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Contra Costa Supervisors seek applicants for two seats on Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council

Friday, August 7th, 2020

Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton (center) with the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council. Photo by CCC.

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors is seeking applicants who may be interested in serving on its 19-member Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council (JJCC).

The JJCC is a multi-agency advisory body charged with creating and maintaining the County’s comprehensive Juvenile Probation Consolidated Annual Plan and coordinating county-based juvenile delinquency prevention initiatives. The state-mandated Juvenile Probation Consolidated Annual Plan is designed to improve services for Contra Costa County’s juvenile justice population by assessing existing practices and resources, identifying system needs and gaps, and prioritizing and recommending solutions.

The Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council is composed of the following 19 members:

Nine (9) ex-officio voting members:
1. Chief Probation Officer, as Chair
2. District Attorney’s Office representative
3. Public Defender’s Office representative
4. Sheriff’s Office representative
5. Board of Supervisors’ representative
6. Employment and Human Services Department representative
7. Alcohol and Other Drugs Division representative
8. Behavioral Health Division representative
9. Public Health Division representative

Ten (10) additional voting members selected and appointed by the Board of Supervisors:
10. City Police Department representative
11. County Office of Education representative
12–15. Four (4) At-Large Members, residing or working within Contra Costa County;
16–17. Two (2) Community-Based Organization representatives;
18–19. Two (2) At-Large Youth, age 14 to 21 years old, residing or working in Contra Costa County

The Board is now seeking applications for two (2) of the seats identified above:

–Two (2) Community-Based Organization representatives

This recruitment effort is for mid-term appointments to JJCC seats #16 and #17. The Board of Supervisors is looking to appoint individuals to these seats to complete the remainder of their two-year term that is set to expire on June 30, 2021.

The JJCC is expected to meet on a regular basis, at intervals to be established by the JJCC. Members will serve without compensation, stipends, or reimbursement of expenses. The community-based organization representatives should reflect the geographic, ethnic, and racial diversity of the County and should include those providing restorative justice, faith-based, or mentoring services, to justice-involved, homeless, or foster-care involved youth.

Applicants will be interviewed by the Board of Supervisors’ Public Protection Committee: Supervisors Candace Andersen, District II, and Federal Glover, District V. The nominations for the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council will then be forwarded to the full Board of Supervisors for action.

Below is a timeline of the recruitment process for the two vacancies:

  • September 18, 2020: Final Day of the Application Period, due by 5:00 p.m.
  • September 28, 2020: Public Protection Committee Meeting Interviews
  • October 6, 2020: Board of Supervisors’ Consideration of Nominees

Application forms can be obtained from the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors by calling (925) 335-1900 or by visiting the County’s webpage at http://www.contracosta.ca.gov/3418/. Completed applications should be emailed to ClerkoftheBoard@cob.cccounty.us. Applications can also be mailed to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, Room 106, County Administration Building, 651 Pine Street, Martinez, CA 94553.

 

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DA Becton supports closing Contra Costa Juvenile Hall, establishes Reimagine Youth Justice Task Force

Friday, August 7th, 2020

Supervisors Glover, Gioia support her efforts

By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Office of the District Attorney, Contra Costa County 

Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton. From CCC website.

On Tuesday, Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton issued the following statement regarding the status of Contra Costa County’s Juvenile Hall and the Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility.

“These are historic times and we have an opportunity and a responsibility to re-imagine our justice system so that our youth have a greater chance to lead successful and enriching lives.

I am forming a Reimagine Youth Justice Task Force, which will include county departmental and community representatives, that will study and make recommendations on the most effective ways to invest in our justice involved youth through restorative, community-based solutions, with an initial focus on developing an effective process for closing Juvenile Hall.

Youth crime has been on a steady decline over the last twenty years, reinforcing the conclusion that moving away from youth incarceration is in the best interest of rehabilitation, public safety, and fiscal responsibility. Research has shown that youth can be better treated and rehabilitated in community contexts where they can retain ties to family, school, and their community. Programming and services which are based in the home or in the community are more successful at holding youth accountable and positively changing behavior than institutional settings.

Despite the steep decline in youth crime and consequent reduction in numbers of incarcerated youth, the money invested into the operation of youth prisons has not been reduced accordingly. Data shows that the average cost per incarcerated child in Contra Costa Juvenile Hall skyrocketing to over $473,000 per year.

The Reimagine Youth Justice Task Force will make explicit recommendations for financial investments in community-based services for youth instead of investing in youth prisons which have proven to result in worse outcomes for our children and families. Such an approach will allow for critical re-investments in basic needs such as housing, mental health services, and workforce development as well as support the creation of alternatives to incarcerating children in locked facilities.

