Archive for the ‘Letters to the Editor’ Category

Letters: Former Antioch Councilman opposes Wright for mayor, not a “unifier”

Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

Editor:

Voters of Antioch do not vote for Sean Wright, our current mayor running for reelection! He is not a unifier, he is really a divider with his own unspoken agenda that excludes others’ interests. He needs to be fired!

In the past I have tried to communicate with him about our city government and its operations to no avail. He just ignores anyone he does not personally agree with. He also does not return phone calls or messages requesting his time! He just ignores, ignores, ignores those he said he wanted to hear from. Well, he is not who he claims to be, and he definitely does not serve the public’s interests.

As recent as early July of this year I also submitted to him a request to be placed on the city council agenda, favoring an allowable closed session, concerning some very serious police personnel matters. He has ignored that too. It could even have been placed on the open agenda, but I think that was unwise and preferred the closed session because of the seriousness of the matters I wanted to inform the entire council about. Ignorance is not bliss and the mayor again has failed the public in this and other things!

The very serious matters that I wanted to inform them about are not just going to go away. No, it will become very public very soon in publications pending for all to read and know about. I tried with the mayor and council but his and their choice to just ignore it is on him and them!

As a former peace officer, retired now, and former city council member of Antioch, I have tried to do the right thing via proper channels and methods. But I have been ignored mostly by Mayor Sean Wright and that is a serious mistake if you are an elected official. I have lived here and have served the public for well over 45 years now and will not be quiet when wrongs just go ignored and swept under the carpet. Sean Wright has been a great disappointment to me and many others. I did vote for him before based upon what he promised to do for the public. That was a mistake that I have since learned.

Remember, I tried it the right way, but Mayor Wright and the others just want it to remain unspoken and unheard of. Well, they can read about it in a published expose very soon. I wonder what his and the others’ excuses will be? No, Mayor Sean Wright in particular is not any kind of real leader, not a unifier, now one to not divide, and overall needs to go away and back to his private practice.

Do not vote for him, or any others who come forth with false campaign and false personal promises. Antioch is in a mess, financially and services wise also. This is the opportunity for true change and Antioch sorely needs it. Do not waste your vote on empty shells of political false opportunists.
Stay tuned ladies and gentlemen the near future published information will awaken even the dead.

Ralph Hernandez

Antioch

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Letters: Antioch Police Commission Chair, businesswoman shares why she’s running for City Council in District 4

Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

Dear Antioch Voters:

Sandra White. From her council campaign.

As an Antioch resident of nearly 10 years, I am running for Antioch City Council District 4 to implement real results and to put a stop to the empty promises from our current council.  If the City of Antioch is going to reach greater heights, we will need real leadership in City Hall; someone who will prioritize our needs and do right by its citizens. I am that someone.

As a professional businesswoman with 20 years of Human Resources, I have experience in supporting organizations to meet their business objectives.  I will bring those skills to:

  • Support smart growth.
  • Improve and enhance community safety.
  • Aid and support local businesses development, and infrastructure improvements.
  • Ensure we continue to live in a community that emulates the high standards and values our citizens aspire to restore.
  • Create well-paying jobs for Antioch residents, while working to support economic development.

Public Safety:  As the current Chair of Antioch Crime Prevention Commission, I have built partnerships and will continue to work to provide the resources that our police and firefighters need to keep our neighborhoods safe. I will fight to increase our code enforcement team, reduce homelessness, and prevent gang violence.

In addition to experience in the corporate environment, I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master of Associate degree in Counseling Psychology. As your councilwoman I will leverage my business acumen, background and my hands-on mental health experience that will bring value on my first day in office.

Visit www.sandrawhiteforcitycouncil.com or visit my campaign Facebook page, email me at SandraWhiteCityCouncil@gmail.com, or call me with any questions or ideas you might have at 925-437-9361.

Sandra White

Candidate, Antioch City Council District 4

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Letters: Antioch City Clerk shares why he’s running for re-election

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020

Dear Antioch voter:

It has been an honor to serve you these past eight years as your Antioch City Clerk and I ask for your vote to continue to serve the residents of Antioch.

Understanding the responsibilities of a City Clerk, I graduated from Technical Training for Clerks alongside appointed & elected City Clerks; and in August 2017 the International Institute of Municipal Clerks designated me a Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC).

I continued alongside City Clerks from throughout California attending the annual New Law & Elections Seminars, the City Clerks Association of California Annual Conferences and graduated from the Master Municipal Clerk & Clerk of the Board Academy in February 2020.

