Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Letter writer: Let’s talk about the City of Antioch’s brand

Monday, June 11th, 2018

Dear Editor:

Let’s talk about the really poor marketing of the marketing campaign to listen to the citizens of Antioch. I love this city, and I am happy to give input as to why Antioch is great, why folks should move here, etc. What I’m not happy about is the embarrassing debacle that surrounds this effort by the company hired to survey residents: evvivabrands.com.

I read about this series of events on Facebook Thursday morning. The first event shown was Friday 10-6 at the Somersville mall. I was surprised to be the first person in a city of over 100,000 people to register for the “listenting session” (the typo is theirs, not mine).

I showed up at 10 am and found no signage, no indication of anything happening in the main courtyard where the session was to take place. After asking around, I was directed to a storefront lined with black curtains where three people were standing around with rolling bags. I asked if they were associated with the brand event, and, hallelujah, they said they were.

I understand why they may have been defensive when I asked why it was so difficult to find them. But if you are a professional listener, I would recommend less arguing and more acknowledgement of the problem. Furthermore, this event that I signed up for was not an all-day meeting or session. They were simply there to pull shoppers in to ask the questions that, I assume, are the same ones on the electronic survey.

Come on, Antioch. If you hire a “professional” company to help with brand for the city, at least make sure that they know what they’re doing.

Jacquelyn Higgins

Antioch

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OPINION: Republicans in California – The perpetual race for second place

Monday, June 4th, 2018

An argument in favor of Travis Allen for Governor

By Brenda Higgins

This commentary originally appeared on OCPolitical.com on June 2, 2018. Republished at the author’s request.

Travis Allen

Polls are not hard to understand.  The science of polling, even with the basic college level understanding of how the math behind it works, is also easily understood to be not just subjective, but fully within the manipulation of the pollster.

It doesn’t take a scientific poll to see and comprehend what has happened in elections in the U.S. and around the world in the past three U.S. election cycles.  People with a real power to vote, have done so. And, they have done so in outright rebellion to those in power who have told them what to do and how to vote.  In spite of the effort of this ruling class of politicians and pollsters and pundits, people have rejected their group-think advisements to vote as they are being told to vote, and they are voting, with a level of enthusiasm and fervor, that we have not seen in our lifetime.

People have, in massive numbers, rejected what they have been told, and voted for candidates that experts said could not win.  My opinion is based upon my own very unscientific polling. I knocked on people’s doors and talked to them about things like health insurance and abortion. I called them on the phone and talked to them about unions and school bonds.  I knocked on their doors to remind them to vote or show up to their caucus. I have done this many thousands of times in the past few election cycles.

They want to talk about things that aren’t in the polls.  In 2014 in Arkansas, people expressed angry reflexive passion to vote for any candidate with an “R” by their name. In 2015 there was fury over more special elections and efforts to create more special taxes to fix things they thought were already paying taxes for.  In Nevada in 2016 they only wanted to talk about Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders and had no interest in hearing anything else.  In 2018, as I talk to people on phones and at their front door, about the down-ticket, they want to talk about Travis Allen.

The politicians and pollsters and pundits, have told people in the past three election cycles that whatever they are feeling or thinking as an individual, sitting in their living room in front of their TV or behind their computer screen, the way that they should think because a lot of people think that way, and this is who you should vote for because all the other people are going to vote that way.  The American public has rejected that instruction out of hand and have become inherently distrustful of the media and of ‘establishment’ politicians.  Funny thing it, the media is now telling them that this has happened because of Donald Trump. The media misses it again. The rebellion is not ‘because’ of Donald Trump. Donald Trump is because of the rebellion.

So, it is in 2018, California.

Here’s a poll.  How many Democrat governors have we had in California since 1959?  That is more than a half century.  Think about that, because in the past three election cycles, Democrats, Republicans, pollsters and media pundits, continue to tell Californians that they can only have a Democrat governor.

In the past 59 years, we have had three Democrat Governors.  Brown, Brown, Davis, and Brown again.  Three. And one, Grey Davis, was kicked out of office by the rulers of California, the California people.  In the same time period, we have had four Republicans, Schwarzenegger, Wilson, Deukmejian, and Reagan.