In the meantime, we should pause and not take any actions to close the Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility until the Task Force has made its recommendations to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.

This transition is urgent. The Task Force should finish its efforts by the end of this year and make evidence-based recommendations for the process to close Juvenile Hall to the Board of Supervisors in January 2021. The Task Force will present a proposed timeline and transition process for closing Juvenile Hall and will identify alternative investments for our public dollars into community-based services and programming for youth. Implementing these recommendations will create a safer community and help youth get on the right track in their lives.”

“I support District Attorney Becton’s efforts to reimagine youth justice in our County,” said District 1 Supervisor John Gioia. “We need to move away from institutionalization of young people and instead invest in community based restorative justice solutions which make us safer and are more fiscally responsible.”

“I applaud District Attorney Diana Becton’s effort to examine restorative justice alternatives to simply incarcerating our county’s youth,” District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover said. “The factors that lead young people to run afoul of the law are as varied as the youth themselves. In many cases a service-oriented approach will achieve much more in rehabilitating and helping them to become productive members of our community.”

 

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Census 2020 Caravan to make stop at Antioch Water Park Sunday, August 9

Friday, August 7th, 2020

Will offer music, videos and giveaways

The Census 2020 Caravan will make stops in Antioch and Pittsburg this Sunday to help residents complete the census questionnaire to be counted and will offer music, videos and giveaways.

The decennial census determines how many Members of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives each state is allocated, which will occur during reapportionment next year, and determines the redrawing of all other elected office district lines, as well. In addition, the population figures from the Census determines the allocation of government funds for various programs. All of them are affected for the following 10 years.

If you’re unable to attend one of the events you can complete the survey online at U.S. Census Bureau.

Date: Sunday, August 9th, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Meet at: 11 a.m. at Antioch Water Park, 4701 Lone Tree Way, Antioch

12 p.m. at Pittsburg Century Plaza Shopping Center, 4405 Somersville Road & Highway 4, Pittsburg

Officials available on site: Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, Contra Costa County Supervisors Diane Burgis and Federal D. Glover, Pittsburg Mayor Jelani Killings, Pittsburg City Council Members Holland Barrett White and Shanelle Scales-Preston, Antioch Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts, Antioch City Council Member Lori Ogorchock, Antioch School Board Trustee Mary Rocha

Activities: Festively decorated cars, driving through hard-to-count communities to promote a complete count. The CA Census 2020 mobile truck will be on hand with music, videos and giveaways.

More information: Matthew Lardner, Matthew.Lardner@cao.cccounty.us   Mona Zarrinkelk monaz@kaanunmehr.org, Velma Wilson blessedbydesgn09@gmail.com

Sponsors and partners: Contra Costa County Complete Count Committee, City of Pittsburg, City of Antioch, Kaanur Mehr, EAH Housing

 

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Steffen withdraws, endorses Antwon Webster for Antioch City Council, District 3

Friday, August 7th, 2020

Wayne Steffen (left) dropped out of the race for Antioch City Council District 3 on Friday, August 7 and endorsed Antwon Webster (right) for the seat. Herald file photos.

Former Antioch Parks and Recreation Commissioner, Wayne Steffen announced today, Friday, August 7, 2020, he is withdrawing from the race for the Antioch City Council in District 3 and will instead endorse Antwon Webster in his campaign to unseat Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock. (See related article)

Steffen considered running for city council to promote more reasonable solutions for the issues of public safety, quality of life for families, and local jobs and economic development.  He considered running for office to offer an alternative to the two incumbents in District 3 who have failed to address these issues.  Steffen gave this decision serious consideration and prayed for guidance.  He has a strong desire to serve the citizens of Antioch but also understands the burden on his family of the time and cost to conduct a successful campaign and then serve as an effective council person.

While making this decision, he became familiar with one of the other candidates for this position, Antwon Webster.  According to Mr. Webster’s campaign website, his main goals are:

  • Keep Antioch Family Friendly
  • Decrease Crime
  • Protect Property Values
  • Balance Budgets
  • Make Efficient Use of Taxpayer’s Money

Wayne met with Antwon on multiple occasions and became convinced that he is interested in tackling the same issues that were his priorities.  Antwon Webster has only lived in Antioch for a few years, but he made a conscious decision in choosing Antioch to raise his family and has a desire to make our community a better place for everyone.   He currently serves on the City of Antioch Board of Administrative Appeals.  He is a military veteran and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Wayne is impressed by Antwon’s intelligence, his passion, and his reasonableness.  He has his head in the right place and he has his heart in the right place.

