No Politician Should Be Grandstanding for their Own Political Gain on an Issue as Important as Social Justice
Antioch – Antioch Council Member Lamar Thorpe, who is up for re-election in November, just announced his proposal to call for an “AD HOC” Committee at City Hall to deal with so-called reforms at the Antioch Police Department. Thorpe listed eight reforms endorsed by the national 8 Can’t Wait Campaign.
“Antioch residents want change – real change – so we can honestly address racism in our community,” said Mike Barbanica, candidate for Antioch City Council in District 2. “We don’t need another Antioch bureaucracy led by politicians who claim to know what’s best for our community.”
Barbanica stated that the Antioch Police Department has already instituted five of the eight reforms advocated by 8 Can’t Wait and is in the process of reviewing the other three for possible implementation. He added that Thorpe was advised of this information by the PD before he sent out his press release.
“Shame on Mr. Thorpe for grandstanding on this issue for his own political gain,” Barbanica said. “What we need is more ongoing thoughtful communication between our police officers, our community, Antioch’s faith leaders and business owners – not the establishment of some shill of a committee that exists for the purpose of promoting a politician’s own political agenda,” Barbanica added.
Barbanica, a longtime resident of Antioch, a local business owner and retired police lieutenant from the neighboring City of Pittsburg, said he is proud of the hard work and dedication of Antioch’s police officers, noting that, under Police Chief Tammany Brooks, Antioch PD has been responsive to the needs of our community.
“Can we do better? We can always do better and we need to come together, as a community, to better understand the needs of our African American and Latino residents,” stated Barbanica. “But establishing a committee of politicians who will use the pedestal to pontificate about the causes of racism is not the answer.”
Barbanica added that George Floyd’s murder, and the protests that have followed, have awakened all of us to the need for social justice reform that can only begin in earnest by us initiating honest dialogue, by our listening and communicating with one another, so we can re-create a society that is fair and just for all persons who live here.
Candidate for Antioch City Council in District 2