Reagan’s two terms were after the two terms of Edmund G. Brown. and before two terms of his son, Jerry Brown.  Jerry Brown had ANOTHER two terms, after Schwartzenegger ousted Grey Davis. The last time we had a one term Governor was Culbert Olson in 1938. He was a Democrat. Before Culbert Olson, sequential Republicans held the office for nearly 50 years. You have to look back to 1894 to find another Democrat Governor.  My point is, there is not a long or strong history of support for Democrat Governors in this state, and in the last three election cycles, voters in every other state have rejected Democrat governors by wide margins.  Republicans are Governors in 33 states.  In 32 states, Republicans control BOTH houses of the legislature.  In 2010, Republicans controlled ONLY FOURTEEN STATES.  14, in 2010.

The tide has changed, and California citizens are missing the benefit of conservative ideals.

In the past three election cycles, the pollsters and pundits and party leaders (in both parties actually) are telling the voting public to sit down and be quiet, that there may never be a republican Governor in California again.  In keeping with their pearl clutching and hand wringing, over their polls, and research and infinite wisdom, they have given us, Meg Whitman and Neel Kashkari in the past two races for governor.  There was a bizarre victory lap when Neal Kashkari lost by less than expected in 2014.  These two were barely Republicans, they were wealthy people who spent their own money and the party rejoiced in that.  Kashkari, who had never held public office and supported Obama in 2008, was outspent by something like 10 to 1, so he got more votes per dollar than Meg Whitman.  The party leaders bizarrely counted in a victory and called on Tim Donnelly to step down because (by default), Kashkari was the party ‘standard bearer’.

Now we have another non-Californian, rich guy, and they are asking the voters to do the same. Take one for the team, vote this way because we are telling you that everyone else is going to vote this way, and we need to have a candidate at the “top of the ticket”.

Gone is any language about reclaiming the governor’s mansion at any time in the future, the strategy is simply to get someone bland enough, lack luster enough in policies, and rich enough to pay for some TV commercials, but not to win.

There is no strategy to re-take the governor’s mansion or find and promote a conservative candidate for governor in California.

Donald Trump did not have a path to 270.  There is a scientific poll.  The historic fact however, is that he far exceeded that necessary 270.

In 59 years, a member of the Brown family has held the governor’s office for 24 years, six terms.  There are no more members of the Brown dynasty, but the professionals are telling us that it is time for the Newsom/Pelosi dynasty to be coronated.  There is nothing you can do about it, we have given you this proper second place finisher, please just sit down and let us tell you how to vote.  Ruling, establishment, elitism, but in their tone deafness, they miss, that THIS is precisely what the rebellion has been aimed at.

Remember, this is what they told us about Hillary.  It was her turn.  She had the money, the experience, she was the most “qualified” and that Donald Trump was a joke. The coronation of the next ruling member of the Clinton dynasty had arrived.  Sit down Peasants.   The pollsters always leave out one thing.

The ruling class are not rulers, and the people are still in charge, and their not buying this.

Cox is a big government advocate still. No matter what he tries to do to distance himself from his own ideas. His only voting record, is his vote for Pro-Choice, Open Borders, Libertarian, Gary Johnson.  Cox has never won a race.  That makes him a perfect choice for the second place strategy.

Travis Allen has never lost a race and was never expected to be in office.  The pollsters, pundits and ruling class have counted him out, and told him to sit down and wait his turn for the entirety of his political career.

Historically, it is time for the Governor’s Mansion to be turned back to the Republicans.  Someone needs to tell the leadership of the Republican party, they don’t know it yet.   There is no justification for rolling over and paying dead with a second-place candidate.  Californians, just like Americans across the country in the past three elections, have risen up to remind you, who is in charge, and they seem to be pretty tired of Second Place.

Higgins practiced family law for 17 years prior to becoming a pro-life activist. She is currently the Executive Director of Stanton Healthcare SoCal, a non-profit medical center for women who’s mission is to replace Planned Parenthood with life affirming medical care. She writes for both OCPolitical and The127Activist.

Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Herald, or it’s publisher and editor.