These are a few of the reasons why Wayne Steffen decided to withdraw from seeking election for this office and instead, to whole-heartedly support Antwon Webster for Antioch City Council, District 3.  It is time to bring in some new blood, new ideas, and new energy to our city.

Webster will, so far, face both Ogorchock and current Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Marie Arce in the District 3 race, as the only other candidates to file their Nomination Papers. One other candidate, homeless advocate Nichole Gardner took out papers but as of Thursday at 5:00 p.m. had yet to file them. The deadline is 5:00 p.m., today.

In response to Steffen’s withdrawal from the race and endorsement, Webster wrote, “I am glad to have the support of Wayne.  Having the support of Wayne and many other Antioch residents only strengthens my voice as I strive tp represent all Antioch residents.

“Wayne Steffen, a former Antioch Citizen of the Year, your support and acknowledgement of my background and abilities is greatly appreciated,” Webster continued. “I plan to continue collaborating with Wayne and partnering with Antioch residents. As a leader, I plan to lead them and stand side by side with the residents and their concerns. So, Antioch, let’s move forward together in ‘Unity’.”

“As Wayne stated in his message, ‘It is time to bring in some new blood, new ideas, and new energy to our city’.  That new blood, fresh idea thinker and new energy is me, Antwon Webster,” he concluded.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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More political jockeying in Antioch: Thorpe jumps into mayor’s race along with one other resident, Turnage to run for Area 3 school board, another candidate in Area 1 school board race

Thursday, August 6th, 2020

Beverley Beckman pulled papers to run for Mayor of Antioch. Photo from her Facebook page on 5/27/13. George Young III filed to run for Antioch School Board in Area 1. Photo from his Facebook page on 6/24/20.

Walker files in District 3 council race, Wilson files in District 4; and Lewis files in Area 3 school board race; Rocha will not run for City Treasurer but has not officially withdrawn, yet and race gets heated before it begins

By Allen Payton

As expected on Wednesday with his withdrawal from the Antioch City Council District 3 race and confirmed Thursday, Councilman Lamar Thorpe pulled papers to run for mayor against Sean Wright, along with one other resident named Beverley Beckman. Without withdrawing from the mayor’s race, former Antioch Planning Commission Chairman Kenny Turnage made a surprise move and took out and filed his Nomination papers to run for Antioch School Board in Area 3 against incumbent Trustee Crystal Sawyer-White and Dr. Clyde Lewis.

In addition, Councilwoman Monica Wilson filed her papers Thursday to run for re-election, in the District 4 council race against Antioch Police Crime Prevention Commission Chairman Sandra White. Wilson is awaiting verification of her nomination signatures. Also, on Thursday, Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock qualified to run for re-election in the District 4 race. She will face at least two challengers and possibly four. Wayne Steffen was mistakenly listed as withdrawn by the City Clerk’s office on Wednesday. So, he’s still a potential candidate in the race. In the District 1 council race, Tamisha Walker filed her papers on Thursday and is awaiting verification of her nomination signatures.

Another Candidate for Mayor

According to her Facebook page, the 33-year-old Beckman is from Lodi, attended Lodi High School and studied at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon. She’s listed on Bizapedia.com as an officer of Concourse Coffee LLC in Antioch which was formed in 2016 and an officer of Espresso Machines Experts LLC in Pittsburg, which was formed in 2018.

In the Area 1 Antioch School Board race, according to Thursday’s report from the Contra Costa Elections office, George Young III became the third candidate and second challenger to Board President Diane Gibson-Gray, by pulling and filing his Nomination paper on Thursday, as well. So far, Trustee Gary Hack running for re-election in Area 4 is the only incumbent not facing any challengers, this year. However, filing closes at 5:00 p.m. on Friday so, there’s still time for a potential opponent to pull and file their Nomination papers.

Third Candidate in Area 1 School Board Race

In a post by Young’s wife Katie, on his campaign Facebook page on Thursday she wrote, “Its official official papers have been pulled – George Young will be on the November ballot for Antioch school board. Spread the word, spread the love, and please if you can, make a donation to the campaign.” The Youngs have three sons, one in college and two attending public school in Antioch.

According to his campaign website, www.georgeyoung4change.com, Young’s three-part platform is, Students First, School Safety and Giving Parents a Voice and his campaign slogan is Educating YOUNG Minds.

Young, who turns 39 on Saturday, has worked in business operations, human resources and information technology, including as the Program and HR Administrator at Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) and currently works as Operations Manager for a retail supply chain. He serves as a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve. Young has degrees in Computer Science from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and Business Management with a concentration in nonprofit organization management from Northwest University.