In April 2020 the IIMC designated me a Master Municipal Clerk (MMC), becoming the first Antioch City Clerk to obtain that designation and become only one of some 1,300 Master Municipal Clerks worldwide!

Antioch is the 54th largest city in California and the 259th largest city in the United States. With the increase in population, the workload has increased significantly; but the staffing of the City Clerk’s Office has not. The elected City Clerk needs to be returned to the full-time salaried status that it was from 1872 to 2010 to properly serve you, our residents, in a prompt and timely manner.

The City Clerk is also the City Elections Official and Records Manager. As such, I have instituted electronic filing of Campaign Finance Reports and Public Record requests to better serve you.

I respectfully ask for your vote on November 3rd.

Arne Simonsen, MMC

Antioch City Clerk

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Letters: Antioch District 3 Council candidate offers why she’s running for re-election

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020

Dear Antioch voters:

As your Councilwoman, my biggest strengths are that I’m big hearted and solution-minded. I have a big heart and genuinely care about people; and once I set my mind to doing something, I won’t give up. Your trust in me has enabled us to accomplish many things together.

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

We are living in challenging times. We can get through this together by remaining compassionate toward others and staying focused on creating meaningful solutions. I am here to serve you and am honored to be working on your behalf.

Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock

Ogorchock@comcast.net

Cell (925) 628-7764

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Letters: District 3 Council candidate introduces herself, why she’s running

Saturday, August 29th, 2020

Marie Arce. From her campaign Facebook page.

Dear Antioch,

I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself and share some of my thoughts on how I can serve Antioch.

My family moved to Antioch in 1988 where they purchased our first family home. I attended Antioch schools starting with Sutter Elementary, Park Middle School and eventually Antioch High School where I played softball for four years. My love for softball started on our Antioch Little League fields which sparked a love for the game that would eventually lead to lifelong friendships, the foundation for my work ethic and the love for my community.

Over the last 10-years I have worked in nonprofit finance administration working for various organizations in Northern California.

Growing up in a family that owned a small business and I experienced and observed the challenges that family businesses face. Small businesses play a key role in our local economy. As we continue to deal with COVID-19, we need to start thinking about a post-COVID-19 future. Developing solutions that will help our businesses here in Antioch remain open and to keep their employees employed. I support expanding our current small business grant program, developing tax incentives for small businesses to hire employees from Antioch, and building engagement with the city to help our local businesses prosper.

In addition to the importance of small business growth I am a firm believer in taxpayer accountability. The residents of Antioch have the right to have access to easily digestible financials, for transparency, accountability and to promote a more informed community. The taxpayers of Antioch want to see a return on investment for their tax dollars.

The recently approved ballot measures (C and W) called for: cleaner streets, a restoration of police officers patrolling streets, job opportunities, and a plan to attract small businesses. Our tax dollars should be spent responsibly, transparently, and with cost consciousness to improve the livability in Antioch for all its residents.

I am a firm believer that building engagement between our residents and the police department improves trust and strengthens our community. We have an opportunity to be the model for how policing is done in communities like ours by reviewing our existing policing practices and looking for ways to evolve as necessary. Continuing to evolve our policing will empower our police department and protect our residents. I do not support defunding police. The voters in Antioch voted to support Measure C and W to increase police services.

Blight is another issue that plagues our community. I plan to attack blight by developing blight initiatives such as the one passed by the Brentwood City Council that fines neglectful owners that don’t maintain their vacant properties. We need to provide our code enforcement the tools that they need to enforce our codes on illegal dumping and littering. And developing codes that will punish the illegal dumpers further than they are today.

Sadly, homelessness is plaguing our community as well as California and the nation as a whole.

We should approach the unhoused individuals and families with a compassionate lens that provides resources for those seeking help. At the same time, we need to continue to support our businesses and neighborhoods, by preventing homeless encampments near their storefronts and within neighborhood side streets.  Antioch is not equipped financially to solve homelessness alone.

Reducing homelessness will need to be a regional effort. We need to collaborate with our neighboring Delta cities on how to resolve an issue that impacts all our communities. Taking a regional approach will prevent Antioch from having to absorb the financial burden alone and allows more collaboration and opportunity to develop an impactful strategy for those seeking assistance.

I care deeply about our community. This is my home. I grew up playing in our parks, playing ball on our diamonds, swimming at the water park, hiking in our hills, going to the Big Little Game (Go Panthers), and boating in our Delta. I am a parishioner & parent of a child at Holy Rosary Church, volunteer in Antioch Little League and Chair of the Parks & Recreation Commission. This is where I chose to raise my daughters and build my community.

