Home Antioch Video: Antioch Mayor Announces Hiring Program, Probation’s Partnership and Puts Property Owners on Notice

Video: Antioch Mayor Announces Hiring Program, Probation’s Partnership and Puts Property Owners on Notice

by ECT

On Monday, Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe held a press conference announcing initiatives that he hopes will make the community safer while holding property owners and business responsible for contributing to crime.

In total, he announced four items which include:

  • Mayors City Apprenticeship Program
  • County Probation Partnership – with Office at Sycamore Square
  • Property Owners Must Do Their Part to Keep Communities Safe
  • Overtime for Antioch Police to be Considered

Here is the recap:


“I am exceptionally proud to be mayor of Antioch and I am exceptionally proud to work with an outstanding group of individuals on our city council,” said Thorpe.

He was critical of those who sit at home and criticize.

“There will be people who will try and divide us who have nothing better to do. Let me tell you, this council is strong. We are working on behalf of the people. And for those who sit at home behind their keyboards having nothing great to say, you are not going to divide this council, we are united and working on behalf of the people and all that trash talk you have you can take it out the window,” said Thorpe.

He continued by saying they were there Monday to send a clear message to the community.

“Time is up,” stated Thorpe. “We are no longer standing by hoping things get better at places like Sycamore Square, Bonfare Market,  Romi’s Liquor and Food and other locations that have been troubled spots for over 30-40 years. This isn’t new.”

He took credit for creating a tax measure to increase the police officers in the city and building new youth programs and increase Antioch’s overall quality of life.

“We stand here in Sycamore Square, an area that has been overrun with drug dealing and other illicit activities. Like many of you, I am not unfamiliar with the Sycamore community. Not only have I knocked on doors for my own campaign, I have knocked on doors on behalf of Monica Wilson, our current Vice Mayor, former councilmember Joy Motts and participated in outreach activities.”

He called the area filled with hard working people and strong families and an abundance of young people looking for young people. He stated it was an area where Pittsburgh Steeler Najee Harris was raised, New York Jets running back Isaiah Dunn was raised in Sycamore. He shared that Antioch Unified School Board Trustee and City Clerk Ellie Householder was raised in Sycamore along with the Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks.

“Yet, like when we become tolerant of barking dogs we become tolerant of illicit activities in the area and have allowed that to define the narrative of those beautiful cities within our community,” said Thorpe.

He also thanked Councilmember Tamisha Torres-Walker for bringing this problem up and bringing it to his full attention who then spoke next.

He closed the roughly 30-minute press conference with the following statement:

“There will be folks that criticize our plan. That is fine. I would rather be criticized than sit behind a keyboard blogging in my underwear doing nothing,” said Thorpe. “We are the ones doing the work. We are the ones who are out here and I want to thank everyone who joined us in those efforts.”

Mayors City Apprenticeship Program

This will be a paid program that will hire minors and young adults that are involved in illicit activities. Called the program citywide but the focus will be in the Sycamore Corridor.

“If you can show up here at 8:00 am and sell dope, you can show up to city hall, to public works, you can show up anywhere in this city to earn a living the right way. We are more than willing to train you and more than happy to provide you with the opportunities you need but you wont be doing this anymore in my city. Its not going to happen,” said Thorpe.

Thorpe said Tasha Johnson, Youth Services Network Manager for city of Antioch, will be growing this program and will accept people without barriers regardless of criminal record or obstacles.

“Let me send another message to city hall and our staff there. Stay out of Tasha Johnson’s way. We need her to get the job done and get these young people hired. I don’t care about the rules, we need them hired and I want them hired as soon as possible,” said Thorpe. “So stay out of her way.”

County Probation Partnership – with Office at Sycamore Square

Thorpe announced that the Chief Probation Officer has agreed to match up to 50% of funding for program for resources and services to justice involved youth. This is aimed to provide wrap-around services for participants.

Ed Randell, Contra Costa County Probation, called this a great opportunity for the city of Antioch and will work to uplift the community.

“We really have a chance to uplift the young folks, remove barriers and get people employed,” stated Randell. “

Thorpe stated the owners of the plaza have agreed to allow county probation work from Sycamore Square and he is committed to that.

Property Owners Must Do Their Part to Keep Communities Safe

Thorpe discussed adding cameras, more lighting, enforcing parking limits or adding security is just some steps property owners could take to assist in keeping the neighborhood safe.

He stated that the owners have agreed to “some things” that will help secure Sycamore Square but it’s a start.

“Today, I am officially putting private property and business owners, where illicit activities is common place on notice. If you are uncooperative, not proactive in abating illegal drug activity or storefront owners are serving as a safe haven for drug dealers to bypass the loitering and trespassing laws, the city will declare you a public nuisance under the California Public Safety Code under Section 11570-11587,” said Thorpe. “If that happens, we will then use the full force of the city attorney’s office to then condemn your property and eminent domain it. Then this property will look like the property across the street, an empty lot. I am promising you that. We are not playing around with these games anymore. Its over and done. We have to keep these streets safe and the quality of life above anything else.”