City Treasurer’s Race Gets Heated Before It Starts

Antioch City Treasurer Jim Davis. Photo from his Facebook page on 8/6/20

In the City Treasurer’s race, incumbent Jim Davis qualified Thursday to run for re-election. In a post on Ruben Rocha’s campaign Facebook page he wrote on July 30, “After deep consideration, I have decided not to run for City Treasurer. I sincerely appreciate the support I have received from so many community members. Although I’m disappointed, I feel reassured by the comfort of my decision. I have decided to pursue my political aspirations to serve my community in the future, to the best of my ability. Thank you!” He has not yet officially withdrawn from the race. However, if he doesn’t file by 5:00 p.m. Friday he can’t qualify to run.

Davis’ one remaining potential opponent, Lauren Posada, has yet to file her Nomination Papers. In a post on his Facebook page Thursday night, Davis wrote referring to Posada, “My only opponent has lived in Antioch for 2 months, is working at City Hall as an accounts payable clerk/technician in the Finance Department for the past several years. People have been asking.”

When reached for comment and to verify the information Davis shared, Posada responded late Thursday night, “yes I work for the Finance department in City of Antioch. I’ll been there 5 years next month and have received all approvals to run for treasurer, including the City Attorney. I got the green light last Friday. That’s what took me so long to get run(ning). I have my appointment with (City Clerk) Arne (Simonsen) tomorrow to file. I’ve lived in Antioch the majority of my life. I’ve been quite busy with gathering all my paperwork and I will give my information as soon as I get my paperwork completed.”

Posada was then asked via Facebook Messenger about Davis’ claim that she’s only lived in Antioch for two months and if she had moved away and recently moved back. However, it was after midnight. In addition, an email was sent to City Attorney Thomas Smith early Friday morning to verify what Posada shared and about a possible legal conflict of interest she might have should she be elected. Please check back later for any updates to this report.

According to City Clerk Arne Simonsen, the following Antioch residents have taken out Nomination Papers, Withdrawn, Filed or Qualified as of 5 p.m. August 6th, for the following City offices:

Mayor

Sean Wright (I) – Qualified on 8/4/20

Julio Mendez – Qualified on 7/31/20

Rakesh Kumar Christian – Qualified on 7/22/20

Kenneth Turnage II

Gabriel Makinano

Manuel Sidrian

Beverley Beckman

Lamar Thorpe

Elizabeth Householder – Withdrawn 8/3/20

Monica Wilson – Withdrawn 8/4/20

Wade Harper – Withdrawn 7/31/20

Council District 1

Joyann Motts – Qualified on 8/5/20

Manuel Soliz – Filed on 8/5/20 (awaiting signature verification)

Tamisha Walker – Filed on 8/6/20 (awaiting signature verification)

Fernando Navarrete

La Donna Norman

Council District 3

Lori Ogorchock – Qualified on 8/6/20

Antwon Webster – Qualified on 8/5/20

Marie Arce – Filed on 8/5/20 (awaiting signature verification)

Nichole Gardner

Wayne Steffen (mistakenly listed as withdrawn)

Lamar Thorpe – Withdrawn 8/5/20

Council District 4

Sandra White – Qualified on 8/3/20

Monica Wilson – Filed on 8/6/20 (awaiting signature verification)

Alex Astorga

City Treasurer

James Davis (I) – Qualified on 8/6/20

Ruben Rocha

Lauren Posada

ANTIOCH SCHOOL BOARD

Area 1

Antonio Hernandez – Filed 8/5/20

Diane Gibson-Gray – Filed 7/31/20

George Young III – Filed 8/6/20

Area 3

Clyde Lewis – Filed 8/6/20

Crystal Sawyer-Whitefiled 7/24/20, Withdrew, Filed again 8/3/20

Kenny Turnage – Filed 8/6/20

There were no changes in any of the other city or school board races. This list will be updated when additional registered Antioch voters take out Nomination Papers, withdraw or become Qualified for the various city or school board races. To see the latest list of candidates for all 10 races visit www.antiochherald.com/election-2020.

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Antioch School Board approves funds for six on-campus police officers by expected 3-2 vote

Thursday, August 6th, 2020

The AUSD office building was taped off, but some protesters still showed up, posted signs and pounded on the doors and walls according to one witness. However, the school board members and district staff were not there for the continued meeting on Thursday night, August 6, 2020. Photo by Fernando Navarro.

