Home Opinion Opinion: Antioch Deserved Better Than “Take Back Antioch”

Opinion: Antioch Deserved Better Than “Take Back Antioch”

by ECT

Brittney Gougeon

With the void left by Take Back Antioch who recently shut itself down, residents in Antioch now have an opportunity to start a new grassroots movement to help reduce crime, cleanup the city and build up community pride.

Over the last several days, I have received dozens of emails and messages asking about what happened to Take Back Antioch as both its website and Facebook Page were shut down. This comes months after founder Brittney Gougeon was named Antioch’s Citizen of the Year.

I was told by a person of authority that Ms. Gougeon has moved out of Antioch and is now living in Brentwood so she shut it down.

Some on social media have questioned Ms. Gougeon actions by asking whether or not she fooled everyone, if her organization was a ruse, or did she do it for notoriety and self-promotion?  They are also asking about what happened to donated funds for the non-profit.

All fair questions, but the discussion is not a productive usage of time. Instead, folks should be looking forward at the future instead of the bad taste left in one’s mouth.

Sure, it may be easy to criticize her decision to shut down the group as opposed to handing it over to another, but this actually may be a  blessing to start fresh and clearly define a message around an organizations goal—not a single person.

For starters, the fresh start is a blessing because the original page turned political towards the end and supported a single councilmember versus the city—those posts and discussions are now gone. There was little updating in the final months and little support for Measure C—a new group can have lots of updates and define the types of content it provides.  Most importantly, users who were banned/blocked for voicing opposing views now have a clean slate.

What will be missed is the history and base of around 5,000 supporters looking to make a difference in the city. With good leadership, a clearly defined message, and some common sense in content posted, that can be built back up.

The movement of “taking back Antioch” should not end because Ms. Gougeon moved on; this is an opportunity for someone else to step up and continue the goal of improving Antioch. You do not need a fancy title or figurehead to initiate change. Instead, you need time, effort, and a good message.

Antioch has so much potential with people working together. The city is full of good people with big hearts that care about their community. Now is the time for them to step up and improve on the Take Back Antioch model to create a forever lasting positive change within the city.

Here are some other Antioch groups you may want to consider joining on Social Media.

Burk Byline

By Michael Burkholder
[email protected]

Photo by Beverly Knight from the 2013 Antioch Chamber of Commerce Inaugural Gala in March 2013.

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Valerie Jan 2, 2014 - 9:44 am

Took her award and ran. Glad she is gone because she banned me for speaking the truth. I think you are right, stop focusing on her and lets look forward. I see a couple groups are already trying to proclaim they are real but time will tell. Who is to say these groups also are not doing it for publicity as well? Lets get to work Antioch and support our city and law enforcement and be the change needed to fix our city.

Bobby Lott Jan 2, 2014 - 9:49 am

Not happy she left but she did do good with raising funds for City Park and raising awareness for crime. Can’t blame her for getting out of Antioch when she could. What is the point of this post anyway? To make others look bad? Is the author sad he did not get an award?

Pretty petty Burk!

Reginald Jamal Brown Jan 2, 2014 - 12:18 pm

Well said.

George Mathews Jan 2, 2014 - 10:50 am

Do not fall for the “Real ” Take Back Antioch group. Those guys are obviously part of the “taxed enough” crowd of years ago and just get.in the way of anything actually happening to change.Antioch for the better.

David Jan 2, 2014 - 11:40 am

The “Real Take Back Antioch” is just as bad as the first one. These people are right-wing, pro-gun, anti-section 8 extremists who have not gotten much traction. Best to start a new group and we all work together.

George Mathews Jan 2, 2014 - 12:04 pm

Exactly, David. The “real” folks are gun nuts and right wing bigots, disguising themselves as concerned residents of Antioch. Beware, everyone. This is a crowd you do not want to be associated with

Reginald Jamal Brown Jan 2, 2014 - 12:17 pm

I’ve never heard of the “Real Take Back Antioch”, but whatever the case is, I think they have the right to their own opinion on how to make the city better.

Reginald Jamal Brown Jan 2, 2014 - 12:15 pm

This article is a bit harsh and manipulative. At least Brittney gave hope while no one else stepped up to the plate with the same voracity.

One person going up against a city of 105,000 people with probably more than 70% of the population is affiliated to a criminal or crimanl activity to some degree, is a tough challenge.

Like I said before, there are way too many hypocrites in this city. Those who have the courage to stand up and fight the crime are shot down, figuratively and literally.

If Antioch is to see change, the residents need to take a proactive approach starting with watching and scrutinizing the local government and getting actively involved in reporting crime and suspicious activities. We need to work together to gain the city back.

Nick Nalenger Jan 2, 2014 - 12:44 pm

I new Brittney was a fraud.

