Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Writer supports African American youth organizer of Antioch Juneteenth event

Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

Dear Editor:

Here is my comment on the Juneteenth story.

I was looking forward to bringing my family to Antioch for this event. It would be nice to be part of something positive and support Antioch. We will now be going to Brentwood to celebrate Juneteenth. You should all be ashamed of how you treated this young lady. An African American woman away at college who still has time to organize this event again for Antioch, and she is treated with nothing but disrespect? We should be supporting her. We should be helping to lift her up and moving obstacles out of her way.

What lessons are we teaching our youth? Well, I will be in Brentwood celebrating Juneteenth, this young lady, and her mother that raised her right.

Bill Weber

Discovery Bay

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Letters: Antioch resident, pastor says his apartment complex is “gang warzone”, he and family still displaced

Saturday, April 23rd, 2022

Editor:

(Note: Following is a letter to the editor which contains a copy of an article about the matter published by eastcountytoday.net)

A shooting broke out Wednesday morning in an apartment complex in the 3900 block of Delta Fair Blvd. in the City of Antioch that left multiple apartments struck by gunfire and families displaced.

The shooting occurred at approximately 9:15 am in the Delta View Apartments off Delta Fair Blvd and Fair view.

According to preliminary information, at least 3 apartments were struck by gunfire. A gas line was struck causing apartments to fill with gas. A water line was struck causing flooding.

Nothing has been released on the incident by Antioch Police, even after several requests have been made. On Friday, Antioch Public Information Officer Rolando Bonilla responded regarding the incident.

“FYI – no one was hit in this shooting so this is not something we would typically write a press release for.” 

No other information has been released by the City of Antioch even after four requests for information on the incident.

Editor’s note: Attempts at request for info on this incident:

  • Two requests to Media Access Line
  • email sent Wednesday at 2:45 pm
  • email sent Thursday at 10:34 am
  • email sent Friday at 1:46 am

The following was a statement released by Pastor Henry L. Dillihant III MSPH & Family

Date: April 21, 2022

On April 20, 2022 at approximately 8:30 am, several rounds of gunshots was fired. My wife’s sister’s house was hit as well as my house and gas main was struck by automatic rifle fire. I was called from my house to help my sister-in-law who was pinned down by gun fire. Several shooters/gang members took over the complex. While running to help my wife’s sister, passing a hail of bullets, GOD protected us, where we live turned into a war zone. I was able to retrieve them while her house was being shot into. We have had to leave our residence. We have not been back. There is some confusion on what’s going on here. Here is the situation:

  • We are victims of violent crime
  • We are victims of gang violence
  • Our housing situation is not safe
  • Family members have been traumatized and we need help
  • Because of the gas main to our unit being directly hit by gun fire, that unit filled with gas and we had to leave with the clothes on our back.
  • I was able to get some of my medication
  • My sisters-in-law house was riddled with gun fire, her gas main was struck and water pipes hit as well causing flooding and damage to a lot of her property
  • Our children suffered mental and physical damage due to the violence they witnessed and trying to remove them from the situation.
  • We are all trying to cope with this situation mentally, as best we can knowing there are still active gang members and shooters living in this community.
  • The management of this community, both the owners/facilities and parent services company have not reached out or returned telephone calls
  • The management company has however done their best to stop us from receiving help from other agency’s and denying help to our families to be placed in a safer situation
  • This is an on going dangerous situation, we have reached out to many people for help. And will do our best to keep everyone updated. There are other victims from this terrible situation, call the Antioch Police Department for assistance.

Please contact Ms. Nina Carter, community crisis specialist for information or to be of any assistance to the Dillihants and their family 1-800-377-0190.

Antioch Police: (925) 778-2441

Antioch Police Email: jstenger@antiochca.gov

Henry L. Dillihant, III, MSPH, M.H.Sc.

Antioch

 

 

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Thorpe recall leader gives update on signature gathering progress

Friday, April 22nd, 2022

Editor:

Open letter to our Antioch community

First, the Committee to Recall Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe would like to thank those that have come out to sign, volunteered and who have donated towards the Recall Initiative. Our community is a beautiful diverse community and it’s been such an honor for us to be able to meet and speak with so many who have reached out to us and have expressed there own reasons for supporting our efforts to reclaim our city and bring back dignity and decorum to City Hall. We are all striving to Make Antioch Better.