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Congressional candidate responds to accusations of anti-Semitism

Saturday, June 2nd, 2018

John Fitzgerald

Editor:

I find it interesting that simply pointing out the fact that Jews played a predominant role in the African Slave Trade https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7VkQSb7JlI&feature=youtu.be along with questioning Israel and challenging their control over U.S. foreign-policy, consequently gets me labeled an anti-Semite and NAZI by Former Republican Chairman, Ron Nehring. I will bet that he has NEVER taken the time to read the numerous and informative links I have provided on my website that substantiate my claims. Does Mr. Nehring find it interesting that the ONLY historical issue that lands people in prison– in eighteen countries and counting– is the holocaust? This is a fact! Why is this and why do so many people get imprisoned under Orwellian Hate-Speech laws, simply for challenging any aspect of it outside the “official narrative?” Please read:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/05/08/nazi-grandma-ursula-haverbeck-who-denies-holocaust-taken-jail/589613002/

Also, watch this video of Monika Schaefer, who is also serving time in prison for apologizing to her mom’s spirit in a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0_BZphQ7Qo. Isn’t debate good to rule out falsehoods, etc. and to glean fact? So why is the holocaust off-limits but no other issue? Also, why did South Carolina recently pass a similar Hate-Speech law strictly focusing on Israel and anti-Semitism in public schools and college campuses. Please read: https://www.reuters.com/…/south-carolina-passes-bill-to-fig….

Now Tennessee is soon doing the same and a federal law was just introduced last week in Congess to cover all 50 states for a similar anti-Semitism bill: https://www.thefire.org/new-federal-anti-semitism-act-same…/. I find this remarkable and, even moreso, troubling! No matter the issue, taboo or not, why is our 1st amendment (free-speech) being eroded and only for questioning Israel and/or Jewish interests and no other country or people? We supposedly live in a free and civilized society, yet how free are we if we cannot express contrary opinions without fear of being deemed afoul of the law? Also, isn’t this a slippery slope that may lead to more draconian laws and/or measures in the future? After all, shouldn’t one’s opinion– no matter how offensive it may be to some– along with what’s deemed “truth” stand on its own merit when scrutinized? I think so.

I challenge people to go to my website and find any information that I post that is incorrect or anti-Semitic. I research every issue extensively and take what I claim very seriously and I hope you will do the same. I am not an anti-Semite by any means, but only a person of strong values, morals and character who has the courage to challenge controversial and, what many people perceive to be “taboo” subjects that a certain sect of society try to suppress and/or, subsequently, deem off-limits. Thank you and please remember to vote June 5th. Here is my website:   http://johnfitzgeraldforcongress.com/

John Fitzgerald

Candidate for Congress, CA District 11

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Letter writer: Let’s talk about the City of Antioch’s brand

Friday, June 1st, 2018

Dear Editor:

Let’s talk about the really poor marketing of the marketing campaign to listen to the citizens of Antioch. I love this city, and I am happy to give input as to why Antioch is great, why folks should move here, etc. What I’m not happy about is the embarrassing debacle that surrounds this effort by the company hired to survey residents: evvivabrands.com.

I read about this series of events on Facebook Thursday morning. The first event shown was Friday 10-6 at the Somersville mall. I was surprised to be the first person in a city of over 100,000 people to register for the “listenting session” (the typo is theirs, not mine).

I showed up at 10 am and found no signage, no indication of anything happening in the main courtyard where the session was to take place. After asking around, I was directed to a storefront lined with black curtains where three people were standing around with rolling bags. I asked if they were associated with the brand event, and, hallelujah, they said they were.

I understand why they may have been defensive when I asked why it was so difficult to find them. But if you are a professional listener, I would recommend less arguing and more acknowledgement of the problem. Furthermore, this event that I signed up for was not an all-day meeting or session. They were simply there to pull shoppers in to ask the questions that, I assume, are the same ones on the electronic survey.

Come on, Antioch. If you hire a “professional” company to help with the brand for the city, at least make sure that they know what they’re doing.

Jacquelyn Higgins

Antioch resident

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Editorial: Graves is the clear choice for Contra Costa District Attorney

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

Paul Graves

By Allen Payton, Publisher & Editor

In the race for District Attorney there is one candidate who has the experience to be the top prosecutor we need in Contra Costa County. That’s Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Graves.

Unlike his current boss, Interim D.A. Diana Becton, who was appointed on a 3-2 vote of the Board of Supervisors, last year, Graves has 22 years of experience prosecuting crime in our county. She has never prosecuted a single case. Yes, Becton served for 30 years as a judge, but that’s not the same thing.

