I came across an article this morning that I thought was fitting with East County because each City has not had a good record in public outreach and communication. But what transpired last night puts things in perspective as Walnut Creek hosted a news conference which Antioch should have had last week.
A couple of fights break out downtown with some arrests and no big deal right? Nope, the city leaders of Walnut Creek hosted a news conference at City Hall Monday evening taking a stand against violence. In stark contrast, Antioch had six teens shot a week earlier and the city leaders have remained silent! There is something just backwards about this situation and it stinks.
If Walnut Creek leaders will host a conference for a couple fights that made local news headlines, surly Antioch might want to do the same for a story that made national headlines. As a city leader, it is your duty to inform the public and take a stand against nonsense.
Antioch leaders should really begin to pay attention to how other cities are getting the message out to their residents. A statement denouncing violence might just go a long way with residents—even better would be a firm statement against violence and a plan to reduce crime would be better. Public outreach says, “We care, we got your back” and it makes residents feel better that they are getting information—it builds community pride that leaders care about residents.
Hell, Oakley recently hosted a Town Hall after residents had concerns over a safety due to a Density Bonus that was up for vote. The council had the foresight to delay its vote by 2-weeks so the outreach could occur and be reported back—it defused a messy situation with residents. Was Oakley on a smaller scale, yes, but the police were involved in the outreach event and answered questions and provided information.
It’s time for Antioch leaders to give Oakley City Manager Bryan Montgomery and Walnut Creek City Manager Ken Nordoff a call to find out how easy outreach is and its benefits.
According to Elisabeth Nardi of the Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek is adding more officers to patrol the downtown on busy weekend nights. The article states the police chief, mayor, city manager, and councilmen were in attendance. It also stated how serious the City takes violence and how they will be using all the tools at their disposal to correct this problem.
Where is Antioch’s plan? It’s not like this was the first incident. It’s time for them to get out of their bubble of the council chambers and work with the city residents to resolve violence.
By taking a proactive approach, city leaders will gain support from the people who voted you into office. City staff will have their moral increased and people will feel better and have the impression Antioch is a city that cares.
This whole silence play by the city leaders of Antioch is a slap in the face to the good people of Antioch. Hell, they didn’t even address it at their last council meeting according to the good folks at Take Back Antioch via a Facebook post. That is sad.
This truly is a do-nothing council and it needs to change. Yes, Antioch has a problem with violence and the excuse has been budget issues but that has now worn thin. It’s time to get creative and really attack the problem.
I do not know if its arrogance, if its ignorance or just plain asleep at the wheel, but this type of silent behavior is hard to ignore at any level–go all out in support of the police and let them do their job. Motivate them with support that the council has their back.
I urge the residents of Antioch to attend your next council meeting and speak up and demand proactive measures to reduce violence. If Antioch leaders will not take a stand in a public setting, as citizens, it’s your duty to do so in a polite manner on the record. By being polite, people listen, by yelling, you are dismissed
If the leaders do not wish to take a stand with the residents, seek out replacements and work with potential candidates to make a real change and remove the dead weight. Mayor James Davis is up at the end of the year while councilmembers Brian Kalinowski, and Mary Helen Rocha are all also up for election.
If someone is on the council who wishes to run for higher office, work to oppose that person and expose them for this type of behavior. If they can’t get it done as a council member, one should not attempt to move up to higher office.
It’s time for the residents of Antioch to work together to clean house this November if this do-nothing council continues business as usual with their heads in the sand and remain silent on violence such as the one that occurred last week.
I urge this council to roll up its sleeves, get proactive against violence or you will be replaced by candidates who will.