The following Letter to the Editor was submitted by Antioch resident and District 4 candidate for city council Sandra White who called on Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe to resign.
Here is the letter:
Dear Citizens of Antioch:
It’s no secret that the political climate in Antioch has been a contentious battleground for the last several years. We’ve had a council that has had little collaboration on the most significant issues plaguing our city, which has experienced a sharp decline in the quality of life for our residents. When I pulled papers to run for the district 4 seat election in November, I intended to focus on my race and not allow outside distractions. The negativity that has surrounded our council, especially our mayor, is something I thought I could address once I am elected to serve.
My plans sharply shifted on Friday.
I participated in a roundtable discussion with my opponents, also running for election in District 4, and we were all asked the same questions. The moderator asked each member on the panel if we thought the mayor should resign, considering the recent settlement involving the Los Medanos Community Healthcare District. Whereas two women accused Lamar Thorpe of sexual harassment, unwanted sexual advances, creating a hostile work environment, and other unlawful actions. I approached this question from an HR perspective, as I handle similar cases almost daily in my career as Vice President of Human Resources and understand the analysis that takes place before it’s decided if a claim is settled or brought to trial. My response was a resounding yes. I firmly believe these women are telling the truth and that the county board of supervisors would not have settled if there had been no compelling evidence of Lamar Thorpe’s guilt.
What shocked me during this discussion was my opponent’s response. When posed the same question, councilwoman Monica Wilson stated the call for the mayor to resign is a witch-hunt, and the investigation is not completed. These types of accusations should not be made against the mayor. In an earlier statement submitted to the East Bay Times, Councilwoman Monica Wilson accused fellow council members of being racist when they called for the mayor to resign.
I found her responses to be alarming.
Councilwoman Wilson has built both her political and personal careers on advocating for women that have been sexually exploited. How can she turn her back on these two women to try and save a political ally? How can she attempt to incite racism and further divide our city to protect Lamar Thorpe? Will she now accuse me, a fellow woman of color, of racism in calling for his resignation?
The incident is not about race, personal allegiances, or political parties. It’s about behavior and ethics. We cannot tolerate the conduct of our mayor, or his allies that continue to create division in our community. Mayor Thorpe needs to resign and allow our city to move forward and heal from the trauma he has inflicted.
When District 4 residents vote in the November election, I hope they choose integrity over alliances and old loyalties and help bring The Change That We Need!