City business and also informs our community about important topics, projects and City happenings.”

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County airport committee seeks public input on possible viewing plaza at Byron Airport

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

A Public Viewing Plaza similar to this one at Buchanan Field in Concord is being proposed for the Byron Airport. Photo credit Nate G., posted Sept. 27, 2014.

Photo courtesy of Contra Costa County.

The Contra Costa County Aviation Advisory Committee is asking for the public’s assistance in answering a one question survey to gauge interest in and support for a “public viewing plaza” at the Byron Airport, similar to the one at Buchanan Field.

The commission will discuss the matter at their next meeting on Thursday, August 9, 2018, which will be held at 10:00 a.m., 550 Sally Ride Drive in Concord, and will be deciding if there is demand for the viewing plaza, the location for it at the Byron Airport and the cost.

Are you interested in and would you support a public viewing plaza at the Byron Airport?

Leave your response in the comments section, below or on the Herald Facebook page. Thank you for your participation.

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Antioch city manager announces hiring of new economic development director

Monday, June 18th, 2018

Kwame Reed from his LinkedIn profile.

Antioch City Manager Ron Bernal announced the hiring of Kwame Reed as Antioch’s new Economic Development Director. Currently the Senior Analyst for Economic Development in Brentwood, California, Reed will start his new role with Antioch on July 2, 2018.

Reed brings over 20 years of professional experience in local and regional government agencies, with roles that include planning, redevelopment, affordable housing, project management and economic development. He is the 2018-19 Chairman of the East Bay Economic Development Alliance.

“Quality jobs, redeveloping underperforming properties and a vibrant downtown are important to our community, said City Manager Ron Bernal stated. “This newly created position shows just how serious the City Council is about economic development. Kwame is familiar with our region and its unique opportunities and challenges. His strong interpersonal skills will be key to retaining and attracting businesses and employers. Kwame and our Economic Development Project Manager Lizeht Zepeda will make a powerhouse team.”

His starting salary will be $140,448, according to Nickie Mastay, Antioch’s Administrative Services Director.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Reed has served in his current position since 2004. During part of that time, from 2008 to 2013, he owned a portrait photography business. Prior to his time with Brentwood, Reed worked for the City of Oakley as an associate planner from 2002-2004, a planner for the San Joaquin County Regional Rail Commission/ACE Train from 1999-2002 and a planner for the San Joaquin Council of Governments where he got his start in 1995.

He graduated in 1995 with a degree City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Reed has been married for 21 years, is the father of three, two boys age 19 and 14, and a daughter who is 12. He enjoys watching them play golf and basketball.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Call for Applications: San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, Independent Citizens Oversight Committee

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

Deadline Extended – Due April 18, 2018

Measure AA is expected to generate $25 million annually for San Francisco Bay restoration over the next 20 years. Funding from this voter-approved measure will allow for the restoration of thousands of acres of natural habitat for wildlife, support our local economy, improve access to public lands, address flooding issues, and create thousands of new jobs.

The San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority’s Governing Board seeks six individuals to serve on the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee. The Committee has three main roles:

  1. Annually review the Authority’s conformance with Measure AA.
  2. Review the Authority’s audits and expenditure and financial reports.
  3. Publish an annual report of its findings, which will be posted on the Authority’s website.

The Board seeks committee members from all four Bay Area regions (North Bay, East Bay, South Bay and West Bay) with special subject matter expertise. Each member of the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee must possess expertise in one or more of the following:

  • Water quality
  • Pollution reduction
  • Habitat restoration
  • Flood protection
  • Improvement of public access to the San Francisco Bay
  • Financing of these objectives.

Ineligibility Factors for Membership

No person may serve on the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee who:

  • Is an elected official or government employee;
  • Has had or could have a financial interest in a decision of the Authority; or
  • Is affiliated with an organization associated with a member of the Governing Board.

Apply to serve on the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee by April 18, 2018.

Application Submittal, Materials, and Deadline

Send your application to karen.mcdowell@sfestuary.org by April 18, 2018. Electronic signatures and scanned signatures will be accepted.

For more information, visit the SF Bay Restoration Authority’s website or contact Karen McDowell, Project Manager, SF Bay Restoration Authority or 415-778-6685.

