Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Antioch to celebrate its Sesquicentennial, the 150th anniversary of cityhood all year

Saturday, January 22nd, 2022

Celebrating Contra Costa County’s Original City!

Incorporation Day anniversary will be first event on February 6th

See list of thplanned events during this year’s celebration

By Allen D. Payton

On February 6, 1872, the City of Antioch was incorporated “for the purposes of police and other matters”, becoming the first city in Contra Costa County. This year marks the 150th anniversary or what is known as the sesquicentennial of that event and the City, with the leadership of Celebrate Antioch Foundation, will be hosting events throughout the community this year.

While the City is providing most of the funding, more funds are needed to help pay for all the events. Please make a tax-deductible donation on their website, today and enjoy celebrating Antioch’s rich history as Contra Costa’s Original City and fun, family-friendly events all year.

Antioch Sesquicentennial Events

Following is the list of all the official Antioch Sesquicentennial events planned in the city, this year:

Antioch’s Incorporation Day

February 6th, 2022 1 pm – 4 pm

F Street & W. 2nd Street

We are coming together to acknowledge Antioch’s incorporation date, Contra Costa County’s original city and one of the oldest cities in California, at the Birthplace of Antioch monument at the foot of F Street. A proclamation will be read and a rededication held, followed by a light snack and drinks at the Antioch Senior Center.

Historical Society Kickoff Event

April 2nd, 2022 12:00 pm

Antioch Historical Museum

El Campanil Theatre Sesquicentennial Concert

April 16th, 2022 2:00 pm

El Campanil Theatre

Keep Antioch Beautiful Day/Earth Day

April 23rd, 2022

Rivertown Art & Wine Walk

May 7th, 2022 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Antioch’s Historic Downtown Rivertown

History Walk Event

May 14th, 2022

Antioch’s Historic Downtown Rivertown

Black Diamond Day

May 28th, 2022

Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

Antioch Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament

June 3rd, 2022 Times TBA

Lone Tree Golf & Event Center

Free Day at Antioch Water Park

June 4th, 2022 Open-Close

Antioch Water Park

Movie Night at Antioch Water Park

June 16th, 2022 Dusk

Antioch Community Center at Prewett Family Park

Juneteenth Celebration

June 19th, 2022 Times TBA

Waldie Plaza, Antioch’s Historic Downtown Rivertown

Father’s Day Car Show

June 19th, 2022

Antioch’s Historic Downtown Rivertown

Movie Night at Antioch Water Park

June 23rd, 2022 Dusk

Antioch Community Center at Prewett Family Park

Sesquicentennial 5K Run

June 25th, 2022 7:00 am – finish

Trail off James Donlon Blvd.

Sesquicentennial Bicycle Race

June 26th, 2022 7:00 am – finish

Antioch’s Historic Downtown Rivertown

Movie Night at Antioch Water Park

June 30th, 2022 Dusk

Antioch Community Center at Prewett Family Park

Sesquicentennial Music in The Park

July 2nd, 2022 Time TBA

Williamson Ranch Park

Sesquicentennial 4th of July Celebration & Parade

July 4th, 2022 Morning-Night

Antioch’s Historic Downtown Rivertown

Hot August Cruise Night and Movie at El Campanil Theatre

August 27th, 2022 Times TBA

Antioch’s Historic Downtown Rivertown

Rivertown Peddlers Faire

September 10th, 2022 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Antioch’s Historic Downtown Rivertown

Fall Fest / BBQ Cook-Off

October 1st, 2022 6:00 am – 5:00 pm

Antioch’s Historic Downtown Rivertown

Halloween Kids Fest / Trick or Treating

October 29th, 2022 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Antioch’s Historic Downtown Rivertown

Veteran’s Day Parade

November 11th, 2022 Times TBA

Antioch’s Historic Downtown Rivertown

Holiday Delites Celebration

December 3rd, 2022 Times TBA

Antioch’s Historic Downtown Rivertown

Please see the Antioch Sesquicentennial page of this website for more details on each event which will be added as they are provided.