Also, Graves was the first candidate to declare and was willing to run against his former boss, Mark Peterson, who had not yet resigned following a controversy regarding lack of disclosure of loans to himself from his campaign funds.

Becton only entered the appointment process after Peterson’s resignation, which doesn’t show me a serious interest or commitment to the position.

Although accused of being part of the problem, Graves was not part of Peterson’s inner circle. He’s running to restore integrity to the office. Becton on the other hand, admitted to plagiarizing large portions of her application for the position. Yet, three supervisors still voted to appoint her.

The third candidate in the race, businessman and attorney Lawrence Strauss, is opposed to the death penalty – even for cop killers. That to me is an immediate disqualification. If you’re going to be the top prosecutor in the county, you need to be willing to follow and enforce all laws in our state, whether you agree with them or not.

Another thing to look at is who is backing the candidates. Graves has the support of all the Deputy District Attorneys, as well as all of the police officer associations, in the county. Those who enforce the law know Graves is the one candidate who will do the same.

Becton’s backers include the ultraliberal, former San Francisco D.A. and now U.S. Senator Kamala Harris and worse, the soft-on-crime billionaire George Soros. Why are they interfering in our county’s law enforcement? Do we really want to model our D.A.’s office after San Francisco’s? Of course not.

Worst of all, Becton is missing too many days from the office for a job that pays her more than $250,000 per year.

We need a prosecutor who will restore leadership and integrity to the Contra Costa D.A.’s office. Voting for Paul Graves will accomplish that.

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OPINION: Latest vile anti-Semite running for Congress is from Contra Costa County

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

By Ron Nehring

Originally published on Flash Report. Republished with permission

It’s happened before: Some vile racist or anti-Semite runs for an office they have no chance of winning in the hopes of drawing attention to themselves, or their cause. This is exactly what happened earlier this year when Holocaust denier Arthur Jones ran for Congress as a Republican in the heavily Democratic 3rd Congressional District of Illinois. He has been denounced by the Republican Party but will still appear on the November ballot as a result of winning the uncontested GOP primary in the district.

Well, now we have another one of these guys. This time it’s here in California. Today’s vile anti-Semite is John Fitzgerald, who is running for Congress in the heavily Democratic 11th Congressional District in Contra Costa County. The district, in which Hillary Clinton won 71.% of the vote in 2016, is currently represented by Democrat Mark DeSaulnier.

John Fitzgerald is using is campaign website to peddle anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and falsehoods. Image source: Facebook. Below are Screen shots from John Fitzgerald’s campaign website, taken May 26, 2018 at 3:24 PM PT. 

Fitzgerald has zero chance of winning this seat, yet he currently has the official endorsement of the California Republican Party by virtue of being the only Republican running for the office. Under rules adopted by the party following the passage of California’s deeply flawed top-two primary system, the party endorsement goes to any Republican running for state legislature or Congress when they are the only party member running. The Board of Directors may take an affirmative step to reverse the endorsement, which of course should happen immediately.

In a post on his campaign website that went up on May 23rd, Fitzgerald peddles numerous anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. He asserts as “truth” that Jews “played a prominent role in the African slave trade,” linking to an article that further peddles this conspiracy theory. He goes on at length peddling numerous other anti-Semitic claims and theories. I won’t link to his website or post because I have no interest in driving up his search results, but you can Google this guy yourself.

So, what should be done about this?

First and foremost, absolutely no one should vote for this guy. Unfortunately, the state party website lists Fitzgerald as the endorsed party candidate, and since many Republicans rely on the site for guidance when voting, combined with his being the only Republican candidate, he will get an unfortunate number of votes. But certainly all that should come to a screeching halt now.

Second, the state party Board of Directors, which is entirely composed of good people I know personally, needs to reverse Fitzgerald’s default endorsement.

And third, Republicans should speak out against Fitzgerald and candidacy for his blatant anti-Semitism. Let’s not wait and see if this gets traction and only then condemn this vile individual who has soiled the good name of our party – we should affirmatively reject both his candidacy and his ideas because they offend our principles.

The Republican Party was founded on the most noble of causes – the abolition of slavery. Just over 100 years later, people of both parties came together in support of the civil rights movement and the abolition of segregation. Racism and anti-Semitism have no place in our country, and good people of both parties have the responsibility to condemn it regardless of the source.