With that said, here is the Recall Update:

We have 8,000 Signatures and 9,511 is what is required to put the initiative on the ballet. Our goal is 10,000 signatures. So, 2,000 more signatures is needed with a little less than 3 weeks to go!! Our Pro Signers as well as Volunteers are still working hard throughout the city to get us to our goal. So please now is the time get out and sign!!

Fundraising is so important as we need to purchase validated signatures from the Pro Signers, who have been instrumental in getting us to our goal.

Please consider donating to help us gather more needed signatures!!! We are hoping we can count on your support and appreciate any help you are able to provide.

(See Donation Link Below)

https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=2DSTXTBRWRH8L&fbclid=IwAR3sSyyVKjB7nnCCB4iT6LfDv-pbdR55tr5HqSjSAR5dCGCeb1buvl7CTk0

Thank You,

Kathy Cabrera

The Committee to Recall Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe (FPPC ID# Pending)

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Opinion: Local podcast hosts offer 55 reasons why Antioch residents should sign Thorpe’s recall petition

Thursday, April 14th, 2022

By Mike Burkholder & Ken Turnage II, WTF California Podcast Hosts

When one looks at the city of Antioch does one think of Opportunity Lives Here? Or do you think about the mayor who received a DUI? A councilmember who performed a foul-mouth rant against the police department and never apologized? Maybe it’s an understaffed police department? Perhaps a community that is so divided it’s hard to find common ground.

No matter what you may think, failed leadership is a common theme and that starts with Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe and why we urge every Antioch resident to sign his recall papers.

Since being elected in 2016, Thorpe has gone from someone seeking to bridge the community to someone intentionally dividing it all in the name of political wins and problem profiteering. The last time the community was actually unified, was back in 2012 and that was to increase public safety.

Think back to 2012 when the City of Antioch was in the news almost every day for some sort of crime. Shootings, stabbings, robbery and assaults. That was caused by police layoffs that took the police department down from more than 124 officers to the low 80’s—and for a short time, even the mid-70’s. The community came together and passed three tax measures beginning in 2012 with a single goal of improving public safety and improving services in Antioch.

Fast forward to May of 2020, the Antioch Police Department was fully staffed for the first time since 2004 at 115 officers with a line of officers wanting to come here. Including the “overage”, Antioch Police were able to hire 120 officers just one short of the 121 allowed.

Sadly, years of rebuilding an obliterated police force has been undone in less than seven months since former Police Chief Tammany Brooks retired due to two years of attacks and false propaganda during Thorpe’s rule as mayor.  Today, Antioch Police stand at 102 sworn officers on the books with several more on their way out in the coming weeks.

Thorpe has created this mass exodus by both participating and enabling a hostile work environment for Antioch Police Officers. Rather than working with police, he has chosen to be their adversary by withholding equipment such as body cameras, tasers and vehicle purchases, to undermining the police chief and officers through micromanaging policy, to flat out lying about incidents while grandstanding at the expense of officers.

Although we support Antioch police, we acknowledge that Antioch Police Officers are not perfect and when they screw up, there should be consequences – get rid of bad and corrupt cops. I think we can all agree with that.

But what Thorpe has done is inexcusable and has crossed a line all in the name of playing politics at the community’s expense. This is now impacting the community’s safety, city revenue as businesses suffer, property values will soon go down. The only thing gained under the leadership of Thorpe is Antioch has built a reputation of where people and businesses should avoid.

We understand some people are focused on how the mayor behaves on social media, calling recall proponents “Karens”, to focusing on his Napoleon complex as a dictator, that is all worthy of a debate and rather annoying to see, but the reason for recalling him comes down to a failure to protect the city against crime, addressing blight, lying to the public as he speaks in half-truths and creating a negative environment that has divided a community.

