Unhoused writer asks what have the Antioch City Council members done for the unhoused

Dear Editor:

This is an open letter to the city of Antioch per #CupOfJoBruno and Delta Peers. Specifically, this is a letter addressing the current city council. It’s close to elections and I’m curious why I should support you. Any of you. So, here’s the thing. I’m a Pittsburg native, and I am a proud Pirate. But Antioch is home to me. I have placed my heart in the waters that rest under the bridge. I have, like many others, marked my territory. I did what a lot of folks do, and I left home to experience life outside of where I was born. I traveled overseas and went to college in another state. But I find myself back here and I’m playing for keeps.

Currently without residency, living in my car, I am working hard to become the best version of myself. And even with the heartache and pain of my situation, I am quite happy with who I’ve become as I decide to watch y’all real close. As an anthropologist and a writer, I am observing you and waiting to write my critique. I see myself running for office as I grow into my purpose in Antioch. I feel I may even run for mayor one day. What’s a city, right? A lot of responsibly y’all. It’s a lot of responsibility.

Why haven’t you taken responsibility? Why haven’t you done anything for the unhoused population until we had a pandemic? The police department needed a good looking at prior to the countless murders of young black folks. Why are so many buildings unused and boarded up? Why have you dismissed your responsibilities and are you going to do anything different this time?

If I have personally spoken to you in passing, I know you know who I am. With all the kind words and motivational speeches, we’ve shared, I question who you are because I haven’t seen many of you act on any of it. As I move forward with establishing Delta Peers, will I see you at the table? I sure hope you hold true to your word because we need better support out here for the community. Y’all have seemed to forgotten your community and we are suffering out here. Y’all can do better, and I pray you start using the resources within the community so we can build better resources for the city.

Delta Peers is coming to the streets. We are bringing our voices and our skills. We are supporting each other and it’s time you support us too. Peer Support and mental health wellness is key moving forward as we rebuild Antioch. Y’all better get on the right side of history and make this city booming like it was when I came and visited when I was a child, in the mid-80s. We can’t ask for surrounding cities to help or join us, we are the wise old woman sitting on her porch with a shot gun, protecting her land. We help the other cities. Guide them. We are the leader here. And it’s about time we rise again.

So, show me why I am supporting you. Show us where our money is going. Show us all how you intend to improve the city that’s been stagnant the entire time you’ve been in office? Please, show us. We’ve been waiting for a long time.

Jo Bruno

Peer Action League Member for California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Organization (CAMHPRO)

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