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Rep. McNerney to host net neutrality town hall meeting in Antioch Sunday, March 4

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

From Congressman Jerry McNerney

As your representative in Congress, I take very seriously my responsibility to be your voice in Washington. So when you called, emailed and wrote letters by the thousands, expressing your concerns about the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) plan to eliminate net neutrality protections, I took action.

Prior to the FCC’s vote to repeal net neutrality, I submitted a formal request to address the full Commission. I wanted to make the case for maintaining a free and open internet, and to share some of the stories you’ve shared with me – stories of small business owners, veterans, students and so many more who rely on the internet for nearly every aspect of daily life. Unfortunately, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai denied my request.

Thankfully, there was someone on the Commission who wanted to ensure your voice and the voices of Americans across the country were heard. FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, who stood strong and voted against the repeal, submitted a written statement on my behalf and read her own compelling dissent in opposition to the repeal of these crucial protections.

Commissioner Clyburn will be joining me this Sunday, March 4th from 3:00-4:30 PM at the Antioch Community Center for a town hall on net neutrality. We’ll be discussing your concerns and talking about how we move forward in the fight for a free and open internet.

For more information or to RSVP please call (925) 754-0716 or email McNerneyRSVP@mail.house.gov.

I hope to see you there.

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Rep. DeSaulnier hosts 60th town hall meeting Saturday in Concord

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D, CA-11) announced he will host his 60th town hall and mobile district office hour since taking office in January of 2015. The town hall will be held at Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord tomorrow, Saturday, March 3rd at 11:00 a.m.

“I am proud to represent this community that is so civically engaged and invite all constituents to attend our 60th town hall to share their thoughts, opinions, and questions.”

Concord 60th Town Hall

Saturday, March 3, 2018

11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Ygnacio Valley High School

755 Oak Grove Road

Concord, CA 94518

DeSaulnier’s regular and frequent practice of holding town halls was among the reasons his office was recently nominated by the Congressional Management Foundation as a finalist in the first-ever Democracy Awards for outstanding Constituent Service. 

To confirm attendance, please by RSVP online at https://desaulnier.house.gov/town-hall-rsvp or call 925-933-2660. To request ADA accommodations, translation services, or for more information please contact one of Congressman DeSaulnier’s offices in either Walnut Creek or Richmond.

DeSaulnier’s district includes portions of Antioch.

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State Legislative Delta Caucus to hold public hearing on WaterFix proposal Nov. 30

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

State Auditor to present findings of cost over-runs, mismanagement of project; Dep’t of Water Resources to also make presentation

SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay) and State Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa), co-chairs of the California Legislative Delta Caucus, announce they will hold a public hearing on Thursday, Nov. 30 to examine mounting financial concerns connected to the proposed WaterFix project.

The hearing will be held in the Delta, at the Jean Harvie Community Center, 14273 River Road, in Walnut Grove, from 10 am. to noon. Members of the public are invited to attend.

“WaterFix is one of the largest, most costly public works project ever proposed in California,” said Frazier, who represents the heart of the Delta region in the Assembly. “There are a number of growing concerns surrounding the project’s financials. The recent state audit cited cost over-runs that are out of control. The audit also found the Department of Water Resources failed to complete a basic cost-benefit analysis and has mismanaged the project. The Delta Caucus decided to hold an informational hearing accessible to the public where these concerns can be thoroughly examined.”

The office of State Auditor Elaine M. Howle will present the findings of the recent audit: “Department of Water Resources: The Unexpected Complexity of the California WaterFix Project Has Resulted in Significant Cost Increases and Delays.”

Dr. Jeffrey Michael, executive director of the Center for Business & Policy Research at the University of the Pacific, will present the Center’s recent report, “Benefit-Cost Analysis of the proposed California WaterFix.”

The State Department of Water Resources, which is managing the proposed WaterFix project, has also committed to making a presentation.

Other presentations may be added to the agenda as the hearing date approaches. Members of the public will have an opportunity to comment during a public comment period at the end of the hearing.

“Ensuring a vibrant and sustainable Delta is absolutely essential for our region and our entire state,” said Senator Dodd. “I encourage Delta residents to join us and hear from the State Auditor’s Office regarding their recent findings. The Delta Caucus is working to educate the public and fighting to protect the Delta for our residents, visitors and wildlife.”

The Delta Caucus is a bipartisan mix of 12 members of the Assembly and Senate who represent the Delta region. The Caucus is co-chaired by Assemblymember Frazier and Sen. Dodd. Other members are Senators Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton), Steve Glazer (D-Orinda), Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) and Assemblymembers Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove), Heath Flora (R-Ripon), Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), Timothy S. Grayson (D-Concord) and Catharine Baker (R-Dublin).