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Contra Costa Supervisors honor Humanitarians of the Year during 44th annual MLK Celebration

Wednesday, January 19th, 2022

Contra Costa County 2022 Humanitarians of the Year Gigi Crowder and Kaia Morgan speak during the annual MLK celebration on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. Video screenshots.

During Contra Costa County’s virtual, community 44th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration and Humanitarian Awards, on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, Humanitarians of the Year, Gigi Crowder and Kaia Morgan were honored. The theme of this year’s celebration was “One People, One Nation, One Dream.” (See video) (See related article)

The event featured keynote speaker, former San Ramon Mayor H. Abram Wilson, who was the City of San Ramon’s first elected African American mayor. This year’s program also featured special guest California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, a Richmond resident.

Entertainment was provided by Grown Women Dance Collective and Contra Costa School of Performing Arts with a Spoken Word performance by Samara Desmond, Seon Lettsome and Anthony Josa of “The Artist Dreams”, written by Desmond.

2022 MLK Adult Humanitarian Gigi Crowder

Congratulations to our 2022 Contra Costa County Humanitarian, Gigi Crowder, an Antioch resident. Crowder is the mother of two biological children, 30 years old twin sons, and has served as a foster mom and mentor to many more through divine interventions. Crowder served for over nine years as the Ethnic Services Manager for Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services and has worked in the Behavioral Health Care field for more than 32 years, after completing her studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

As a family member of several loved ones who have received private and public mental health services, she strongly advocates promoting culturally responsive behavioral health services for all peers and family members. She is unapologetic about addressing the needs of African Americans. Crowder became the Executive Director for NAMI Contra Costa in 2018. She is also the FaithNet Coordinator and has advanced efforts statewide to reduce mental health stigma by training Faith Leaders using the Mental Health Friendly Communities training curriculum she co-designed.

Her current focus is addressing the needs of those living with mental illness who are often criminalized for living with a medical condition. Highlights of her career include being inducted into the Alameda County Women Hall of Fame; developing programs to enhance employment opportunities for individuals with psychiatric challenges; and receiving the 2013 MHAAC Mental Health Achievement Award. She also received the 2016 Multi-Cultural Outreach Award from NAMI California and the 2020 “Making a Difference Award” from the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County. Crowder is also credited for positioning NAMI Contra Costa to win the NAMI 2021 Multicultural Outreach Award.

Crowder is being recognized for her impact and work to improve the mental health and wellbeing of Contra Costa residents.

2022 MLK Student Humanitarian Kaia Morgan

Congratulations to our 2022 Contra Costa County Student Humanitarian Kaia Morgan of Pittsburg, a senior at Ygnacio Valley High School. After gaining awareness of them online, Morgan became interested in confronting social issues and quickly became passionate about addressing injustices against minorities.

In February of 2020, Morgan was inspired by a class lesson on the harm of Native mascots to use her voice to speak out against racism on a more local level, starting with the Native mascot at her high school. She started the Change the Mascot Committee at Ygnacio Valley High School that month, and as of December 2021, their mascot is now the Wolves.

She made a change.org petition and got that circulating widely in her community. Morgan spoke to the school board and she helped to organizer her peers and met with me regularly to strategize. Morgan’s efforts and those of the students and teachers she inspired along the way resulted in a new measure, passed at the School Board level, where not only did her own school’s mascot and racist imagery get the approval for the change, but a district-wide approval was granted wherein all racist and disturbing imagery and mascots throughout the entire district will now be removed and replaced with those which truly honor our students and their heritages by no longer using the oppressed as mascots or their oppressors as mascots or inspirations.

Morgan is being honored for demonstrating the determination, perseverance, and strength to create change in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She lives with her parents and two siblings. Morgan plans to attend college in the fall and study psychology.