Editor’s Note: The 11th Congressional District includes portions of Antioch.

Nehring is the former Chairman of the California Republican Party.

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Letters: Former Antioch Mayor and School Board Member Rocha wants reconsideration of approval for East Bay Tech charter academies

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

Dear Editor:

At the Antioch Unified School Board of Education meeting held on May 9th, against the advice of staff and legal counsel, AUSD Board Members Crystal Sawyer-White, Debra Vinson, and Walter Ruehlig voted to approve East Bay Tech High School Charter (EBTHS) and East Bay Tech Middle School Charter (EBTMS) with the following conditions: “Delegate the Superintendent to negotiate the MOU that addresses the Findings of Facts included in Resolution No. 2017-18-9, including the revised budget, SPED and operations, by June 18th”.  Despite legal counsel concerns and Board Member Gibson-Gray pointing out that there was nothing in the motion to deny the charter if they did not meet the conditions the approval still stands. The motion was passed 3-2, with Hack and Gibson-Gray voting against it.

The EBTHS and EBTMS Charters are based on the Clayton Valley Charter High School (CVCHS) which has recently made headlines, “Contra Costa County Office of Education To Conduct Forensic Financial Audit of Clayton Charter High School After Sudden Departure of Administrators” (Claycord May 17, 2018).

One of the lead petitioners, Meagan Moilanen, is currently on staff of CVCHS and during the May 9th meeting spoke glowingly about the successes at CVCHS and they would be bringing that success model to the Antioch Charters.  This is very concerning and until the investigation is completed, Antioch Unified School District needs to put a stop to both charters.

Unfortunately, only AUSD Board Members who voted to approve the charters may request that the item be brought back to the board for discussion or a revote. For the sake of our students and community, I feel that action needs to be taken quickly.

Please contact the AUSD Board Members below to encourage them to reconsider their vote while the Contra Costa County Office of Education conducts a Forensic Financial Audit of CVCHS and the actions of their Administrators and Board Members.

crystalsawyerwhite@antioch.k12.ca.us
debravinson@gmail.com
walter.ruehlig@gmail.com

Thank you.

Mary Helen Rocha

Past AUSD Trustee, Antioch Mayor and City Council Member

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Payton Perspective: No growth initiative backers being dishonest, for the sake of Antioch’s future please don’t sign

Monday, April 16th, 2018

Sand Creek Focus Area proposed approved and proposed developments

By Allen Payton

The leaders behind the initiative to stop the new home developments on the west side of Deer Valley Road in the Sand Creek Focus Area, and their supporters are not being honest with Antioch residents in their efforts to obtain signatures to get it on the ballot. They’re claiming the city wants to build 4,000-8,000 homes in the area and that they will be able to stop them with the initiative.

Post on the initiative’s Facebook page.

It’s Not 8,000 Homes

The fact is the City’s General Plan only allows a total of 4,000 homes in the Sand Creek area, and so far, 1,178 have already been approved and another 300 are planned on the east side of Deer Valley Road. The initiative only covers the west side of Deer Valley Road. So, the most they can do is to stop 2,522 homes, if it passes. Currently there are only about 1,700 homes planned by two of the land owners, both of whom are developers.

What the public may not be aware of is the area has been planned for new home subdivisions for over 20 years, as a result the land is privately owned by developers, and there have already been two votes by the public to allow for homes in that area. First, the public voted in 1990 for and passed Measure C, the countywide Urban Limit Line, which protects approximately 65% of the land in the county from subdivision development. Then in 2005, the people of Antioch voted to approve Measure K, creating our city’s own Urban Limit Line, moving the line back out to include the now defunct Roddy Ranch development and golf course. The land in the Sand Creek area is both inside the county’s and Antioch’s ULL’s inside the 35% of land allowed for subdivision development.

In fact, there were originally 8,950 homes planned for the Sand Creek area, plus the 640 for a total of 9,490 homes south of the current homes. So, the total number of new homes allowed in the area has already been reduced significantly.

Infrastructure Supports the Growth

Another claim is that the city’s infrastructure and Highway 4 won’t support the new homes. That’s just false. I pointed out in my previous article about the initiative from those who planned and approved the infrastructure and Highway 4 widening, that they included in their plans 12,000 homes in the Sand Creek area.