Leaders build bridges, they don’t tear them down while throwing out the race card and attacking others they disagree with. For that, we believe it’s time for those people who have not signed the petition to place Lamar Thorpe’s recall on the November ballot, should do so.

We have compiled a list of more than 50 reasons why one should sign it. Here are our Top 10 followed by, in chronological order, the 50 reasons with links to past stories.

10: Police Reform Proposals

While we agree reform is good, Thorpe has, however, used it as a political tool where he accused Antioch police of many wrongdoings even after he had the facts. This began back when it was shared six of the Eight Can’t Wait Items were already in place – beginning with the previous police chief, Allan Cantando. Thorpe continues to utilize half-truths and omissions of facts to push national rhetoric which does not apply to Antioch. Again, police reform is good, but the way Thorpe went about it was wrong and has undermined the community.

9: Abusing Ad-Hoc Committees

This was done to remove the take city business that should be done in public and moved to backroom discussion, skirting open meeting laws and record keeping. Items from these committees were not reported out to the full council and goes against any form of transparency. By creating ad-hoc committees, it took the discussions away from the dais and moved them into shadow government removing ,all transparency.

8: Overstepping Mayoral Bounds

Prior to being elected, Thorpe had bashed the “good ol’ boys’ network”. Then doubled down on the practice by first giving then-city manager Ron Bernal a sham review only to hire an under-qualified friend in a high paying position. He continued this practice through the hiring of consultants, non-profits and other staff positions. Thorpe appears to have orchestrated this by forgoing proper background checks and hiring processes before hiring his friends.

7: Rescinded School Resource Officer Grant

Thorpe’s first move was to rescind this grant, under the previous city council, even after violence at AUSD schools was increasing. The new council majority did this to fit the national rhetoric which did not take into consideration the safety of students and community. This was a decision based on rhetoric and not facts. The council gave away a $750,000 grant from the US DOJ as well, as split costs from AUSD. This was an inexcusable reversal from the previous council and highlighted the rift between the school district and the city.

6: Mayor has Grandstanded and Lied about Residents Who Died

From the beginning, Thorpe lied about being notified of the death of a resident. Email communications have proved this after Thorpe claimed he was notified a month later. Thorpe continued with the lie of knee to neck by police even after a press conference by the chief and a coroner’s inquest report. Even after, Thorpe continues to misrepresent what occurred.

5Blaming Businesses for Crime

At this press conference, not only did the mayor blindside the county with a probation partnership at Sycamore Square (by the way, it’s still not there), he blamed businesses for crime while threatening imminent domain. A clear lack of understanding of the law, an overstep of his position as mayor and just one highlight of his anti-business mentality.

4: Lack of Leadership in the Tamisha Torres-Walker Incidents

Where do we begin? A 9-minute anti-Antioch Police rant which the mayor personally downplayed. Even after gunshots and interfering with police at her house during a party, the mayor took no action to censure or remove Torres-Walker from committees.

3: Muzzling the Police Communications, Withholding Crime Stats and Reduced Transparency

This is a guy who preaches #TransparentAntioch. Since becoming mayor, the exact opposite has occurred after he has ordered the police department to not speak to the media, ordered department heads not to respond to the public which has reduced all open lines of communication. Furthermore, Thorpe has not allowed the police department to provide its 2020 and 2021 crime statistics. Failure to release body camera footage has occurred even when they could release them. Those that disagree with him, get shut out.

2: Manufactured Outrage

Thorpe has a history of manufacturing outrage in the community with phony propaganda. This became clear after emails regarding an incident at Antioch High School was exposed. Thorpe had asked AUSD Trustee, then- Board President and Antioch City Clerk Ellie Householder to begin collecting letters from parents on the incident even though AUSD received no complaints. Thorpe has continued to do this several times during his term as mayor and has been caught in half-truths – examples include grandstanding on the death of a 12-year-old girl, entering and then releasing crime scene photos, and he has held multiple press conferences where he made bizarre statements not backed up by facts.