George Mathews Jan 2, 2014 - 1:34 pm

And just how did you “know” that, Nick? Most likely, she got tired of bumping heads with the “real” folks, not knowing what nuts those guys are. Plus, perhaps she actually found a person she wanted to share her life with. As long as she didn’t abscond with anyone’s money, let her alone. Concentrate on making Antioch a viable town, and not a Section 8 dumping ground

Reginald Jamal Brown Jan 2, 2014 - 10:56 pm

Well said

Concerned Antioch resident Jan 2, 2014 - 9:08 pm

What happened with Take Back Antioch/Brittney Gougeon is reminiscent of the United Citizens for Better Neighborhoods (UCBN) group founded by Gary Gilbert who was named Antioch’s 2006 Citizen of the Year. It is my belief that the founders of these 2 groups received threats to their safety that lead them to abandon “the cause”.

Reginald Jamal Brown Jan 2, 2014 - 10:58 pm

I wonder who would give them threats.

George Mathews Jan 3, 2014 - 2:46 pm

Probably the jerks who show up to Starbucks with guns strapped on their hips. Bullies are everywhere

#GunBully Jan 8, 2014 - 3:09 pm

Including right here. Left wing extremists vs Right wing extremists and name calling won’t necessarily solve anything. Besides, you’re right. You don’t need a gun. Its better that the thugs and gangsters have them, illegally, so they can steal your children and murder your women. Right?

gmath12347 Jan 8, 2014 - 4:37 pm

Dude! You want a gun, good for you. Have as many as your little heart desires. But keep ’em in your house and don’t strap it on when you come to Starbucks. You’re compensating, I know. But still….the point is we should reasonably figure out how to make this a better,safer place to live without trying to tarnish someone’s name

Gary Gilbert Jan 3, 2014 - 6:00 pm

Actually, my leaving UCBN had nothing to do with treats. I left the group because their were individuals within the organization who believed that could do a better job than I could and wanted to take the group in a direction that would have created problems that would have been detrimental to the city and residents and I absolutely would not go along with it. So I gave the reigns of UCBN to the folks who desperately wanted to be in charge. Within a month of my departure, the chaos that ensued destroyed the group as I predicted. It’s easy to stand on the sidelines and whine & complain but when it’s time to step up, very few have the courage.

Gary Gilbert Jan 3, 2014 - 6:18 pm

We left Antioch for Southern California eighteen months ago for a better quality of life because of my wife’s medical needs and could not be happier. Have a wonderful new year and stay safe.

Concerned Antioch resident Jan 3, 2014 - 7:46 pm

Gary, thank you so much for the clarification regarding your situation with UCBN and for all you did to help the citizenry while you were living in Antioch. I wish you and your family continued happiness in your new location.

Gary Gilbert Jan 3, 2014 - 8:24 pm

Thank you Concerned Antioch Resident. Did not get involved in Antioch for personal attention. Just wanted to help the wonderful people who treated me and my family with so much love and kindness. I wish all of you the best of luck and keep fighting to improve your quality of life!

Melissa Jan 6, 2014 - 9:48 pm

I was once a member of TBA, but sorry it was filled with garage sales and misc unimportant things having nothing to do with solutions, I unliked it. While the RTBA is pro NRA, I find they are more proactive when it comes to the seriousness of holding our City leaders accountable for their actions. This is why I am a member of that group. I do not want a gun in my home, but if I lived on a dangerous street, I might reconsider. The only fact I like about TBA founder is that she did bring people together. However which neighborhood is holding a garage sale is not going to clean up Antioch.

gmath12347 Jan 7, 2014 - 6:01 am

Fact is, when the Childrens Playground was destroyed, it was TBA that stepped up and organized the effort to get money to rebuild. Not the ” Real” TBA. Instead of joining forces for the betterment of the city those guys kept their sniping and promotion of nonsense like “open carry”. Yeah, I was not allowed to post on TBA after a.couple of what I thought were innocuous gripes, and that annoyed me. I keep up with the “Real” folks to.read the gun toting nonsense and when to avoid Starbucks, not for.any sense of community. For that its “Cleaning Up Antioch, One Home At A Time”.

Lora-Lee Jan 23, 2014 - 1:18 pm

As someone who knows and loves Brittney, I cannot let things like this be said without a rebuttal. Brittney has asked not to receive word when ignorant people say ignorant things about her and what she gave to Antioch but I cannot stand idly by. Brittney gave over 2 years of her life to better Antioch and run TBA. Like it or not Brittney and TBA were instrumental in stopping the layoffs of more police, in the return of code enforcement, and the funds to rebuild city park. The city received all the funds for the park rebuild. No money was absconded with. This article is case and point why Brittney left. She gave the majority of her energy to a city that did little for her in return. Take an award and run? Yeah right …. she earned that plaque with 2.5 years of her life she will never get back. She didn’t even want that award or recognition. She made your life in that city better. Be grateful for what you received from her and I challenge all of you to do more for Antioch in the next 2.5 years than what she did in her time. If you ask her if she would go back and do it all again despite how drained TBA left her, and people like you who questioned her intentions and integrity, she says yes she would. That’s the real story.

Julio Feb 11, 2014 - 3:06 pm

“A city that did little for her in return” There is the answer. She did do some good things and thank you for that. Mr. Gilbert did give far more than that and actually still does. He taught many people what they can do for their city and not need anything in return. Not need anything in return.

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