As an almost lifelong citizen of Antioch, I have always been very concerned about issues facing our beautiful city and have long been involved in the community as Antioch Parks & Recreation Commissioner, Antioch Planning Commissioner, Trustee Antioch Unified School District (3 terms), Board member Antioch Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Antioch Rotary Club and more. I love Antioch!
I have decided to seek elected office for Antioch City Council, District 1 because I believe serious action is needed to address Community Safety, Financial Accountability, and Assisting the Homeless in Antioch. It has become clear to me, that the current council majority is not focused on the needs of the majority of District 1.
The primary issues listed below (there are others!) are at the top of the minds of most Antioch citizens today.
- Our police department is critically understaffed and is unable to provide the protection citizens expect. With this problem persisting beyond a reasonable period of time, we deserve answers and solutions.
- Measure W, passed in 2018, voted in to fund police, youth, and senior services, maintain quality of life and financial stability has instead allowed unnecessary spending and creation of new oversight departments, rather than adding employees who provide the much-needed services.
- The first step to helping the homeless is understanding the issue. Homelessness is not just about not having a home; it is also about mental health, addiction, poverty, and domestic violence. We need to partner with agencies that have solutions, not lease a hotel in a residential neighborhood which is more beneficial to a private property owner.
It is time for someone to step up and challenge the council majority and vote in favor of our residents, not just the areas which concern the voting bloc the most.
As you can imagine, running for the city council was not an easy decision. Campaigns are grueling. They require hard work and sacrifice. However, if you agree with me that we need a serious change in Antioch, then I humbly request your support in making that change a reality. I will work hard to bring effective changes to our community, not just District 1, but for all of Antioch.
Together we can win and help make Antioch a better, safer place to live. Vote for Diane Gibson-Gray on November 8th.
Antioch Needs New Leadership!
A strong police force is vital to the safety of any community.
There is a clear need for more police officers in Antioch. The current staff is overwhelmed and understaffed. This has led to longer response times and less overall coverage. More officers mean quicker response times and an increase in public safety.
A successful police force requires the support of the community and officers’ colleagues. This feeling of support allows officers to do their jobs more effectively and confidently. In turn, this leads to a higher level of trust between the police and the public.
The new Antioch City Council needs to rebuild that trust! They can do this by being more transparent with the community and working harder to create positive change. The council also needs to listen to the community and take their concerns into account. Only then can they hope to earn back the trust of the people.
Every community has different aspects that make up its quality of life.
For some, it is important to have a low crime rate and good schools. Others might prioritize having a variety of restaurants and entertainment options. No matter what is important to a community, the quality of life is an important aspect.
There are three main ways that cities try to improve the quality of life for everyone who lives there: Code Enforcement, Economic Development, and the Police Force.
Right now, these departments in Antioch are running with a seriously depleted staff. That means there aren’t enough people working in these areas to make sure everyone is following the rules, developing new businesses and jobs, or keeping us safe.
Antioch can address its challenges by breaking up the current City Council progressive voting bloc to allow other voices to be heard on November 8th.
We can do better. We have to do better.
It is time for us to find permanent solutions to help the unhoused. And I can’t say this enough; leasing a hotel in a residential area to house homeless people is not a long-term solution to the issue of homelessness. The hotel will, at best, be able to house 64 people, and those helped will be single men and women. There are too many families living in their cars, sharing a small home with relatives for short periods of time; they do not have a permanent home.
There are other agencies and cities that are already doing good work; such as county, state and nonprofits, that already have solutions. The city needs to partner with them to find sustainable solutions for those who want them.
As a council member, I will partner with my fellow members to seek out and implement best practices to help the homeless who want and need help.
Attracting New Businesses
According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses make up for 99.7 percent of all firms in the United States. They are responsible for creating about two out of every three new jobs in the country each year. In addition, small businesses contribute to local economies by generating tax revenue and supporting community development projects.
In Antioch, California, small businesses are the key to a thriving community. Unbelievably, the threatening businesses in the Sycamore area with eminent domain, banning sales of menthol cigarettes, while focusing largely on the cannabis industry is stifling growth and prosperity in our city. This heavy-handed approach creates an uncertain business environment, scares away potential investors, and ultimately hurts the very people the council says they are trying to help.
Eminent domain is a powerful tool that should be used sparingly and only in cases of true need. When city leaders abuse this power, it sends a message to businesses that they are not welcome or valued.
The mayor and city council should support businesses by creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. This means being receptive to new ideas, supporting existing businesses, and working together to make our city a great place to live, work, and do business.
We have a unique opportunity to win in the next election.
Antioch is a mess and it’s more important than ever to have a strong leader who will stand up for what she believes is right for our city, even if it means rocking the boat among the council members who tend to vote as a bloc.
With your help, we can make sure that Diane Gibson-Gray has the platform she needs to reach as many people as a possible and secure victory on election day.