1: Withheld Police Equipment until it Fit Political Needs

The mayor rewrote his own history in terms of body cameras when he intentionally withheld placing the item on the agenda per the request of the police chief. He held the item for months all so he could place the it before the council during his self-proclaimed Police Reform Month. The council majority also rejected tasers and failed to approve police dash cams as a package deal. That was a mistake as it would have saved taxpayers money if they had packaged the items together. Other items from vehicles to community cameras continue to be delayed. The mayor has also refused to place hiring more police officers on the agenda even though it’s been requested by three councilmembers.

Honorable Mention:

  • Mayor Thorpe’s DUI
  • Childish behavior on social media from blocking residents, deleting comments and unprofessional TikTok videos – filmed inside the Council Chambers
  • Search Warrant reveals Thorpe and City Clerk Ellie Householder possibly engaged in criminal conduct.

For these reasons outlined above, we encourage every registered voter within the City of Antioch to sign the recall petition and get Mayor Lamar Thorpe on the November Ballot.

References

  1. Dec 20, 2020: Antioch Mayor Elect Lamar Thorpe Announces Transition Team
    this was start of ad-hocs, special meetings to skirt open meeting laws and records of meetings. Ad-hocs and special meeting have been used as a tool to limit public records and public participation.  
  2. Dec 17, 2020: Antioch City Council Votes to Rescind School Resource Officer Grant
    One of the first actions as Mayor was to rescind school resource officers
  3.  Dec 30, 2021: Foul-Mouthed City Councilwoman Blasts Antioch Police Department
    No leadership from the Mayor or other city councilmembers. Allowed to push anti-Antioch Police narrative and create a hostile work environment. Later, it would come out that Walker donated $500 the same day her sons felony reduced to misdemeanor.
  4. Jan 4, 2021: Mayor Downplays Councilwomans Foul Mouthed Rant Against Antioch Police
    Mayor Thorpe showed no leadership nor support of the Antioch PD
  5. Jan 25, 2021: Antioch Police Chief Tells City Council Officer Mellone is Qualified to Work Anywhere in California
  6. Feb 5, 2021: Editorial: City Hall Needs to Remove the Muzzle from the Antioch Police Department
  7. Feb 11, 2021Antioch Councilwoman Has “No Intention of Apologizing” For Anti-Police Rant
    This demonstrates no leadership from Mayor and no integrity for city workers or the community.
  8. Feb 22, 2021: Antioch Mayor Unveils Police Reform Proposals
  9. Feb 25, 2021Antioch Mayor Seeks to Expedite Police Reform After Second In-Custody Death
    Without facts and completed investigation, mayor began lying to the public. He also fibbed on email notification regarding in custody deaths
  10. Feb 26, 2021Antioch City Council to Move Forward with RFP for Bridge Housing for Homeless
    These were a bogus set of meetings with limited participation, a report that was misleading and participants even highlighted the report was false because items stated did not happen or were stated incorrectly.
  11. Feb 26, 2021: Antioch City Council Set for Special Meeting to Discuss Police Reform
  12. March 1, 2021: Antioch City Council Moves Forward With Police Reform Measures
  13. March 2, 2021Antioch Police Chief Holds Press Conference on Death of Angelo Quinto
    Given the rhetoric by the Antioch Mayor and the lies, it forced chief brooks to hold a press conference, play the 9-1-1 calls and give full description of what transpired. Even after this, Thorpe has continue to push a false narrative of what transpired.
  14. May 9, 2021: Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe Talks Recent Shootings During City Council Meeting
  15.  March 10, 2021: Antioch City Council Unanimously Approves Police Worn Body Cameras
    This came months after it had been requested. Thorpe grandstanding by withholding vote until his police reform vote. Also voted against this while a councilmember.
  16. March 10, 2021: Antioch Mayor: “We Are Thugs Who Want to Defund the Police”
  17. March 21, 2021: Antioch City Council Set to Receive Final Report for Bridging The Gap Series
  18. March 24, 2021: Antioch City Council Votes 4-1 to Prohibit Police From Receiving Military Equipment
  19. March 24, 2021Antioch City Council Approves Community Camera System at A Street and 18th Street
  20. April 14, 2021: Antioch Mayor Seeks to Create Chinatown District, Apologize for City’s History
  21. April 28, 2021Antioch City Council Approve Three More Police Reform Items
  22. May 13, 2021: UPDATE: 12-Year-Old Shot and Killed Wednesday Night in Antioch
    Mayor Thorpe showed up on scene of this incident
  23. June 9, 2021: Antioch City Council Votes 3-2 to Reject Police Taser Replacement and Upgrades
    This move actually cost taxpayers money and made no sense.