For more information about the Delta Caucus, contact Adam Horn at (916) 319-2011.

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Americans are poorly informed about basic constitutional provisions

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Constitution Day is September 17 – Take the Preamble Challenge

PHILADELPHIA –– Many Americans are poorly informed about basic constitutional provisions, according to a new national survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

The annual Annenberg Constitution Day Civics Survey finds that:

  • More than half of Americans (53 percent) incorrectly think it is accurate to say that immigrants who are here illegally do not have any rights under the U.S. Constitution;
  • More than a third of those surveyed (37 percent) can’t name any of the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment;
  • Only a quarter of Americans (26 percent) can name all three branches of government.

“Protecting the rights guaranteed by the Constitution presupposes that we know what they are.

The fact that many don’t is worrisome,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania. “These results emphasize the need for high-quality civics education in the schools and for press reporting that underscores the existence of constitutional protections.”

Illegal immigration and constitutional rights

The APPC survey, conducted Aug. 9-13 among 1,013 adults in the United States, finds that 53 percent think that people who are here illegally do not have any rights under the Constitution. That incorrect belief is especially strong among self-identified political conservatives – 67 percent think it is accurate, compared with 48 percent of moderates and 46 percent of liberals.

In fact, immigrants who are in the United States illegally share some constitutional protections with U.S. citizens. More than a century ago, in Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886), a case involving an undocumented Chinese immigrant, the Supreme Court ruled that non-citizens were entitled to due process rights under the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. Other cases have expanded upon those rights. (For more on Yick Wo, see this video on Annenberg Classroom’s website.)

Most respondents, though not all, know that under the Constitution, U.S. citizens who are atheists or Muslim have the same rights as all other citizens. Seventy-nine percent of respondents know it is accurate to say that U.S. citizens who are atheists have the same rights as other citizens, and 76 percent know it is accurate to say that citizens who are Muslim have the same rights as other citizens.

What does the First Amendment say? 

Nearly half of those surveyed (48 percent) say that freedom of speech is a right guaranteed by the First Amendment. But, unprompted, 37 percent could not name any First Amendment rights. And far fewer people could name the other First Amendment rights: 15 percent of respondents say freedom of religion; 14 percent say freedom of the press; 10 percent say the right of assembly; and only 3 percent say the right to petition the government.

The First Amendment reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Contrary to the First Amendment, 39 percent of Americans support allowing Congress to stop the news media from reporting on any issue of national security without government approval. That was essentially unchanged from last year. But the survey, which followed a year of attacks on the news media, found less opposition to prior restraint (49 percent) than in 2016 (55 percent).

Many don’t know the branches of government 

Only 26 percent of respondents can name the three branches of government (executive, judicial, and legislative), the same as last year. People who identified themselves as conservatives were significantly more likely to name all three branches correctly than liberals and moderates. The 26 percent total was down significantly from APPC’s first survey on this question, in 2011, when 38 percent could name all three.

In the current survey, 33 percent could not name any of the three branches, the same as in 2011.

The phone survey, conducted for APPC by the research firm SSRS, has a margin of error of ±3.7 percent. For more on the methodology and questions click here.

Constitution Day and the Civics Renewal Network

APPC’s Annenberg Classroom, presented by the Leonore Annenberg Institute for Civics, has created a series of free, award-winning videos for educators and the public, including Yick Wo and the Equal Protection Clause, The Role of the Courts, and Freedom of the Press: New York Times v. United States.

Annenberg Classroom has joined with 30 other nonpartisan organizations to create the Civics Renewal Network, which offers free, high-quality educational materials online. Among CRN’s partners are the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the National Constitution Center, the U.S. Courts, the NEH’s EDSITEment Project and iCivics.

Constitution Day (Sept. 17) will be observed Monday, Sept. 18. To mark it, the U.S. Courts are holding naturalization ceremonies nationwide and educators will lead students in the “Preamble Challenge,” celebrating the Preamble to the Constitution.

The Annenberg Public Policy Center was established in 1994 to educate the public and policy makers about the media’s role in advancing public understanding of political, health and science issues at the local, state and federal levels. Find APPC on Facebook and Twitter: @APPCPenn. Follow the Civics Renewal Network: @CivicsRenewal.

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