Futile protest outside school district building as board members met elsewhere Thursday night

“The money we spend right now for private security…the cost for six SRO’s is pretty much what we spend already (for private security)” – Trustee Gary Hack

Details will be worked out by Sept. 23 deadline on the school district-city Memorandum of Understanding

By Allen Payton

During their continued meeting that was interrupted twice by protesters, Wednesday night, the Antioch School Board voted 3-2 to approve spending $378,000 per year over the next three years to match the city’s share of the federal grant for six School Resource Officers (SRO’s). The action will place one sworn Antioch Police Officer on each of three middle schools and three high schools in the district. As expected, Trustees Crystal Sawyer-White and Ellie Householder cast the dissenting votes, because both had previously made public comments at last week’s city council meeting against the SRO’s. The City had until Sunday, August 9 to accept the $750,000 three-year grant. (See meeting video on YouTube) (See related article)

Although protesters again showed up at the AUSD office building, pounding on the walls and doors, according to one witness, their effort was futile as the board members and district staff were not there for the online meeting, Thursday night, according to Board President Diane Gibson-Gray.

Public Comments Continued

Superintendent Stephanie Anello continued reading public comments submitted for the meeting.

“I’m a recent AUSD graduate of the Class of 2020,” wrote one member of the public I am asking you to vote no on the six school resource officers. Listen to us who will be most affected. SRO’s mainly hurt black and brown kids.

Jerelle Wilkinson, whose wife is a teacher in a Title I school, urged the board vote no on spending money on SRO’s. He incorrectly claimed the City of Antioch spends 62% of the city budget on police. (The police budget is 62% of the General Fund which makes up 44% of the city budget. Police spending is actually only 27.3% of the overall city budget).

As a 31-year employee of the Antioch school district I am full in support of the SRO’s. Please hear our need for safer school sites,” wrote a staff member.

Janet Wesenhagen, a staff member at Antioch High School, wrote in favor of the SRO’s. “Often times we get complaints of police response times. Having a police officer on campus will solve that.” She wrote that having officers on campus makes parents feel safe about sending their kids to school. “If the campuses are not safe will anyone really apply for AUSD? I’m here to shout out from the rooftop I am in favor of placing SRO’s on the campuses.”

Destiny Parker-Roles wrote in favor of the SRO’s. “Many are just saying what the alumni page are saying. Those who do have children in AUSD schools are urging you to vote yes, tonight.”

“I have to go back to school and want to be safe,” a student wrote. “Please vote yes.”

Quincy Plumber wrote, “I was picking up my student the night the shooting happened at Deer Valley. It was chaos. Please vote yes.”

“Please vote for our children, not for a political agenda,” wrote another parent.

“There mere presence was largely intimidating,” a recent graduate wrote against the SRO’s. “

Robert Young, an AUSD staff member wrote, “I would urge the board to ask several questions of where will the officers be stationed? How far off campus will their authority extend?”

A parent of an incoming high school freshman wrote, “Having an SRO present…may deter bad behavior that often causes a bad distraction. At a time when budgets are being cut I see it as a privilege of being offered this grant.”

Bernice Gutierrez wrote, “Videos show how SRO’s have aggressively hurt students when handcuffing them.”

Ellie Householder has an agenda that calls for defunding the police and calling city council members

“I know firsthand having police on campus makes a difference. I now have two kids in middle school. I can’t believe we don’t have cops on campuses,” wrote another member of the public.

Teresa Ward, a former Antioch High School student from 2003 to 2008 wrote of her experience with an SRO and getting a year of probation for a fight. “The cops never tried to create a relationship with students.”

Jamella Jackson Walker has students in AUSD schools wrote in favor of the SRO’s and the good experience her children had with police officers on their campuses.

“I wonder what does Householder want to be when she grows up? I just read she thinks officers protect students at sporting events but doesn’t think they can protect students for six or seven hours a day,” another member of the public wrote and supported the SRO’s.

“These students aren’t animals they just get treated that way. Do your research. We need counselors, not cops. Wake up and vote no,” wrote another person.

“Householder grandstanded on the Jonathan Parker homicide. It is clear she does not take the family’s concerns seriously,” wrote another member of the public.

Megan Watson, a long-time resident of Antioch wrote against hiring the SRO’s. I graduated from Deer Valley High School 10 years ago and nothing has changed. Instead of being met with violence from these SRO’s…work toward hiring more counselors.”

“People get discouraged from coming to school with so much police presence,” another student wrote.

“Please bring back SRO’s to our schools,” wrote another member of the public.

“Please protect our students,” wrote another. “I’ve heard some AUSD trustees calling the SRO’s ‘Trump cops.’” They asked the school board members to keep politics out of their decision.

Rachel Deit wrote, “the last thing we need on AUSD campuses are police. This is not how we should be spending our money.”

“It is terrible to think the district would prioritize money for police on campuses. Students should not be perceived as criminals,” wrote another person.

Stephanie wrote, “It’s time to put students first. SRO’s don’t make students safe.”