  24. June 16, 2021: Updated: Antioch Mayor Holds Press Conference Declaring City a “No Side Show Zone”
    The irony here is a fellow councilmember attended a sideshow to show support.  Torres-Walker even filed a complaint to avoid releasing emails about her son planning a “ride out”
  25. June 21, 2021: Antioch Mayor Proposes Naming Water Fountain Black Lives Matter Freedom Fountain
  26. July 18, 2021: Antioch Councilwoman Torres-Walker Posts Video Calling for Hiring 4 More Police Officers
    Mayor never brought this up for a discussion
  27. July 19, 2021: Antioch Councilman to Propose Increasing Police Department by 2.5% Each Year Until 170 Officers
    Mayor never brought this up for discussion
  28.  July 25, 2021: Editorial: Self-Promoting Antioch Mayor Uses Sycamore Crime to Get More TV Time
  29. July 26, 2021: Video: Antioch Mayor Announces Hiring Program, Probation’s Partnership and Puts Property Owners on Notice
    Blamed local business for crime while threatening eminent domain, blindsided county with announcement (still no probation partnership in Sycamore Square) and said they would hire criminals while bypassing hiring process.
  30. July 28, 2021: Antioch City Council Approves Police Body Camera Policy
    This policy was created in a separate committee with limited public view and access and was hidden unless public was truly looking to participate.
  31. Aug. 9, 2021: Editorial: Residents Must Begin to Standup to Micromanaging Antioch City Council
  32. Aug 10, 2021: Antioch Search Warrants Reveal Mayor and City Clerk Engaged in Possible Criminal Conduct
  33. Aug 24, 2021Antioch City Council to Look at “Restraint” Policy for Police Holds
  34. Sept. 9, 2021: Antioch Announces Retirement of Tammany Brooks as Police Chief
  35. Sept. 15, 2021Emails Reveal Antioch School Board Trustees and Mayor Manufactured Outrage in Antioch High Incident
  36. Sept. 18, 2021Three Protesters Arrested After Interrupting Antioch Police Chief Going Away Party
    Multiple protesters who support the Mayor showed up to cause a scene.
  37. Oct. 4, 2021: Antioch to Reopen Investigation into Torres-Walker Complaint Against Antioch Police
  38. Oct. 4,2021: Ogorchock Calls on Antioch Councilwoman Torres-Walker to Resign from Police Oversight Commission
    Mayor Thorpe again showed failed leadership by simply removing Torres-Walker as chair, rather than removing her entirely from the committee.
  39. Oct. 5, 2021: Antioch Police 2020 Crime Data Provided
    Transparency in Antioch dead, Thorpe prevented this data from reaching the public. He did this for political reasons.
  40. Oct. 21, 2021: Antioch Police Department Announces Partnership With DOJ
    Thorpe attempted to take credit for something a year or so in the works after finding out about this grand just days before the press conference.
  41. Oct. 28, 2021: Antioch City Council Seeks to Have Final Say in Police Chief Hiring
    The hiring of the police chief is typically at the selection of the City Manager
  42. Nov. 2, 2021Antioch City Council Agree to Hear Presentation for Beede Lumber Yard Town Square Proposal
    Mayor Thorpe rewrites history
  43. Nov. 5, 2021: Antioch Set to Hire Former San Francisco Police Captain as Interim City Manager
    This fiasco still to this day has not clarified Johnsons credentials or how open the process was.
  44. Nov. 10, 2021: Antioch City Council Agrees to Hire Cornelius Johnson as Interim City Manager in 3-2 Vote
    The council hired an unqualified city manager without a real process and illegitimate background check
  45. Nov. 29, 2021: Antioch City Council Votes Down Ad-Hoc Committee for City Manager Recruitment
  46. Dec 12, 2021: Antioch Mayor May Not Have Been Authorized to Enter or Photograph Active Crime Scene
    Thorpe entered crime scene while area closed off to public & media and grandstanding with posting photographs that were not allowed to take as scene was still active.
  47. Dec 15, 2021Antioch City Council Agrees to Spend $284k for 15-Rooms to Combat Homelessness
  48. Dec 16, 2021Antioch Mayor Announces Hiring of Interim City Manager
  49. Jan 26, 2022: Antioch City Council Agrees to Apply for State Grant to Help Reduce Gun Violence
  50. Feb 8, 2022: Antioch Seeks to Boot Congressman McNerney from Community Center Office
  51. Feb 22, 2022: Antioch Set to Create Transitional Housing Overlay District for Executive Inn
  52. March 12, 2022: Antioch City Council Selects District Map, Ogorchock to Run Against Wilson
  53. March 19, 2022: Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe Arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
  54. March 23, 2022: Emails Show Antioch Interim City Manager Fires Police Chief, Then Retracts Hour Later
  55. April 4, 2022: Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe Proposes $40k Hiring Bonus for New Cops, Down-payment Assistance
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Letters: Recall leader claims harassment, bullying, hate by Antioch Mayor Thorpe, his supporters

