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 decided to run for Antioch City Council, District 1 because I feel strongly that sanity needs to be brought to the elected leadership of Antioch. Change is needed and it will not happen by electing the current or a past council member to District 1.
With the current leadership and the mayor having the majority of the council following his lead, our community is at a crisis point. I doubt the mayor will resign and it will take a council member with a strong backbone and resolve to take the abuse the mayor currently shows those who disagree with him. I have that resolve and more.
The desire to feel safe is not a political position; it’s a basic right. The Antioch Chief of Police has stated more than once there are only 6 police officers on each shift, leaving our community of 114,000 dangerously vulnerable.
The police department is understaffed and overworked. They are struggling to keep up with the demand for services. The code enforcement department is also understaffed and overworked. Public safety is not just reacting to crimes; we need to make sure that our local law enforcement has the necessary tools, training, and resources to keep up with the 21st-century demands.
Police and code enforcement officers need to be hired now. The Antioch City Council needs to vote to give ongoing approval to hire 10% over the police department budget number to ALWAYS have adequate coverage despite medical leave, FMLA, vacations, etc.
Public safety is my number one priority.
On August 9, 2018, the Antioch City Council placed Measure W on the November 6, 2018, ballot. It was approved based on the following promises:
- Continuing to maintain 911 police response and restore the number of police officers patrolling City streets
- Ensuring water quality and safety
- Maintaining Antioch’s quality of life and financial stability
- Cleaning up illegal dumping
- Restoring after-school and summer programs for youth
- Including services listed in Measure C, the existing ½ cent sales tax
Measure W has instead allowed unnecessary spending and the creation of new oversight departments, rather than adding employees who provide front-line, much-needed services.
I will vote to stop the frantic spending of Measure W funds unless it is for the reasons Measure W was approved by the taxpayers.
HIRING A PERMANENT CITY MANAGER
Hiring a city manager is one of the most important roles of a five-member city council. The city manager works in collaboration with elected officials and department heads to make sure that the day-to-day responsibilities of the various departments are executed properly.
On September 27, 2022, in a closed-session meeting, Mayor Lamar Thorpe, Councilwomen Monica Wilson, and Tamisha Torres-Walker voted Interim City Manager Cornelius “Con” Johnson into the role of the permanent city manager, just six weeks before the November election.
The council has the opportunity to move an experienced and current Assistant City Manager, Rosanna Bayon Moore, into that role and then search for the best candidate for the position. The mayor bringing a candidate forward as an interim manager without a full interview and vetting process and then rushing to make him permanent before the election is WRONG.
As a council member, I will vote to hold a public search for the most qualified city manager available.
ASSISTING THE HOMELESS
I believe that all families should have access to stable housing and that everyone should live in a safe and nurturing home. The first step to helping the homeless is understanding the issues.
While the causes of homelessness are complex and varied, mental illness and substance abuse are often major contributing factors. Untreated mental illness can lead to job loss, relationship problems, and financial instability – all of which can precipitate homelessness. Similarly, substance abuse can lead to financial ruin and social isolation, making it difficult for people to maintain stable housing.
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, which is a drop in the bucket compared to the number of homeless people in the city. The lease is expensive, and the hotel is not designed for long-term stays. The city should be looking for more permanent solutions to the problem of homelessness, such as building more affordable housing. There are other temporary solutions that are manageable in real-time, such as adding or reducing portable tiny homes on city property.
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.
I have seen the city change and grow, and I want to make sure that it continues to be a place we can all be proud of. That’s why I’m running for Antioch City Council, District 1.
As your representative on the City Council, I will work hard to make Antioch a better place for everyone. I will fight for more investment in our infrastructure and for policies that will create jobs and opportunities in our city.
Most importantly, I will always put ALL OF the people of Antioch first. I will listen to your concerns and fight for the changes you want to see in our city. With your help, I know we can make Antioch an even better place to live.
Diane Gibson-Gray, Candidate
Antioch City Council, District 1
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.