Thorpe said if property owners are taking their duty seriously the city would work with them but if one is not they would use every available tool to make them comply with obligations as a property owner.

Editors Note:  what eminent domain is and how it works

Over Time for Antioch Police to be Considered

Thorpe warned property owners that the Antioch Police Department is not private security and property owners have the burden to keep their property security. He will work with the police chief to work on possible overtime for troubled areas so they can assist property owners.

Captain Tony Morefield reiterated the Antioch Police Department has been in the neighborhood and will continue to serve the neighborhood by patrolling the streets and was there to stand with the community and will continue to be there for the community.

Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walkers Comments

He also thanked Councilmember Tamisha Torres-Walker for bringing this problem up and bringing it to his full attention who then spoke next.

“July 15 at 11:39 am, I sent an email to the city manager, the assistant city manager, the police chief and city manager regarding proactive conversations regarding issues in this area. To date, that email has gone unanswered,” stated Torres-Walker. “Since 1995, we have had seven mayors, two of which were black men and who served on previous councils, it took elected somebody who was impacted by violence and have lived in struggling communities to get some attention to these communities to date.”

Walker said she knocked on doors and talked to people who have not been heard for 30-years.

“We have heard about Measure W this morning and that measure is still delivering today and it should continue to do what it was meant to do. Youth programs increase the quality of life in our communities and scale up our police department to meet the current capacity,” said Torres-Walker who said she knew how hard it was to tell people to put down their guns and stop participating in the underground economy if they were not ready to offer real options and opportunities. “Its one thing to tell someone to make a choice and not provide them with options. I also know how long that road is… it could take a while to change a culture in a community.”

She called on the need for neighborhood council, a need for a human rights and racial equity commission, and a strong civilian police oversight body.

“I don’t care where you are from. Whether it be San Francisco, Oakley Richmond, Vallejo, Stockton, Etc., if you live in Antioch, this is your home now. Just like you will stand in the gap and defend your home of origin, it is time to make it right now, make it right now where you lay your head down and that is Antioch, we all have a responsibility to Antioch,” said Torres-Walker. “If you are one of those people just passing through, we welcome you to the city of Antioch. But if your intentions are not good and its meant to create harm. You can keep it moving, because this is no longer an option for you, this is no longer and opportunity for you. This is now a city that says opportunity exists here, if that is what you want, then we are ready to roll up our sleeves and work with you.”

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Bill Moon Jul 26, 2021 - 4:09 pm

This guy is an idiot. He makes it out like all five of them agree. Now is the time for Mike & Lori to start standing up against them on issues they do not agree with. This guy is a liar. And threatening businesses with eminent domain, he doesn’t even know the law. I hope business starts leaving down and blaming him. Thank you ECT for including that link so others may also be aware of how big of an idiot the mayor is.

Here is more info on eminent domain. Basically, private property shall be taken by eminent domain only when there is a public use. And another question, Antioch can afford to pay for the property with what money?


Janet Jul 26, 2021 - 4:10 pm

All of this and nothing about hiring more cops. Unbelievable

Jill Andersen Jul 26, 2021 - 4:16 pm

I just listened to this and said nothing about taking criminals off the street. Par for the course under this city council. Cuddle with the criminal but its everyone else fault.

Street-Sweeper Jul 26, 2021 - 4:45 pm


Law biding Antioch residents need to start letting their voices be heard in large volumes. If you think things can’t get any worse, you are very very wrong.

Rosemary Ross Jul 26, 2021 - 6:58 pm

Mike has to come down on this Thorpe guy! The Torres-Walker chick should be booted out of the council. She doesn’t belong there at all! I’m glad people are bringing this so-called “mayor’s” craziness into the light! We need to start a RECALL petition going! This is probably THE most ignorant SOB of a “mayor” we have had. Please don’t tell me that the residents of Antioch are that dumb that they would vote for someone like that.

K. Hughes Jul 27, 2021 - 11:54 pm

Rosemary! There’s already a petition going on the change.org site and it’s going strong. They need only 450 more signatures and then out-he-goes!

Sudsy Jul 26, 2021 - 7:31 pm

Where are the recall petitions? I heard they were coming out quickly; now is the time if not too late. These people are making a laughing stock out of our town and they are going to destroy it. I don’t know why I am continually amazed at how idiotic our mayor sounds and I can’t even comment on what Tamisha sounds like because I have run out of words to describe her. Yuck!!!!

Diane M Hanus Jul 26, 2021 - 8:11 pm

What jobs will be available? Sounds like all of a sudden there are hundreds of jobs somewhere…

Tom Smith Jul 26, 2021 - 9:23 pm

Mike, the politician said you blog in your underwear. He must be spying on you

Marion Jul 26, 2021 - 9:27 pm

I don’t think he liked your editorial!

Dave D. Jul 26, 2021 - 9:56 pm

What a bunch of horseshit! This man is nuttier than I first suspected! Jeeeeeeez! Don’t let up on him, Burk!

MsKris Jul 26, 2021 - 11:01 pm

Very encouraging! Praying for total success!

