Contra Costa Today is a show based on the people and news of Contra Costa County and the State of California.
Contra Costa Today is a show based on the people and news of Contra Costa County and the State of California.
A Chat on Social Media Strategies
On this episode, we chat about social media strategy with Samantha Semans of Ten10Social, Hillary Dittmore of Socially Hilary and Michael Pohl of Bay Area Aquatics. This podcast was an open discussion aimed at helping local business improve their social media.
00:40 – Introductions of Hillary Dittmore, Michael Pohl and Samantha Semans.
03:19 – Why social media? Why do business need social media and not just have a website anymore?
05:55 – Posting a photo and say “buy something”, what is the best way to make a post? Do not try and sell 24/7… build trust and let people get to know you. Its about building a community.
10:00 – Navigating different audiences for different platforms. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. Working on creating appropriate graphics and postings.
12:52 – How do people get started with social media and working with a professional social media manager.
16:40 – What is a social media audit?
18:45 – Biggest change and challenge working with restaurants during the shutdown. As well as impact on brick and mortar.
22:00 – Staying in the forefront while being closed during COVID-19, what are some strategies?
23:45 – How to stay motivated during COVID-19. How to keep it positive while providing value?
27:35 – Advice for page managers dealing with negativity. When to delete posts, comments or just ban people. Community vs. business relationship.
34:14 – I ask for advice in dealing with comments on EastCountyToday.
39:10 – Social media is false security, we know who you are when you are commenting negativity. If you are a business owner and being ugly in groups/pages, it could hurt your business.
42:25 – What is the value of “likes” and “shares”? Instead, focus on engagement rate.
46:22 – When we are out of COVID-19, when does everyone flip the switch to selling the “experience” again. We then talk about the Pac-man style masks that open as you eat.
50:25 – Thoughts on influencers.
01:01:00 – why do women grow audiences so much faster then men?
01:02:40 – Final Thoughts
Reaction to Antioch Proposal to Spend $1 Million to House Homeless at Motel
On this episode, we hold an immediate reaction to a proposal by Antioch City council members Joy Motts and Lamar Thorpe that would spend $1 million on 32-rooms at the Executive Inn to house the homeless on E. 18th in the City of Antioch. We then talk about other homelessness issues in the City, go over a timeline of what the City Council has done or not done in resolving homeless issues and touch on other topics.
00:43 – Intro of Manny Soliz, Sandra White & Ken Turnage II
01:20 – Manny Soliz, a former Antioch City Council Member (1996-200) and Antioch Planning Commissioner, and formerly on Antioch Parks and Recreation Commissioner. Soliz has pulled papers to run against Joy Motts in District 1.
02:49 - Sandra White, an Antioch Crime Commissioner with a background in corporate business. She is now a candidate for Antioch City Council in District 4.
04:18 – Ken Turnage, a former Antioch Planning Commissioner who has a business owner right down the street from this proposal. He has pulled papers to run for Mayor.
*Note fore clarification purposes, neither Soliz or White were representing Antioch, but rather themselves as individuals as residents of the City of Antioch.
06:01 – We discuss the press conference held by Antioch Councilmembers Lamar Thorpe and Joy Motts to lease the Executive Inn Motel for the homeless. A 32-room facility at $1 million per year. The proposal goes before the council on July 28, 2020.
14:20 – Manny Soliz explains this idea for the Executive Inn being for the homeless is recycled from 7-years ago that has come back. Soliz further highlights loss of revenue from the rooms, the City will lose occupancy room tax ($100k approx.) which would impact Animal Services.
16:35 – Sandra White argues “why Antioch” for this homeless motel services? Now Antioch is inviting one of the largest encampments in east county to E 18th street, plus trailers and RV’s. All while defunding the Antioch Police Department. Meanwhile, Turnage argues this proposal is right next to a school.
20:24 – I argue Thorpe and Motts did not need a press conference to announce this… this was done for grandstanding and attention while working with the Contra Costa County. It has also been stated that in this whole year and a half of ad-hoc committee, neither Thorpe nor Motts have attended any of the Contra Costa County Council on Homelessness let alone a ride along with the Antioch Police Community Engagement Team who deal directly with homeless.
28:30 – What would you spend $1 million in city money on in Antioch?
36:20 – Antioch Police Community Engagement Team and their role in responding to homeless. Why not take $1 million and expand CET team with a counselor or psychologist and as a team they go out making the rounds? White, Soliz and Turnage answer if police should still respond to these types of calls. We also get into social worker safety. White argues Antioch Police should hire its own mental health professionals.
50:00 – I go over the Timeline in which the Antioch City Council has worked on homeless issues. Soliz explains why the Planning Commission had issues with proposed homeless trailer sites. In a year and a half, what has been accomplished and where is the community at?