The fact is Dallas Ranch Road was built four lanes wide because of the plans to eventually connect to and become Sand Creek Road, which will cross Deer Valley Road giving another access from the homes in south Antioch to the Kaiser medical center. The road will also continue to connect to Highway 4 in Brentwood. The new homes in The Ranch project, which the initiative seeks to stop, will pay for the road up to Deer Valley Road. Actually, the developers will pay for the costs of construction of the road and get reimbursed from the sale of their new homes. Another fact, the Kaiser medical center was built out there with the expectation of the new growth, and only half of the ultimate size.

The New Homes Won’t Kill People

But, the initiative advocates use of doubling the amount of homes that are allowed isn’t the only dishonest argument being made to support the initiative, yet. Now, one of their signature gatherers is actually saying that the new homes will kill people. That’s what he told me directly. His argument is because people will have to drive farther from the Sand Creek area to their jobs and other places. He only wants infill and high-density development of new homes. So, he is still for more homes in Antioch which will still allow people to drive to their out-of-town jobs and will still blow smoke out of their tailpipes. But, their commute will be a few miles shorter, which I guess won’t kill people. Hmmm.

One older gentlemen, who was signing the petition the other day, said the new homes should be built in Stockton. Really? So, let the people move further out and drive farther to their jobs, blowing more smoke out of their tailpipes, longer? How is that protecting the environment and keeping the new homes from killing people? As if they did. That just doesn’t make any sense. I wonder if he would have said the same thing when the home he’s living in was being built.

All Part of a Master Plan

It’s all been part of the master plan for Antioch. There’s been a method to what the out of town environmental groups and no-growthers in Antioch see as madness.

Growth in Antioch is Planned, Balanced & Limited

Growth must be planned, balanced, and limited and Antioch has all of that with the General Plan, the Urban Limit Line and a 200-acre employment area set aside 20 years ago. Plus, it will take as much as 20 years for all the homes in the Sand Creek area to be built. Some of the homes approved in Antioch before 1989 are just now about to be built, today. It takes that long for the infrastructure to be built and paid for. Plus, the housing market goes in cycles. So, just because the homes may get approved now, doesn’t mean they’re all going to be built right away.

Most of the property owners/developers in the Sand Creek area have been waiting for the past 20 years for Highway 4 to be widened and BART to be extended to Antioch, before moving forward with their plans. Some have owned their property for almost 30 years, waiting for the right time.

Local Job Creation

What the one young man who said the new homes will kill people doesn’t accept is the argument that those homes will attract business owners and executives who will bring their businesses to Antioch and Brentwood. They can locate them in the long-planned 200-acre employment area, formerly known as Future Urban Area 2 (FUA-2) along Highway 4, north of Slatten Ranch Road, as well as in Brentwood between Lone Tree Way and Sand Creek Road. That area in Brentwood is just now getting the zoning finalized and it will be mostly for commercial, which includes retail and employment. The young man’s views are in spite of the fact history has shown it to occur, over and over. For example, the upscale homes in Blackhawk and the San Ramon Valley attracted business owners and executives to locate their companies in Bishop Ranch in San Ramon. The same thing happened in the Tri Valley area, with the new homes in Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin attracting employers to the Hacienda Business Park in Pleasanton. The same happened in Walnut Creek and Concord and it can and will happen, here, especially now that the BART station will soon open in Antioch. But, only if we allow it. Signing the initiative and passing it will prevent our chances of becoming a complete, self-supportive city and kill the efforts to bring jobs closer to where our people live.

Lot Sizes As Large As 2 Acres

I also heard another argument from a friend who opposes The Ranch project, because she expected the lots to be half-acre in size, not the sizes proposed of 5,000-9,000 square feet on average. Yet, the homes in Blackhawk aren’t all on half-acre lots. Many are on 5,000 square foot lots. I frankly was surprised to learn that, recently myself. Plus, the Zeka Ranch project, on the old Higgins Ranch property, on the west side of The Ranch project, includes home lots from 8,000 square feet up to 2 acres in size. So, there will be that option for those who want and can afford that size of lot.

