The following Letter to the Editor was submitted Antioch resident Kathy Cabrera, who is a proponent for the recall Lamar Thorpe Campaign, says Joy Motts attempted to interfere with their signature gathering event.
After an over two months 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 holiday delight 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 Delight parade route at 4pm for a parade that started at 5pm.
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 Delight 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.
Recall Lamar Thorpe Proponent
UPDATE – MOTTS RESPONDS
On Monday, Motts disputed the allegations and said she did not contact any business in the days leading up to the event asking them to move the signature gathering, but did confirm she asked them to move inside during the Celebrate Antioch Foundation parade.
“Perception is reality and when celebrate Antioch is putting on an event and some of our members are out trying to do a recall, which they have every right to do, we were just asking them not to do that during the event,” said Motts explaining they had to pull a permit for the event, the city sponsors the event and they have to work with the city departments such as Antioch Police, Public Works, Park and Recreation and others. “When the parade was going on, all we asked them to do was go inside and they said okay and we thought alright cool, its handled.”
She said the Foundation is working hard to put on celebrations for the City of Antioch and were not trying to have the organization tied to a recall effort as an endorsement. She explained what the recall proponents are doing is political and they are free to do that on their own time outside of our events.
Motts reiterated that Celebrate Antioch is a 501C3 non-profit and have to stay “A-Political” and not get involved.
“We really can’t stop them, we just asked them to be reasonable and to see it from our point of view and how difficult of a position it could make for us,” said Motts. “It’s the perception that Celebration Antioch Foundation is endorsing the recall against the Mayor. City Council could then decide to not support us in the future.”
A celebrate Antioch Foundation member did reach out to both local businesses on behalf of Joy Motts. The member wished not to be identified.