Monday, April 4th, 2022

Including of people signing petitions, underage grocery store worker; police called

Dear Editor:

It’s no secret that politics have been a contentious battleground over the last several years in the city of Antioch. The city has moved in a direction where leadership is more focused on being right while losing sight of doing what is right.  This has especially weighed heavily on my mind the past few months and it came to a head Friday as we are in the home stretch of the Antioch recalls.

On Friday, the harassment and bullying going on went too far. It is impossible to ignore, and something must be done after one of the mayor’s very vocal supporters crossed a line.

This person appeared at a signing table with a bullhorn and a video recorder, something that has happened many times now during this recall.  This person was aggressively insulting the people gathering signatures, recording them without their permission, and harassing customers at the store. Truthfully, we have been subjected to this before. However, all are adults and can handle it.

Sadly, however, this supporter of the mayor took it to a whole other level when they began harassing a minor. This is a minor that is employed by the location the event was being held. The minor was recorded without consent, was called a bully, a racist, and the aggressor refused to stop even when the minor revealed the fact that they are underage. The harassment was so out of line that customers, unrelated to the recall attempt, called the Antioch Police Department to assist the minor.

I cannot fathom the fear and embarrassment this young person felt.  To have an adult abuse them in such a way is unconscionable.  In a time when the mental health of our youth is at a catastrophic level, we cannot put them into situations that might damage the very fabric of their relatively limited worlds and put them into a crisis in which some may not be able to recover.

The fear of being labeled a racist has driven teens to take drastic, and permanent, actions before.  They felt their whole lives were ruined when such allegations went public.  For a grown woman to treat a youth in our city in this manor cannot and should not be ignored.

This is a woman whom the mayor has supported with his clapping and his smiles.  He has allowed the false rhetoric to be perpetrated to save himself from recall, and now his supporters are abusing our youth, as well.  Bullying is never acceptable.  We need better from our elected officials and their supporters if we are ever going to come together as a city

I am not so naïve to not understand politics can and do divide a community and get the best of people. But I hope that the vast majority would look beyond the surface and ignore the false rhetoric.

For example, it came as no surprise that the proponents were labeled racists and that many individuals ignored the fact that nearly half of the original 20 proponents are minorities. However, I was wholly unprepared for the level of hate and vitriol I both witnessed and received during this process.

Because I became involved in these efforts to better the community in which I live, I was immediately labeled a racist, called a bully, and was harassed on more than one occasion. Admittedly, I somewhat expected this to happen because I knew I was making a bold choice that some do not understand, and many are unwilling to learn the motives behind. 

What I was unprepared for was the hate that I saw spewed at others, hate from the mayor and his supporters.  I saw an African American woman called a racial slur, another told she was not black enough, and yet another told she was “acting white.” An Afro-Latina neighbor was told she was not a real person of color, a Mexican American man was told he needs to learn to think for himself.  I’ve been publicly called a “Karen”, a Klan’s member, and a bully by both the mayor and his supporters.