Past Recipients of the Humanitarian of the Year Award

2021—Velma Wilson, 2020—Tamisha Torres-Walker, 2019—Reverend Donnell R. Jones, 2018—Phil Arnold, 2017—James Noe, 2016—Terri Porter, 2015—Bishop Edwina Perez-Santiago, 2014—Sister Ann Weltz, 2013—Doug Stewart, 2012—Lorrine Sain, 2011—Laura Johnson

Past Recipients of the Student Humanitarian of the Year Award

2021— Kimyatta Newby, 2020—Christina Mazzi, 2019—Yassna Ahmadi, 2018—Sienna Camille Terry, 2017—Paige Godvin, 2016—Davis Bullock, 2015—Tyler Page, 2014—Anand Kannappan, 2013—Casey Leonard, 2012—Andrew Gonzales, 2011—Mario Alvarado

Grown Women Dance Collective performs during Contra Costa County’s virtual MLK celebration on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. Video screenshot

About Grown Women Dance Collective

Grown Women Dance Collective, established in 2009, creates cross-cultural, intergenerational, and cross-class connections by encouraging dialogue, empowering thought and action, and building cross-racial alliances through concert dance and wellness programs. The group is comprised of retired dancers from world renowned companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Cleo Parker Robinson, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. The performances challenge stereotypes and create artistic work that is relevant, accessible, and inspiring to diverse and under-resourced audiences.

About Contra Costa School of Performing Arts

The Contra Costa School of Performing Arts mission provides for an outstanding, pre-professional experience in performing arts within a college and career preparatory setting. The school believes in fostering a culture of excellence with the core values of rigor, relevance, resilience, and relationships.

About The Honorable H. Abram Wilson

Former San Ramon Mayor Abram Wilson speaks during the virtual MLK celebration on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. Video screenshot

Abram Wilson is married to Dr. Karen B. Wilson. They have been residents of the City of San Ramon for over thirty years. The Wilsons’ have two children, Natasha A. Wilson-Cruz, Esq., and P. Nathan Wilson, and are blessed with three grandchildren.

Wilson was instrumental in setting forth a framework to develop a disaster preparedness plan for the City of San Ramon and businesses, schools, and cities in the Tri-Valley and San Ramon Valley areas. Wilson is the 2005 recipient of the National Music Educator Association, State Legislator of the Year award for his support of music education.

Wilson is a member of the Board for the Sentinels of Freedom Organization that has helped provide services to men and women who have been disabled in Iraq with housing, employment, and transportation. Wilson is a veteran of the U.S. Army.

Wilson worked as a federal funds trader at Wells Fargo when he returned to civilian life. He was elected to the San Ramon City Council in November 1999, appointed mayor in 2002, and became the City of San Ramon’s first elected and first African American mayor in 2003. He was re-elected in 2005. Wilson was the 2005 recipient of the National Music Educator Association, State Legislator of the Year award “for his support of music education in the schools.”

Wilson is a 2007 honoree from the California Congress of Parents, Teachers, and Students for his outstanding service to children and youth. His contribution to the Honorary Service Award Program Fund provides scholarships for students and individuals to further their education.

He also received a Certificate of Support from the East Bay Leadership Foundation for “Making a difference in the lives of Bay Area Students.”

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond speaks during the Contra Costa County virtual MLK celebration on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. Video screenshot.

About The Honorable Tony Thurmond

Tony Thurmond was sworn in as the 28th California State Superintendent of Public Instruction on January 7, 2019.

Superintendent Thurmond is an educator, social worker, and public school parent who has served the people of California for more than ten years in elected office. Previously, he served on the Richmond City Council, West Contra Costa Unified School Board, and in the California State Assembly representing District 15.

Like many of California’s public school students, Superintendent Thurmond came from humble beginnings. His mother was an immigrant from Panama who came to San Jose, California, to be a teacher. His father was a soldier who didn’t return to his family after the Vietnam War. Thurmond met his father for the first time when he was an adult. After his mother died when he was six, Thurmond and his brother were raised by a cousin who they had never met.

Superintendent Thurmond’s family relied on public assistance programs and great public schools to get out of poverty, and public school education allowed him to attend Temple University, where he became student body president. He went on to earn dual master’s degrees in Law and Social Policy and Social Work (MSW) from Bryn Mawr College and began a career dedicated to service.

Much of Superintendent Thurmond’s social service work has focused on improving the services provided to foster youth and directing programs that provide job training to at-risk youth. He also led programs to provide help for individuals with developmental disabilities. He has 12 years of direct experience in education, teaching life skills classes, after-school programs, and career training.

Over the course of Thurmond’s tenure since being sworn in as State Superintendent, he has championed and created many historic initiatives on behalf of California’s students.