“It’s a complete denial of the Black Lives Matter movement,” wrote another member of the public against the SRO’s.  We see where our school board members’ priorities lie.”

“A lot has happened since (the shooting of Jonathan Parker),” wrote another. “We are in the midst of a civil rights wave in which people of color say police don’t make them feel safe. We need to listen to each other. Bringing the police into the schools full-time is like dropping a bomb in your house because of a rat”

“All of you encouraged this, that’s why I’m confused about some of you making comments on social media and at the council meeting against the grant,” wrote another. “We need good people on our campus to keep students safe.”

Tony simply wrote, “No more policing.”

Celestine Press, a staff member, wrote in favor of the COPS grant for the SRO. “That’s what we’ve been asking for. I attended several meetings in which parents and even two school board members demanded this. My son is a student athlete said, ‘maybe it will make kids think twice before starting a fight. I bet Deer Valley would feel like a more peaceful place.’”

“The school to prison pipeline was not mentioned by anyone when people were talking about safety earlier this year,” wrote another member of the public.

“Shame on you, Trustee Householder for criticizing the district for not having enough safety when Jonathan Parker was shot, then you changed your position for political gain,” wrote another.

Another wrote about how the hiring of SRO’s goes against the Black Lives Matter movement.

Another member of the public wrote about how students couldn’t trust Antioch Police due to the hiring of Officer Michael Mellone who shot and killed a homeless man in San Francisco in 2016 before being hired by the Antioch Police Department, again, last year.

Fabby Camacho wrote against placing police officers on AUSD campuses.

Natalie Gutierrez wrote, “wanting to put SRO’s in school campuses is a frightening idea.”

“As a secondary educator in the Bay Area I’ve been able to work with teams of SRO’s,” wrote another in support of the SRO’s. “SRO’s help support the climate” on a campus. “Building positive relationships with students…at sporting events and dances…creates a safe place for children to learn.”

Gretchen Tofflemeir wrote, “Students need counselors not police on school campuses. Where are all these matching funds coming from? Antioch School Board do the right thing.”

Edgar Romero, “I go to AHS and I’m all in support of SRO’s. Students won’t like it but they will think twice before bullying other students.”

“I can’t imagine having an armed officer of the law on campuses,” another wrote. “Hire three officers at the high schools. But don’t place them at the middle schools. These are children who do stupid stuff.”

“I grew up in Antioch and I teach in Antioch and someday my children will attend school,” wrote another. “The officers had no positive impact on me. It served as a vehicle for me to think I want to a dangerous and terrible school. What my students need now is access to more support staff.”

Jennifer Johnson wrote, “Please vote yes. It wasn’t long ago that some board members were calling for more police officers on campus. Now they’re against them.”

“Police presence on campuses present more harm than protection,” wrote another.

“Ellie and Crystal, I wish you all would stop being so divisive,” wrote Velma Wilson. “Ellie you were at the meeting where the Chief talked about this grant and you were all for it.”

“Please keep our students safe by denying this grant,” wrote another member of the public. “Many black and brown youth…should not see their abusers when they show up on school campuses.”

Lucille Meinhardt wrote, “School districts money should go to counselors.”

“I was appalled when I learned that there were no officers on school campuses,” wrote another.

“AUSD has counselors but not SRO’s. Antioch…should have both,” wrote another member of the public.

Antonio Hernandez, school board candidate, wrote against the SRO’s. “Cops on school campuses are not an effective solution. Academic achievement is a much better indicator of school safety. We will have to spend over $3 million for this grant.”

Patricia Granados wrote, “How confident are you all having police officers on campus will benefit students? Bridge those gaps but not by hiring police officers for school campuses.”

“Police officers can’t be the only response we offer to trouble students,” wrote another. “Our students need support and compassion. Why does a kid need to end up in jail before seeing a mental health counselor? We also need to put the responsibility…on our teachers. I urge you to think more creatively.”

Sandy Rogers, President of the Deer Valley PTO wrote in favor the SRO’s. “We should be working together to be improving our schools and our city.”

Laura Young wrote about the district receiving a grant for 10 counselors. “To this day I remember our SRO, Dan Sweeney,” when she attended Antioch schools.

Board Members Deliberate, Approve Six SRO’s

Chief T Brooks was on the line and available to answer questions of the board members.

Trustee Mary Rocha spoke first and was ready to make a motion, but Sawyer-White wanted to discuss the matter, first and Gibson-Gray allowed it.

“As the only African American on the school board, this is unbelievable we wouldn’t want to discuss this,” Sawyer-White said. “Number one, we’re in a pandemic, why the urgency? Will this be put on hold, Chief Brooks?”