The mayor has even tried to intimidate me, both with his own actions and the actions he has condoned.  At a recent city council meeting all the proponents were called the Ku Klux Karen’s, a comment in which the mayor applauded.

I do not write these things to garner support or sympathy.  I’m a grown woman that put myself into the line of fire for supporting the recall of our mayor and city clerk and have thus far dealt with these attacks quietly. But it crossed a line Friday. Verbally attacking a youth should be rejected by everyone whether you support or disagree with a recall.

I had no intention of ever speaking of these events publicly over the past year because that is not the type of petty politics in which I want to involve myself. But I ask the public to please leave the children out of it and to tone down the false rhetoric and name calling

Respectfully,

Lindsey Amezcua

Antioch

 

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Op-Ed: Antioch councilwoman calls for mayor’s resignation for DUI, disrespecting residents, more

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

Ogorchock doesn’t believe he only had one drink, says apology insincere; claims two women from previous job filed sexual harassment complaints against him; if Thorpe won’t resign, she will work to support his recall

Publisher’s Note: The views contained in this opinion are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Herald, it’s staff or publisher.

Dear Editor:

Due to this weekend’s lack of control and poor decision making on the part of Mayor Lamar Thorpe, I feel duty bound to share my thoughts, not only concerning Lamar’s driving while intoxicated but the lack of respect he shows to the residents of Antioch.

First, our mayor has taken to using ad-hominem, bigoted and misogynistic terms to attack his constituents rather than provide a rebuttal of his position. His title for his campaign is, “Stop, the #Karen Recall of Mayor Lamar Thorpe.”

Dictionary.com defines “Karen” as “a pejorative slang term for an obnoxious, angry, entitled, and often racist middle-aged white woman who uses her privilege to get her way or police other people’s behaviors. In 2020 Karen spread as a label used to call out white women who were captured in viral videos engaging in what are widely seen as racist attacks. The mayor has chosen on two different occasions to refer to me as a “Karen”.

To call a woman today a “Karen” is to evoke an image of white privilege that in no way represents the life struggles millions of women endured to achieve equality, respect, and representation.

Second, Mayor Thorpe chose to drink and get behind the wheel of his vehicle, while intoxicated.  He not only endangered himself but others.  He stated he is sorry for his actions, well how sorry is he truly?  He wants us to believe he had only “a drink” with dinner.  We all know this is a fallacy.  So, to me his apology is far from being sincere.

Third, it has been brought to my attention that two women have filed a sexual harassment complaint against Mayor Thorpe. The complaint has been filed with the former Los Medanos Community Healthcare District, City of Antioch, and State of California. And yes, I personally verified the facts prior to sharing this repulsive information.

We need to make a change in our leadership, and we need to do it quickly.  Mr. Thorpe needs to step down as the mayor of our beautiful city.  If he so chooses not to, I will put all my energy into the success of the campaign to recall him as mayor.  Antioch citizens deserve better, do the right thing Mayor Thorpe and step down immediately!

Lori Ogorchock

Antioch City Councilwoman, District 3

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Letters: Writer says don’t be afraid to sign recall petitions for Antioch mayor, city clerk, info remains private

Friday, March 18th, 2022

Dear Editor:

As one of the proponents for the recall of “best friends” who “have each other’s backs”, as they say in one of their childish TikTok videos, Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe and City Clerk Ellie Householder, I want registered Antioch voters to know that if they sign the recall petitions their names and information are private, remain private and those two can never know who signed the petitions.

That needs to be said because at signing events some residents have said they’re afraid to sign Lamar’s because they don’t want to be labeled a racist, as he’s attempting to do by calling it the “Karen’s recall” claiming it’s only because he’s African-American that we are attempting to recall him and it’s only racist, middle-aged white women who support the attempt, which are both blatant lies.

Many people who voted for him, including some of the lead volunteers, now want him out.  The supporters of the recall represent all demographics, including African-Americans, Latinos and Asians, and all ages of both men and women.  Our signing events are a melting pot, just like our city.