Parks & Police Fees

Two more positives from the development are the park fee all the new homes will pay, which will help to complete the 115-acre Prewett Park, finishing the unimproved area between Deer Valley Road and the parking lot. The homes will also be assessed an annual police fee – the first one in the city’s history – to help provide additional police services.

It Is To Stop The New Homes

Some initiative supporters say it’s not no-growth or to stop the homes from being built, but that it’s just allowing the people to have a vote. But, they know the reality is, the voters will oppose any new subdivision brought up for a vote. Besides, why do we elect city council members who are empowered to represent us and make those decisions on our behalf if we’re just going to put each individual development project on the ballot?

At a time the state and Bay Area are facing a housing shortage, efforts to stop long-planned homes in voter approved areas for new home subdivisions is irresponsible, contributing to the high-cost of housing, as well as homelessness.

There’s a saying that the new home for the pinks and reds, the socialists and communists, is the greens. It’s acceptable to be an environmentalist, but not a communist. Although, these days, without truly understanding the implications of the philosophy, many think it’s acceptable to be a socialist.

The environmental leaders behind the initiative and some of their supporters are basically wanting us to be like a communist country with all future generations living in high-density apartment and condominium complexes. What’s the difference between their thinking and that of the central planning of the soviets and the results they, North Korea and Cuba have produced for their people?

Not everyone wants to live in that type of housing.

The initiative supporters’ map of the projects already approved, proposed on the east side of Deer Valley Road, and The Ranch and Zeka Ranch projects they’re working to stop. This map doesn’t show the Sand Creek Road crossing the area and connecting to the end of Dallas Ranch Road, and future extensions of Hillcrest Avenue and Heidorn Ranch Road.

Why Do I Care So Much?

People wonder why I care about approving the new growth area so much. It’s for two reasons, the first one is for the benefit of Antioch and the second one is a bit self-serving.

First, I want to see Antioch succeed as a city with the needed, local, well-paying jobs, city services and a safe community.

I grew up part of my life and graduated from high school in Walnut Creek. I’ve seen the positive side of the upscale housing and local job centers that came to both Walnut Creek and Concord, as well as the San Ramon Valley, as a result. In fact, I worked for a small developer that built the first $300,000 home subdivision in Concord. Antioch needs to have what those and other cities, like our neighbor Brentwood, as well as those in the San Ramon Valley have – namely upscale homes, and in gated and senior communities, on larger lots and view lots, which will attract jobs and money to our city. No, the jobs haven’t yet come to Brentwood. But, they will with the extension of BART to Antioch, and the zoning of the land along Highway 4.

Business owners and executives want to live close to their businesses, in nice, larger homes and usually on larger lots. The long-planned Sand Creek area accommodates those desires, especially the proposed homes west of Deer Valley Road.

Plus, seniors don’t impact commute or school traffic, and they stay in town during the day, shopping at our stores and eating at our restaurants, helping them be successful, and generating more sales tax revenue, which pays for more city services, with police being number one for our public safety.

Second – and this is the self-serving reason –  I and others I’ve spoken with, would like to continue to live in Antioch as we get older, and preferably in a nice, senior community, and not have to move to Brentwood, Rio Vista or elsewhere to accomplish that. The Ranch project includes an “active adult” community in their plans and will help provide that type of housing for our own, aging population, and maybe even me, by the time it’s built.

Let’s Have All Types of Housing

I do support other types of housing, including Transit Oriented Development (TOD) which makes sense and is one of the businesses I’m in. But, again we as Americans want choices and options, and that goes for housing, as well. Many of us also want space between ourselves and the next resident if we can afford it. So, let’s approve all types of housing. The council just approved the first TOD project, near the Antioch BART Station which is great. But, what we don’t have in our housing mix right now is the upscale, gated and senior housing. That’s what the Sand Creek area provides.

Honesty and Information

Here’s the bottom line. If the people want to put an initiative on the ballot to vote to stop more homes from being built, that’s their right. But, the leaders and supporters need to be honest in what they’re telling people to get them to sign their petitions. Plus, the voters of Antioch need to be fully informed before merely signing or worse, voting for, something that sounds alarming, but in fact really isn’t. My encouragement is that you don’t sign the petition, recognize that now is the time to move forward with these long-held plans, and support the efforts to help Antioch become the complete, successful city it can be.

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