“No. This grant has a deadline by August 9th,” Brooks responded.

“If we’re still distance learning where will these officers be?” Sawyer-White asked.

“That is something we have to discuss. Even with distant learning teachers and staff will still be having contact with students. So, if there’s some kind of crime or sexual activity…the officer can respond to their house and respond to the situation,” Brooks explained.

Sawyer-White then spoke of “an alternative safety plan” from the Black Organizing Project in Oakland Unified School District.

“Is there a charge for their services?” asked Board President Gibson-Gray.

“I’m not aware of it,” said Sawyer-White.

But, Gibson-Gray said it could not be discussed further since the idea was not on the agenda.

“Will these SRO’s have the authority to arrest students in the classroom?” Sawyer-White asked.

“All sworn officers in California have the authority to make arrests,” said Brooks.

“I’m concerned we’re not hiring parents on school campuses of people of color…who do not have a gun,” Sawyer-White then said.

“I kept a tally of the speakers of the documents that were read. The yesses were 43, the noes were 32, so we’re split,” said Trustee Gary Hack. “I assume that accepting SRO’s on campus is not addressing all of it. But it is an answer. The money we spend right now for private security…the cost for six SRO’s is pretty much what we spend already.”

Trustee Ellie Householder wrote, “I think the thing that’s weighing on my heart…is what happened, yesterday and what’s happening, I assume at the district office, and that’s youth standing up and asking us to vote no on SRO’s. It goes to show how deeply concerning having police on our campuses is. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be a young person watching videos of officers brutalizing people then seeing armed officers walking through the halls between classes.”

The evidence given by Superintendent Anello is that Brentwood have SRO’s and we used to have them. I haven’t seen…how these SRO’s are going to directly impact the students.

There was a significant decrease

There is not a single documented case of an SRO preventing a school shooting,” she said. “The last thing I want to say, ideology aside, philosophy…we just cut $1.8 million in classified staff. Then to revert around and hire…it’s disrespectful to our classified staff. We need a comprehensive safety plan…like restorative justice. Unequivocally, our Antioch Police need to be part of that plan. We need cops at after school events, undoubtedly. But not patrolling the

Sawyer-White then thanked for Chief Brooks for attending and suggested having events aside from school events, like dinners on Saturday nights. We need YMCA’s we need

Rocha then asked, “Everyone was yelling at us that it was a safety issue. At this time, we have the opportunity to have a federal grant that was processed back in February. We already are spending $250,000 for private security. We don’t we go for the six and then moved approval.”

Gibson-Gray seconded the motion.

Sawyer-White then said, “Right now we don’t have a homeless liaison.”

Gibson-Gray then interrupted her and said “:e have a motion on the floor.”

Householder asked Rocha to clarify her motion.

“My motion was to approve the SRO grant…and to accept all six SRO’s,” Rocha responded.

Gibson-Gray then seconded it, again.

“We cannot be collaborative. This is the only thing on the agenda. I don’t know why you don’t want to discuss it, Trustee Rocha”

“I still want to discuss it,” Gibson-Gray said.

“But she doesn’t want to discuss it,” Sawyer-White responded.

“Point of order. It says on the agenda, the district and city would negotiate an MOU. Can the motion be just to approve the SRO’s?” Householder asked.

“I did send in questions to the superintendent and Chief Brooks and asked them not to answer, but answer us all at once,” Gibson-Gray said.

“I keep hearing the $1.8 million in cuts” then spoke of the governor’s May revise. “Can you tell us, how that’s going?” she asked of Anello.

Assistant Superintendent Jessica Romeo responded instead saying, “since the action was taken by the board on the classified layoffs there have been changes. It absolutely did impact extra employees. Six instructional assistants have had their layoff notices rescinded. We created three new registrar employees. Two of our impacted employees have been placed in those positions. Finally, as far as a rescind, we did rescind the print shop and records. We have rescinded about $500,000. We have also placed about 20 individuals into positions in the district. We have two individuals…who chose to retire, and we have three individuals who chose to continue with the layoffs. We are still working with some individuals…to see if sites will use their funds differently. I’d like to say six of seven, but that changes every day.”

Householder then asked, “Since we paid for STM, the private security…from our supplementary concentration grant funding…since we’re talking instead of entering a separate contract with APD, will we be using” the same funds?

“It does not necessarily have to come from the same funding source,” Romeo responded.

Gibson-Gray then asked about how many guidance counselors saying, “We currently have 31 counselors.”

“Yes. With the 14 mental clinicians, that brings us to 45,” Anello said.

“Are these mental health specialists,

“They have at least a master’s degree in social work or marriage and family counseling, etc.,” Anello responded.