Superintendent Thurmond lives in Richmond with his two daughters, who attend local public schools. They are his inspiration and a constant reminder about the promise of our neighborhood schools and the strong future that every child deserves.

2022 Committee Members

This year’s celebration committee members were Antoine Wilson, Chair; Andi Bivens, Manny Bowlby, Lissette Davis, Jennifer S. Hopkins, Gayle Israel, T’ni Jackson, James Lyons, Vincent Manuel, Savitha Sivakumar, Susan Shiu, Chris Verdugo, Derrick West, Chris Wikler, Shannon Winston and Traci Young.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Volunteer today for Antioch’s annual MLK Day of Service Monday, Jan. 17

Friday, January 14th, 2022

Register to help beautify city parks during “A day on, not a day off”

Every third Monday in January of each year is observed as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities!

On January 17, 2022, join the Antioch community in restoring, beautifying, and cleaning up our parks, including Antioch Community, Gentrytown Park, Prewett Family Park, and Waldie Plaza!

Registration required at activenet.active.com/antiochrecreation.

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Antioch MLK event postponed due to COVID-omicron surge

Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

Due to the current Omicron surge, the Dr. King Celebration event scheduled to be held at Deer Valley High School’s Theater on Monday has been postponed.  Student submissions for the contest are being scored and winners will be announced next week.

It is our hope to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King during Black History Month.  More information will be shared once finalized.

Thank you for your flexibility and understanding.  The health and safety of our students, staff, volunteers, and guests are always our priority.

Velma Wilson, Event Organizer

 

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APAPA donates $10,000 to Antioch Chinese History Museum and Planning Project

Saturday, January 8th, 2022

Antioch Historical Society president Dwayne Eubanks (second from left) and Hans Ho (left) are presented with a large check replica from leaders of the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs during a special presentation on Dec. 14, 2021. Photo: APAPA

SACRAMENTO – To fulfill their commitment made in June, the founders of the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs (APAPA), C.C. and Regina Yin, presented a donation of $10,000 for the Antioch Chinese History Museum and Planning Project in December. The Yin’s commitment was made during the signing ceremony of the Antioch City Council’s resolution apologizing for the city’s residents for their racism against Chinese immigrants in the late 1800’s. (See related article)

Other APAPA leaders, Henry Yin, Chair of the APAPA Bay Area Region, Marsha Golangco, Chair of the APAPA Tri-Valley Chapter, Joe Johal, National Board Member, and APAPA National Executive Director Henry Chang joined the Yin family at the APAPA National Headquarters in Sacramento on December 14, 2021, to present the donation to Antioch community leaders and elected officials.

Dwayne Eubanks, president of the Antioch Historical Museum and Hansel Ho, representing Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe also presented a certificate of appreciation to APAPA. The $10,000 donation will be used to establish a Chinese historical exhibit at the museum in Antioch.

Earlier in the year, the Antioch City Council issued a formal apology to all early Chinese immigrants and their early descendants hoping to rectify the lingering consequences of the mistreatment of Chinese immigrants that took place more than 140 years ago. Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe presented the apology and resolution to the community and supporters, including the Yins, representing APAPA. City leaders also pledged to create a Chinatown Historic District to include murals and museum exhibits to highlight the city’s vast and important Asian history and contributions.

Photo: APAPA

Chinese immigrants arrived during the Gold Rush, and many were instrumental in the construction of the U.S. transcontinental railroad and building the Delta’s levee system resulting in the reclaiming of over 550,000 acres on over 50 man-made islands. While Chinese immigrants made positive contributions to California’s history during this time period, they were demonized and often mistreated. According to media reports at the time, Antioch’s Chinatown was burned to the ground and Chinese immigrants were forced to follow a county law that did not allow them to be outside after sundown.

“While the injustices of the past cannot erase Antioch’s dark history, the admission of racial wrongdoings is a critical step in healing. APAPA commends Antioch city leaders for being the first city in California to issue a formal apology to Chinese immigrants and descendants for the past discrimination and injustices,” said C.C. and Regina Yin. “The city’s pledge to build a Chinese historical district will help to educate many about our rich history and we are delighted to see this APAPA donation go toward a good cause. Our wish now is to move towards a brighter future to build a stronger state and country.”