My campaign team is made up of friends and family that grew up here in Antioch. These friends have donated their talent and time because they care about Antioch as much as I do. These are unprecedented times and it is more important now than ever to shut down the divisiveness and come together as a community to promote forward thinking, new solutions and to do the right thing. I personally understand the hardships that some families are experiencing at this time. I want to be your candidate. I want to help.

If you want to know more about me, please visit www.mariearce.com or ‘like’ my campaign Facebook page to get the latest news and information from our campaign. Reach out if you would like to connect and be part of the change Antioch needs and deserves.

I am Marie Arce and I am fighting for a better Antioch for our families and for our future. I look forward to connecting with you online or around town.

I hope to earn your trust and your vote.

Marie Arce

Candidate for Antioch City Council District 3

www.mariearce.com

 

 

 

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Antioch council candidate thanks police in response to Facebook video of homeless encampment clean up, relocation

Monday, August 24th, 2020

Posted on Facing Homelessness in Antioch by City Council District 3 candidate Nichole Gardner

Posted by Nichole Gardner on Thursday, August 20, 2020

Raw video warning: Includes profanity.

Dear Antioch Residents,

First and foremost, I would like to say, “Thank You” to Officer Lenderman for doing his job.  In response to the video by Nichole Gardner, candidate for Antioch City Council District 3 and Member of the Contra Costa County Democratic Central Committee, that was uploaded on Facebook about our police officers responding to a 72-hour notice for the homeless to leave the area, I am personally grateful for the things they do.  Through their continued actions of upholding their oath to “Serve and Protect”, I am proud to stand with them as they are the ones who we depend on in the event of an emergency.  Defunding the police is a mistake and would lead to total lawlessness.

We do not have the ability to police ourselves, or is that what we want?  In the video the phrase “That is why I want to defund the police” was used.  Do we really want to live in a city where the police are not capable of doing their jobs due a lack of resources or even the ability to perform overtime duties when necessary?  We cannot move forward if the crime rate in our city does not decrease.

We all deserve to feel safe in our homes or even when we are out and about.  Personally, I want my family to feel and be safe at home knowing that there is a police presence in the community.

As a military veteran, I stand with all Armed Forces, to include the Antioch Police Department (APD). As part my military career, I had the honor to “Serve and Protect” downrange in Iraq.  Putting your life on the line for others is the most honorable profession.  I honor what our officers do and continue to do for us.

In closing…thank you APD for everything you do.  Through “Unity and Collaboration” we can be better and will do better.

Respectfully,

Antwon Webster, Sr.

Antioch

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Letters: Antioch School Board candidate offers expertise for campus safety

Wednesday, August 12th, 2020

Dear Editor:

First let me start by saying how proud I am to see the Antioch youth finding their voices, and working to make a difference in this town.  I am also proud of the parents that have been supporting their children’s voices, took the time to listen, and also provide comments to public forms, both for and against SRO’s entering the Antioch Schools.  I am excited to hear how these conversations went between parents, students, and teachers as they discussed what this might mean for our schools going forward.  The students of Antioch asked for security evaluations within their schools, heightened security measures, and while they may not be pleased with the initial outcome of the process, there is some movement within their request.

Youth of Antioch, I know you feel your voices were not heard, but do not let this discourage you from continuing to speak up. The coordination of SRO’s entering your schools is not over, you can still have a say in how this happens.  During the 8/5 meeting Trustee Crystal Sawyer-White requested that safety commissions should be set up as campus organizations, and they should include students. I urge you to push for these safety organizations to be implemented, become part of it, maybe even volunteer to organize such a group at your school.

SRO’s are going to happen, that is a reality. So, let us work to ensure there is a positive outcome from this joint effort between APD and AUSD.  On Aug. 12 the MLU of how these officers will be implemented into the school environment will be discussed, let us have a say in that.  As an Army instructor and security evaluator, I personally would be happy to speak to anyone who would like to discuss their schools campus procedures, I am even willing to offer up my experience and training to assist the AUSD, APD and AUSB for no cost to evaluate campuses, security and emergency procedures, and help to implement how SRO’s can safely work on campuses.   I have worked on joint task forces that trained American Soldiers on how to work in other countries during deployment and helped to arrange training sessions, safety protocols, and Army immersion in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In my civilian career, I have over 10 years’ experience developing and implementing customized training sessions for military and law enforcement agencies here in the United States and in countries have created and assisted in training exhibitions at events such as Urban Shield in Oakland CA, multi-day law enforcement and military training expo and real-world scenario training event, and Shotshow in Las Vegas, Nevada. In my military career, I served on a security planning commission that was in charge of selecting and securing the polling sites in three major cities in Iraq for their first-ever government elections in 2005. I consulted and assisted in the training leading up to and including the security turnover from US forces back to the Iraqi National Guard and Iraqi Police which was placed under the direction of the Ministry of Defence. I managed a Civil-Military Operations Command Center as part of a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Khowst, a province in Afghanistan less than 40 miles from the Pakistan border. With that being said, I know that 40 hours of additional training is in no way enough to make students and parents feel that an officer is qualified to work on campus.