MR. SENN Aug 3, 2021 - 12:28 am

Keep on prayin’, sister! Not that it will do any good!

C. Global Jul 27, 2021 - 12:29 am

Whoever owns Sycamore Square should have asked the good mayor and the illegal “councilwoman” to leave the premises! Those two are an embarrassment to Antioch!

Albert Vazquez-Garcia Jul 27, 2021 - 2:07 am

Oh sure! With businesses shutting down and leaving, this sure is a place of “opportunity!” The only way to turn this around is to get rid of him and the two stooges who support him. Recall him and let’s have another run for mayor and Mike should toss his hat in. Lori is fine!

LoveableCurmudgeon Jul 27, 2021 - 4:12 am

This business of hiring lowlifes to police other lowlifes is ridiculous. Buying off some bad folks with the hopes that they’ll persuade other bad folks to NOT rob stores, or NOT shoot each other in the parking lots or the streets. RESPECT the neighborhood! is their mantra. It’s all pure BS and everyone knows it. But, hey…..we’ll make the business owners responsible for making the bad guys remove themselves from the parking lots. I know…..basketball! 24-7. That’ll mollify the folks. Good, clean, athletics to keep their little brains off the idea of shooting each other. Blah, blah, blah

Jose Cuervo Jul 27, 2021 - 8:35 am

Find cannabis dispensaries in Antioch, CA. The great new business solution for all the troubles of Antioch.

John Q Public Jul 27, 2021 - 11:21 am

I feel sorry for the residents of Antioch after watching that.

Leroy Jones Jul 27, 2021 - 2:09 pm

Guess what, Lamar! We will go after you with our keyboards, confront you in person and shame you during city council meetings! That’s a guarantee! There won’t be any place for you to hide! You and the two council members do not have Antioch’s future in mind! One of those councilmembers has been ILLEGALLY ELECTED and everyone know it. Capisce? Word gets around fast People are leaving Antioch because they know how this will end. I shop in places like Martinez, Concord, Clayton and Lafayette and if I say I live in Antioch, they say, “we feel so sorry for you!”

Victor Jul 27, 2021 - 2:26 pm

Luckily, this was not on TV and I had my barf pan ready in case it appeared and my finger on the remote to switch channels in case it did. A short article did appear in today’s paper which I lined my bird cage with. The birds refused to take a dump because my birds have standards. Someone should cue in that East Bay Times reporter. What is her problem? Slow news day again?

Esmeralda Rivera Jul 27, 2021 - 3:46 pm

How about putting a POLICE SUB-STATION in Sycamore Square? Manned 24/7! Security cameras all around the place! The police know who these ghetto scumbags are! Now, that the feds are around, maybe they could move them along and….. out of this city! Same goes with the CAVALLO CORRIDOR! Shut down ROMI’s for good and knock that building down!

Disgusted Antioch Resident Jul 27, 2021 - 4:42 pm

Thorpe is such a damned liar! Notice now his nose grows as he’s speaking! Does he think we’re as dumb as he is? He, Wilson and the arsonist are an embarrassment to this city. I don’t know how Mike and Lori can be anywhere around that trio.

IL DUCE Jul 27, 2021 - 9:03 pm

What a total jerk! He’s working for the people? The council is united? Now, that;s too bloody funny! You’re not working for the people but for the CRIMINAL element! Instead of doing everything you could to get them out of this city .. YOU OFFER THEM JOBS and they are laughing at you.


Andrew Jul 27, 2021 - 9:30 pm

“Trash talk,”Lamar? You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet, bro! Take yourself “out the window!”

Linda Hampton Jul 27, 2021 - 9:43 pm

There is a RECALL LAMAR THORPE petition on change.org .. go to Petition Residents of Antioch ca: Recall Lamar Thorpe Antioch ca city mayor Change.org

I was surprised at how many people have signed this online petition. That’s how things will be while we are still in the pandemic mode. No more standing in front of grocery stores asking for signatures.

Mark Rowen Jul 28, 2021 - 12:07 am

This is hysterical! He will pay them $15/hr or nothing at all when they can earn hundreds or more for 3 hours worth of hitting up cars with potential buyers with fists full of dollars! What is this mayor using for brains? I’m sure these criminals will be knocking each other over as they rush to City Hall to sign up! ROFLMFAO!

Tiffany Silva Jul 28, 2021 - 12:05 pm

With the pandemic still raging, you will not see people standing around asking for signatures like they used to. Today, it’s done online.

To sign the RECALL petition to get rid of Lamar Thorpe — this is where you go: –


Donna Abruzzi Jul 29, 2021 - 11:49 pm

This is going from the ridiculous to the sublime! Thorpe is going after businesses now? What are they supposed to do? Get into firefights with the drug dealers? He’s putting them on notice? Like, for what?

Chris Aug 6, 2021 - 12:23 pm

We need to get rid of these clowns. Can’t believe they were voted in to begin with. We can’t make this mistake again. This was a complete you know what show. The city has gotten worse under these people. My hats off to the Antioch Police Dept. They do a great job for what they have to deal with

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