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Antioch woman is 2022 Contra Costa Humanitarian of the Year, to be honored at MLK event Jan. 18

Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

Adult Humanitarian of the Year, Gigi Crowder of Antioch

Student Humanitarian of the Year, Ygnacio Valley High senior Kaia Morgan of Pittsburg

2022 MLK Humanitarian of the Year Gigi Crowder.

Contra Costa County will commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the 44th Annual Ceremony in 2022.  The Board of Supervisors invites the public to the ceremony on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, at 11 am. This year’s theme is “One People, One Nation, One Dream.”

“Together, we will commemorate Dr. King and commit to improving the lives and future of our children and community members,” said Board Chair, Supervisor Diane Burgis. “We look forward to having you join us at the event to come together and work toward a common vision and goals of acceptance, tolerance, and respect.”

Countywide recognition will be given at the ceremony to the Adult Humanitarian of the Year, Gigi Crowder, Executive Director of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Contra Costa and a 19-year Antioch resident, and the Student Humanitarian of the Year, Pittsburg resident Kaia Morgan, a senior at Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord. Honorees will be recognized for their leadership, advocacy, and service to Contra Costa County, its residents and communities in the spirit of Dr. King’s work and achievements.

About Gigi Crowder

Gigi R. Crowder, L.E. a native of Oakland, CA. is the mother of two biological children; 30-year-old twin sons and has served as a foster mom and mentor to many more through divine interventions. Gigi served for over nine years as the Ethnic Services Manager for Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services and has worked in the Behavioral Health Care field for more than 32 years after completing her studies at the University of California, Berkeley. As a family member of several loved ones who have received private and public mental health services, she is a strong advocate for promoting culturally responsive behavioral health services for all peers and family members. She is unapologetic about focusing efforts to address the needs of African Americans who she deems as the most harmed and neglected due to systemic racism. She created, Black Minds Matter 2! which has given her opportunities to speak across the nation.

Gigi is the Executive Director for NAMI Contra Costa, having accepted this position in January 2018, after serving in a consultant role as their Fund Developer. She is also the FaithNet Coordinator and has advanced efforts statewide to reduce mental health stigma by training Faith Leaders using the Mental Health Friendly Communities training curriculum she co-designed. Gigi promotes utilizing natural resources such as those found in faith/spiritual communities and works hard to advocate for the use of community defined strategies for all, with particular focus on better addressing the needs of unserved, underserved and inappropriately served ethnic and cultural communities. Her current focus is addressing the needs of those living with mental illness who are often criminalized for living with a medical condition.

Highlights of her career are being inducted in the Alameda County Women Hall of Fame for her work in developing programs to enhance employment opportunities for individuals with psychiatric challenges, receiving the 2013 MHAAC Mental Health Achievement Award. She also received the 2016 Multi-Cultural Outreach Award from NAMI California, the 2020 “Making a Difference Award,” from the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County. Gigi is also credited for positioning NAMI CC to beat out 600 other NAMI Affiliates and win the NAMI 2021 Multicultural Outreach Award.

2022 MLK Student Humanitarian of the Year Kaia Morgan.

About Kaia Morgan

According to a tweet by the Contra Costa County Office of Education, Morgan is being honored, “for her commitment and hard work in leading the charge to change the mascot for Ygnacio Valley High” from the Warriors to something else. Following the lead of a teacher at the school, Morgan started an online petition which gathered 750 supporters.

Kaia is a senior at Ygnacio Valley High School. She is an International Baccalaureate student and a cheerleader at her high school, as well as a dancer. She became interested in confronting social issues after gaining awareness of them online and quickly became passionate about addressing injustices against minorities. In February of 2020, she was inspired by a class lesson on the harm of Native mascots to use her voice to speak out against racism on a more local level, starting with the Native mascot at her own high school. She started the Change the Mascot Committee at Ygnacio Valley High School that month, and as of December 2021, their mascot is now the wolves. Kaia currently lives in Pittsburg, CA with her loving parents and two siblings. She plans to attend college in the fall and study psychology.