Gibson-Gray then asked about how many homeless students are in the district.

“I don’t see how going over blow by blow the homeless population is pertinent to the agenda item,” Householder said.

“It is a question I heard,” Gibson-Gray stated. “How many of our students need permanent shelter.”

“We have 23 students who are currently, temporarily unsheltered,” Anello stated.

Gibson-Gray then asked Chief Brooks about community policing model and what the SRO’s would be doing with students.

“Community engagement…that will be included on our school campuses,” he responded. “Play sports with them, hang out with them during lunch. All the feedback I’ve received back from our students, our parents and even our officers has been extremely positive. The vast majority of the work of our officers on campuses will be building relationships. Be able to resolve conflict…with the hopes of encouraging young men and women…to see that the people who wear these uniforms are just human beings and have feelings.”

“Can you tell me how the hiring works…if we approve the grant,” Gibson-Gray asked.

“The school resource officers will be officers we already have on the source, they will have to apply for the program,” Brooks responded.

“Will someone from the district be involved in the hiring process, perhaps even a student?” Householder asked.

“There is the possibility of getting people from the school district and even the possibility of having students involved in the process,” stated Brooks.

“How long will it take…to get into the schools from today?” Gibson-Gray asked.

“If we choose all six, my hope is to have three this school year and three the following school year,” Brooks explained. “We generally don’t hire in clumps of people So, as officers are brought on to the force and they complete their field training, we can fill that position for the officer who becomes an SRO.”

Gibson-Gray then asked about the impacts on the SRO program of vacancies in the police department.

“I think we can keep up with attrition without impacting the school resource officers. Once we assign someone to the SRO that’s what they’ll be assigned to unless something extreme happens,” said Brooks.

“Will you be willing to bill the district quarterly, not in advance?” asked Gibson-Gray.

“That is a discussion that would have to involve the city manager and the city finance director,” Brooks responded.

“If this isn’t working for us, can we stop the grant?” Gibson-Gray then asked.

“We can ask for a modification,” Brooks explained. “That would have to be approved by the DOJ (U.S. Department of Justice).”

“I feel if we decline the grant, as the City of Antioch tries to go for more COPS grants, I don’t think it looks good for us,” Gibson-Gray stated. She then asked for a six-month review.

“There’s a stipulation in the grant that a semi-annual report is required,” Brooks explained.

Sawyer-White then said, “My suggestion is that the students want to be inclusive. Would the board be open to a student safety task force…working together with the youth to be inclusive?”

“Yes, of course we’d be willing to survey the youth,” said Anello.

“Not to survey, but to actually establish a task force,” Sawyer-White responded.

“That’s something that can be discussed,” Gibson-Gray said.

“The MOU has to be completed no later than September 23,” Brooks stated.

“So, we have some time,” Gibson-Gray said.

She then called for the vote with Hack, Rocha and Gibson-Gray voting in favor of the grant and district expenditure for the six SRO’s and Sawyer-White and Householder voting against.

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Rep. McNerney secures funding for critical energy and water programs

Thursday, August 6th, 2020

House-passed legislation includes McNerney-sponsored provisions

Rep. Jerry McNerney

Stockton, CA – Included in the $1.3 trillion spending package recently passed by the House of Representatives are a number of key provisions championed by Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) to tackle the climate crisis in addition to addressing the stability and modernization of America’s energy and water systems.

Among the funding secured by the Congressman are several national projects, including:

  • funding for the Department of Energy (DOE) to bolster their work to combat the climate crisis, including through robust investments in grid modernization and security;
  • funding for continued cloud aerosol research through the DOE, which will provide useful information for our carbon reduction plans, and for continued research through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to study atmospheric climate intervention modeling and technologies;
  • and funding to strengthen our water infrastructure and for authorized flood and storm damage reduction, navigation, and environmental restoration projects.

Congressman McNerney also secured increased funding for operation and maintenance of the Port of Stockton to help the port ensure that its shipping channel – which is also the largest flood conveyance channel to the Delta – continues to be operational for navigation purposes.

“Climate change is accelerating and poses a growing threat to our country and the world,” said Congressman McNerney. “That is why I secured funding in this bill to ensure that federal agencies work to prepare for the climate crisis, including through research into carbon reduction and water sustainability, and to address regional issues facing our community such as flooding and annual maintenance dredging at the Port of Stockton.”

Additionally, the legislation includes an amendment from the Congressman which would direct DOE’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) to gather more robust analysis and data collection from EIA’s commercial and residential surveys – specifically with regards to water consumption – and would make water consumption data for commercial buildings publicly available and broken out by principal building activity and region.

Rep. McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.

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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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