Below are my suggestions for bringing SRO’s to campus without having full exposure to Chief Brookes SRO plans:

  • Ideally, RSO’s should be assigned in pairs. Require all SRO’s to attend, in paired teams, and complete all sensitivity training, diversity training, conflict resolution training, and safety training on all campuses they are assigned to work along with campus staff
  • Require refresher courses annually
  • Officers should not carry a firearm while walking around campus during the school day. There are plenty of other techniques and tools to subdue a student, break up a fight, or conflict management without the fear of a gun. However, the officers should have access to a firearm available that can get to quickly in case it is needed. There should be a discussion on whether officers carry firearms, less than lethal launchers, or a combination of both.
  • Officers should be in street clothes, or a school appointed uniform, not in full APD uniform, and should be completely integrated into the school staff.
  • AUSB mentioned they would like the officers to be role models to students. For this to happen, the hiring practices will be paramount. Offers should be handpicked for the school that they will be working. Officers need to be able to connect with the students at the school they will be serving. If possible, there should be every attempt at finding applicants that either went to the school they would be serving or went to a school that resembles their potential work site in demographics and social/economic at least one officer should be female. Students are more likely to approach a female officer when reporting rape, abuse, bullying, or domestic issues. Also, students should be represented in the final interview process.
  • Create campus safety committees that include at least 3 parents, and are open to students, make it mandatory that officers attend these meetings and address concerns
  • SRO’s are to attend all after school activities (fully armed) and provide security at school-sanctioned events, staying the entire length of the event + 1 hour to help clear any loitering on campus following event conclusion

I would be happy to meet with anyone in our community to further discuss security plans on our campuses, and while I was unable to have a say in the SRO Grant, my goal if elected to the Board for District 1 is that my unique experience will assist in making the SRO program a positive for students, staff, and officers.

Thank you,

George Young III

SSG, Civil Affairs Section NCOIC;

Team Leader; Observer/Controller – Trainer

1005th Civil Affairs & Psychological Operations Training CO, Airborne

1st Training Brigade; Special Operations

georgeyoung4change.com

george.young4change@gmail.com

925.783.5663

2020 Antioch Unified School District District 1 Candidate

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Letters: Antioch Woman’s Club condemns protest at school district offices

Monday, August 10th, 2020

Dear Editor:

The members of the Woman’s Club of Antioch are outraged and extremely disappointed in the behavior and actions of the protesters of the Antioch School Board meeting of August 5th. Banging on walls and windows in an attempt to stop the board meeting is not a peaceful protest and should have been stopped the moment it started. Further protesters that pushed and shoved two women board members, causing minor injuries, should have been charged with assault.

Blocking board members’ departure, requiring them to get police escorts home, is unacceptable behavior.  It causes one to ask, “Who raised these people?” Were you taught to shove your grandmother around or shout and scream to get your way? One of our board members is now over 80 years old and this behavior was a traumatic experience. You should be ashamed. We might conclude this is a result of State school laws changing over these many years prohibiting teachers to take any discipline against unruly students thereby diminishing the level of education for all students in a classroom.

There is no excuse allowing this behavior on the part of the protesters. In fact, we are currently experiencing the most significant movement for equality since the 1960’s and Martin Luther King, Jr’s peaceful marches. Significant as it unifies all peoples under the banner of Black Lives Matter. These unruly protesters threaten the success of this movement by alienating the public and furthering the attempt to divide us again.

It is time for all members of our community to speak out against violence and to speak for equality, reason and civility to bring our nation back together. We do this by VOTING and by denouncing violent behavior. Antioch will not be another Portland as long as good people speak up for our democracy.

The Woman’s Club of Antioch has supported our schools, students and education and our community since our inception in 1902.  118 years later we still support and stand with our elected representatives in the community.

Respectfully,

Angela deVictoria, President              Lynn Confetti-Ledbetter, 1st VP Mount Diablo District

Elizabeth Rimbault, Auditor              Teresa Hernandez-Cain, 1st VP Antioch

Bari Costello, member                        Lanette Clark, 2nd VP Antioch + numerous members

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