This is the third year in a row a woman from Antioch has been named the county’s Humanitarian of the Year, with Velma Wilson honored, last year, and current District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker was honored the year before. See the entire list of past honorees.

To learn more about the Dr. King Ceremony, visit www.contracosta.ca.gov/5307 on the Contra Costa County website.

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Antioch to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during annual event on Jan. 17

Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

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Antioch Council extends redistricting process one month, approves another cannabis business, $285K for 15 homeless at Pittsburg site

Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

Outgoing City Manager Ron Bernal with his wife, Irma (center) was honored by city council members, city clerk and city treasurer during his final council meeting in the position, Tuesday night Dec. 14, 2021. Photo by Kathy Cabrera

Appoints Barbanica the next mayor pro tem; honors outgoing city manager Ron Bernal; spends $60,000 on Chinatown history exhibit at Antioch Historical Society Museum; approves $145,000 for Antioch’s Sesquicentennial Celebration; approves minutes for past five meetings

Torres-Walker again doesn’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, keeps her back to the American flag; Thorpe says Con Johnson started as interim city manager on Monday without any announcement he’s passed the background check

By Allen Payton

Antioch District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker won’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance during the city council meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2021. Photo by Kathy Cabrera.

In response to the urging by members of the public and city council for more time for additional public comment and input, the Antioch City Council voted 3-0-1 to extend their redistricting process by one month until the end of February. During the very full agenda, for their final meeting of the year, the council also approved another cannabis business on W. 10th Street, spending about $285,000 to place 15 Antioch homeless residents in the soon to reopen Delta Landing site in Pittsburg, and $60,000 for a Chinatown exhibit inside the Antioch Historical Society Museum on W. 4th Street. In addition, the council voted to grant $145,000 to the Celebrate Antioch Foundation for next year’s Sesquicentennial celebration of Antioch’s 150th anniversary of cityhood.

In addition, the council honored outgoing City Manager Ron Bernal with a presentation for his five years in the position and 26 years total with the City of Antioch.

At the beginning of the meeting, District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker again remained seated, with her back to the American flag during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Approve Minutes for Past Five Meetings

During the consent calendar, the council then approved the minutes from their regular and special meetings of Oct. 26, Nov. 2, Nov. 9, Nov. 16 and Nov. 23. At the meeting on Nov. 23 the council voted to postpone the approval of the minutes from the first four aforementioned meetings because they had not yet been prepared by the city clerk’s office. Minutes of the previous meeting are supposed to be prepared and included in the next meeting’s agenda. As of Wednesday evening, Dec. 15 the minutes for meetings since June 22 through Oct. 16 were finally on the council’s Agendas and Minutes page on the City’s website and the agenda for last night’s meeting is now on that page, although it wasn’t there as of yesterday, before the meeting began. The public was directed to the City’s calendar page to find them. (See related editorial)

Redistricting Presentation of 8 Alternative Maps, Process Extended

In response to a question by District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica about the redistricting deadline, Jane Hood of consultant Q2 Data and Research, who provided the presentation during the third of four scheduled public hearings, Tuesday night, the council has until April 17 to choose a final map of new district boundaries. The schedule was to conclude with a final vote on January 25 but both Barbanica and District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock agreed with those who spoke during public comments that residents and the council needed more time. Mayor Pro Tem Monica Wilson was absent for the presentation and District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker who made no comments during the discussion voted to abstain on the motion to extend the process, without explanation.

All eight maps were presented to the council, including the three created by Q2 staff and the five submitted by the public. (See related article)

Two members of the public urged the council to approve Map B. Ogorchock, who expressed her displeasure with that option, asked Hood to make some changes to Map C between Districts 3 and 4 on the east end of Antioch north of Lone Tree Way. But the modifications resulted in District 3 having too high of a population percentage deviation greater than 5% from average, which is the legal limit, and District 4 with too small of a population, also greater than the 5% deviation from average. So, Ogorchock abandoned the effort.

Thorpe said all eight maps would be brought back for consideration at the next public hearing on redistricting on January 11.