So, people have no reason to be afraid to express their opinion and take the action that’s necessary to get him out of the position that most voters didn’t want him in, as Thorpe didn’t get a majority of the vote in 2020.  He just got the plurality of votes among the five candidates running. We can’t afford to have him continue to ruin our city. The same for Householder, who has been playing games in her position protecting Thorpe by first delaying his recall and now by not publishing his campaign finance reports on the city’s website when they were supposed to be submitted at the beginning of February.

Just like your vote on either a mail-in ballot or in the voting booth at your polling place is sacred and private, so is your signature on a recall petition. Also, contributions to the campaigns to support their recalls of $99 and less are not reportable, so personal information of donors in those amounts remain private, too.

For more information of when and where to sign a petition and how to help gather the rest of the needed signatures by May 11, visit www.recalllamarthorpe.com and www.recallelliehouseholder.com.

Sincerely,

David Amezcua

Antioch, CA

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Letters: Former Thorpe supporter offers reasons he now backs Antioch mayor’s recall

Sunday, February 27th, 2022

Claims mayor is lying about recall proponents

Publisher’s Note: With apologies, this letter was received in the Herald’s junk email folder on Wednesday, Feb. 9 but not discovered until Sunday, February 27.

Dear Editor:  

Mayor Lamar Thorpe, tonight you lost a supporter.  I am sure my one vote won’t be missed and my one signature that I have decided to give towards your recall won’t be the difference maker, but I am choosing to sign anyway.  I was firmly in your camp when you ran for council in 2016 and once again when you ran for mayor in 2020.  I was sold on the vision that you said you had for our city, on your campaign slogan of transparency, and your promise to listen to us citizens.

When the news hit that you’d been served with recall papers I was angry for you.  Although I thought the post of the picture of you with the framed petition was childish and beneath an elected official, I brushed it aside as an act of a hurt man that wanted to appear strong.  I believed you when you said it was a very small group of individuals that wanted you removed.  I even bought into the idea that it was racially motivated.

Then I saw you start to advertise for a fundraiser calling the residents trying to recall you “Karens”.  I couldn’t believe that you would stoop to name calling and bullying.  The mayor of our city should be above any tit-for-tat tactics, and it was really off putting to see you treat residents that way.  You are still their mayor and are supposed to represent the best of us.  This was a poor representation.

Sadly, I missed the celebration of our city that took place downtown on Sunday.  I would have liked to attend but was at least able to see the pictures and watch the videos online.  I cannot even explain to you my level of embarrassment and horror when I heard that an event that was meant to celebrate the last 150 years in Antioch was used as an opportunity to discredit the recall attempt against you.  Your speech took away some of the joy instead of enriching the day.

The tipping point came today.  I happened upon a TikTok video of you making fun of the recall attempt, yet again.  What I saw were two boldfaced lies.  The first lie was that those attempting to recall you are against body-worn cameras.  Mayor Thorpe, meeting minutes are public and easily accessible.  The names I have seen advertising your recall signings are repeated, several times, in the minutes asking for body-worn cameras.  This was not a simple misunderstanding; you are actively attempting to discredit these individuals.

The second lie was that they do not want the Sycamore Corridor cleaned up.  Did you know there was a neighborhood cleanup, here last month?  I did, because I live here.  It was the recall volunteers that were here, walking the streets, picking up the trash, and chatting with us residents.  This video made me want to look more at your social media and that is where you lost me.

I could not believe what I saw when I went to your Facebook page.  You posted that you’ve cleaned up Sycamore, you even had the police here to take a photo with you.  How can you post this and completely ignore the woman and teen that were killed here?  How can you say it’s safe when there was a shootout here in broad daylight just last week?  The only conclusion I can draw is that you wanted to appear as if you’ve made these changes because the recall petition mentioned how you responded to the businesses in Sycamore Square.  You created an illusion to make it look like you’ve done something there when in fact nothing has changed.  You are trying to use those of us that live here as a political pawn, and I am ashamed that I ever supported you.

Miguel Vazquez

Antioch

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