Archive for the ‘Letters to the Editor’ 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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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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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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Editorial: Where’s Ellie? Antioch City Clerk failing to do her job, keeping public uninformed, lacks transparency

Thursday, December 9th, 2021

From the Antioch City Council 2021 Agendas and Minutes page on the City of Antioch website.

Hasn’t posted council meeting minutes since June 22; council not holding her accountable; if Householder can’t handle the job she should resign and save the voters the hassle of a recall

Antioch City Clerk Ellie Householder. Official photo by City of Antioch.

By Allen Payton

Antioch City Clerk Ellie Householder is failing to completely do her job and as a result the public is not being provided with the information they seek and deserve to know in a transparent manner. As one example, the minutes from the past 12 council meetings have not yet been posted on the City Council’s Agendas and Minutes page on the City’s website. As of Thursday, December 9, 2021, the most recent minutes posted there are for the council’s June 22, 2021 meeting.

While the minutes for previous meetings are supposed to be included in the next council meeting’s agenda, until that is posted on the City’s website, members of the public and media must watch the council meeting video of the previous meeting to learn what was said and done for any particular agenda item during.

While the annotated agendas, which are on that webpage, show what the total votes were, they don’t show how each council member voted.

Worse, in the past few months, the minutes for several previous council meetings are being lumped in with the current meeting agenda and/or they’re being forwarded to a future council meeting.

For example, on the annotated agenda for the Nov. 9th council meeting, the council was asked to approve the minutes from the meetings on Sept. 28, Oct. 12, Oct. 16 and Oct. 26. Each of them were, on 5-0 votes. Yet none of the minutes from those meetings have been added to the webpage.

Then on the annotated agenda for the Nov. 23rd council meeting the minutes for the Oct. 26, Nov. 2, Nov. 9 and Nov. 16 council meetings all show, “It is recommended that the City Council continue the Meeting Minutes” and the council approved each of them on 5-0 votes.

Householder is making it difficult for the council, public and media to know what the council members said during previous council meetings and requiring them to spend more of their time searching for the information.

Why aren’t the minutes being included in the following council meeting agendas? If the minutes for a previous council meeting are already included in the next meeting’s agenda, what is so difficult for Householder to ensure a copy of them is posted on the council’s Agendas and Minutes page, especially now that the clerk’s office has added another staff member? Plus, the city clerk doesn’t even type up the minutes from each meeting. She has a minutes clerk handle that!

Another example is instead of Householder attending the City Clerk’s conference, this week – in her first year in the position – she sent Deputy City Clerk Christina Garcia, to learn about any new laws, rules or procedures for doing her job.

Also, while it is a part-time position, Householder doesn’t work in her office at City Hall but chooses to work remotely, so she’s not available to answer her taxpayer funded phoneline nor readily available to meet with members of the public who she was elected to serve.

Another example has been Householder taking the full 10 days – each time – to respond to the recall petitions for Mayor Thorpe submitted by the organizers, when it only took the County Clerk two days to do the same for the organizers of the recall to remove Householder from her position as Antioch School Board trustee. While it’s believed she did that intentionally to delay the signature gathering, Householder has yet to answer the repeated question why it took her so long, each time.

Finally, after a call to the clerk’s office, a call to Householder’s cell phone and sending two emails – one to her and Garcia at 11:31 AM and another one to the email address used by the clerk’s administrative assistant at 11:33 AM, today, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021 asking for a copy of the Nov. 9th council meeting minutes or where they could be found on the City’s website, as of 7:00 p.m. there was no response.

If Householder is too busy to fulfill the duties of her job and both of her elected positions of Antioch School Board trustee and City Clerk, then she should resign from the city clerk’s position – the duties for which she’s clearly dropping the ball on – and save the voters from having to go through the process to remove her via a recall.

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Letters: Antioch recall proponent felt pressured to stop signature gathering during Holiday Delites event

Monday, December 6th, 2021

Dear Editor:

After an over two-month limbo period, the proponents for the recall Lamar Thorpe campaign received the news we have all been waiting for on December 2nd, 2021. We finally had the go-ahead to begin gathering signatures to start the process to recall Lamar Thorpe.

The Holiday Delites event seemed a perfect fit to have our first signature gathering event. We knew so many of our fellow residents who support this cause would be in attendance. So, image our surprise when Joy Motts, candidate for District 1 in the 2022 elections and president of the Celebrate Antioch Foundation, attempted to halt our signature gathering and interfered with local businesses obtaining new clientele.

I, along with several other proponents for both Recall Lamar Thorpe and Recall Ellie Householder (AUSD), spent Saturday from 10 AM to 4:30 PM in front of both Rivertown Treasure Chest on G St. and RiverTown Sweets on 2nd Street with the blessing from both owners.

We were informed that day that Motts made multiple attempts to contact business owners and asked other individuals to contact us to say we either must move inside or stop the signature gathering. Motts eventually approached me herself around 2:00 pm and asked that I move inside the already crowded bakery which I was in front. I responded that it was our plan to be off the street before the start of the parade. Motts continue to ask that we immediately vacate.

Crystal Philbrook, owner of RiverTown Sweets advised Motts that every time there was a recall signature gathering new customer business was up over 50% and with that kind of statistics, she advised Joy that we would be welcome to be in front of her location anytime as we brought in business. The same sentiment was echoed by the owner of Rivertown Treasure Chest. Being true to our word we vacated the 2nd Street location – which was the Holiday Delites parade route at 4 pm for a parade that started at 5 pm.

Joy Motts being part of the Celebrate Antioch Foundation (a local nonprofit) and a District 1 2022 candidate was completely out of line to make such a request. Joy Motts’ bullying tactics will not be tolerated, nor will it deter us from the mission of gathering the required signatures. Businesses giving permission to us to gather signatures in front of their stores have seen increased foot traffic and sales when having the signature gathering events in front of their storefront, something that Motts and the Celebrate Antioch Foundation doesn’t seem to care about.

If Joy Motts and the Celebrate Antioch Foundation were concerned that the signature gathering tables brought a negative political aspect to the Holiday Delites event, then why are political floats allowed in the parade?

It appears she wanted us off the street as her friend, the mayor, was going to be in the parade with Householder. Yet another example of dirty underhanded politics at play in the City of Antioch.

It makes me wonder, what truly were Ms. Motts’ motives by all her behind the scenes activity to stop us?

Kathy Cabrera

Recall Lamar Thorpe proponent

Publisher’s Note: Asked when an organization is granted a street closure by the City if that means they also control the sidewalks, Motts said she didn’t think so. She shared that the concern of the Celebrate Antioch Foundation leadership was there would be a perception the non-profit organization, which works with the City, was taking sides in a political issue and that they stay out of politics. Motts also said they were informed the signature gathering would occur inside the businesses and wanted to ensure the table on W. Second Street wouldn’t be there during the parade for the public to be able to use the sidewalk. 

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