Unanimously Approve Cannabis Cultivation Facility

The council, on a 5-0 vote, approved the application by KWMA Collective, LLC to operate a cannabis cultivation facility at 2101 W. 10th Street in the same building that houses both the Delta Dispensary and the recently approved Delta Labs. (See related articleKWMA Collective cannabis biz ACC121421

Approve Funds for Transitional Housing for 15 Antioch Unhoused Residents

The council on a 5-0 vote also approved spending $284,700 to place 15 unhoused Antioch residents at the new Delta Landing Interim Housing site in Pittsburg, which is estimated to re-open its doors within 30 days. The action was in response to the recommendation by the Council’s Ad Hoc Committee on Unhoused Residents made up of Mayor Lamar Thorpe and Councilman Barbanica, earlier this month. (See related article)

According to the City staff report the funds will be spent “for a duration of 12 months; to be drawn from the current General Fund budget balance of previously earmarked funds to address unhoused resident needs.”

In addition, the staff report explains, “As part of ongoing dialogue between the City and County, a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) has been developed that provides access to City initiated, CORE (the county’s Coordinated Outreach Referral, Engagement program) approved referrals for a maximum of 15 bed nights at any one time over a period of one year. The cost to the City is $52/night when City referrals are placed and beds are utilized. Wrap around support services include benefit assistance, medical services, behavioral health services, as well as case management, housing navigation and rapid rehousing assistance.”

“The timing for securing potential space through a formal agreement is immediate should the City wish to exercise bed options upon facility re-opening,” the staff report continues. “It is a rare and unique window to have access to a total of 15 new City referred, CORE approved placements at one time.”

Barbanica moved approval of the expenditure and MOU and it was approved on a 5-0 vote.

Approves $145,000 for Antioch’s Sesquicentennial Celebration

During the consent calendar, the council approved spending $145,000 for the Celebrate Antioch Foundation to put on events for next year’s Sesquicentennial celebration of Antioch’s 150th anniversary of cityhood. According to the City staff report, the Celebrate Antioch Foundation is also committing to raising $56,500 to be used toward Sesquicentennial Events. A variety of events and activities are planned throughout the community, beginning on Feb. 6 the day the City was incorporated in 1872.  Sesquicentennial CAF Budget ACC121421

Council Spends $60,000 on Chinatown Historical Exhibit

Earlier in the meeting, the council, on a 5-0 vote, agreed to spend $60,000 on a contract with the same San Francisco-based firm that developed the new City logo, ad campaign “Opportunity Lives Here” and the Rivertown Dining District logo, to create a new Chinatown exhibit inside the Antioch Historical Society Museum. Antioch’s Chinatown was burned down in 1876. In June, during the signing ceremony by the council of a resolution apologizing for that tragedy and the racism against Chinese immigrants in the late 1800’s, the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA) Foundation agreed to donate $10,000 for the exhibit. (See related article)

Appoints Barbanica City’s New Mayor Pro Tem

During the 15th and final agenda item of the council meeting, City Attorney Thomas Lloyd Smith said, “According to the ordinance in our municipal code passed by city council, we have a rotation of the guard. It’s more of a formality because it’s already outlined in the municipal code.” (See related article)

Without discussion or public comment Ogorchock made the motion “to appoint Mike Barbanica as our next mayor pro tem”. Torre-Walker seconded the motion. It passed on a 5-0 vote.

“Are you ready for this? You may have to call a press conference from time to time, visit a crime scene,” Mayor Lamar Thorpe joked.

Barbanica replaces Wilson in the position who held it this year, having gained the highest percentage of votes of all four council members in last November’s election. The councilman garnered the second highest percentage of votes.

Bernal Offers Farewell

City Manager Ron Bernal will retire at the end of the month, briefly said at the end of his final meeting in the position, “I wanted to thank the council…for the past five years. It’s been a privilege and an honor.”

Thorpe Announces Interim City Manager Started Monday

“Welcome to our interim city manager who started on Monday, Mr. Con Johnson,” Thorpe added, then wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

No announcement had yet been offered by either the mayor or city staff that Johnson had successfully passed his background check. Questions were emailed Wednesday morning to the mayor, council members, and city staff asking about that. No response was received as of late Wednesday night.

The next regular Antioch City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022.

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