1:06:15 – White asks why the citizens of Antioch can’t get to a place of stop debating where the homeless shelter should be located, ask why does it have to be in Antioch? What other city should take it? Turnage argues it should located on county property.
1:08:43 – Soliz give his thoughts on where we go from here on the July 28 council meeting.
1:10:39 – I ask White about economic development and where the city could be if they took all that time spent on homeless discussions and instead spent it on economic development and finding ways to help business.
1:15:10 – I ask Turnage about where the city could be if the
A chat with Political Consultant Mary Jo Rossi Ahead of 2020 Elections
On this episode, I chat with political consultant Mary Jo Rossi of Rossi Communications ahead of the 2020 election as candidates begin to announce. She provides both some advice and we talk needing to raise the bar locally in Contra Costa with elected officials.
01:04 – Intro, who is Mary Jo Rossi?
03:03 – Rossi explains we need people who want to raise the bar and lead with high standards and courage.
03:55 – How will COVID-19 have on the November election and how will candidates be able to fund raise and get in front of people.
05:49 – COVID-19 has highlighted who leaders are versus those who are reactionary. Rossi argues we do not have creative individuals in government. We need to begin attracting really smart, creative people to government and looking at the system of government.
09:15 – Rossi explains what she thinks of elected officials right now.
12:45 – For those considering running for public office in 2020, what do you focus on and what do you ignore right now?
16:14 – I suggest this fall, the focus should be on economic development to ensure businesses stay open.
22:00 – I argue how the public should demand the bar be raised by elected officials’ actions. We also get into how Facebook commentary is misleading. Rossi also gets into how young people need to vote.
24:30 – We look at the past election and how close they were. Upcoming elections with districts and how every vote will count in Antioch, Brentwood, Concord, Martinez, etc.
26:44 – Should we throw them all out of Sacramento? Rossi argues “who are we getting in return”? We need people who do not care if they get re-elected. Do the best job possible. We get into Senator Bill Dodd, Assemblymemebers Tim Grayson and Jim Frazier.
31:28 – With leadership, Contra Costa County does not have good benches for people to learn how to serve. How do we better prepare people to be elected officials with some experience?
35:20 – is Coffee with the Mayor or councilperson enough to get a real perspective of the community? She talks about the insiders (opinion leaders) and everybody else. Elected leaders need to understand the difference. She also says people who will speak their minds, like Ken Turnage II.
41:10 – Rossi brings up we are all just talking about racism right now, but what is actually happening and how does the conversation move forward. We get into how defund the police is a bad concept and slogan. These are conversations you have with the police department, not in attack mode which divides the community. She gets into local leaders who are dividing the community such as Lamar Thorpe and Karen Rarey. I argue District Attorney Diana Becton is a divider because she is not leading on behalf of the county.
49:50 – We get into how Supervisor John Gioia is a reactionist with an opinion, but no one else is speaking up. Rossi credits Gioia for at least giving an opinion, most will not.
53:30 – The need to have a plan if you want to run or get reelected. We also need to recruit good people because we are losing good people who have done this for years. Rossi argues we need smart people to run and win to buck the system. She highlights how 1/10 of what you do is at a city council meeting.
01:02:20 – I get into the need to raise the bar in the Nov. 2020 election with strong candidates. Rossi argues the bar can be raised, but the system doesn’t attract better people. We also get into the year Antioch has just spent talking about the homeless. The county placing homeless services at Antioch/Pittsburg border, project is in purgatory.
1:07:25 – We get into inactivity in Concord with the Concord Naval Weapon Station land.
1:08:20 – Have a plan, principals, do not pander if you are considering running for office. Rossi says know why you are running.
Ariel Ryan Shares Experience of Being African American Growing Up in Brentwood, Calls for Social Changes
On this episode, I chat with Ariel Ryan who spoke at the Brentwood City Council meeting sharing her experience of being an African American female growing up in Brentwood. We recap her public comments (17:34 min mark of council meeting), to should Juneteenth be a national holiday, to what systems need to change in the United States, and locally what needs to change to be a more inclusive society.
01:12 – Bio about Ariel and she gets into why she spoke about her rough childhood in the City of Brentwood dealing with racism.
03:12 – Recap of what was said at the Brentwood City Council Meeting. She talks about being called the “N” word for the first time. 2nd grade, someone cut her hair at school. Being an African American in Brentwood schools—she talks about importance of hair in her culture. She gets into middle school and how it got rougher.
06:50 – She gets into attempted suicide from being bullied and isolated. She wanted to blend in and not be Black.
09:30 – in High School, she gets into speaking out against bullying she was threatened with her senior activities being taken away.
11:10 – if this is going on in a community like Brentwood, what is really going on that doesn’t get out? How do we start having this conversation so it stops. She gets into the testimony she has been collecting and what is being said amongst race related conversations. Ariel suggests we are whitewashing history and providing a false narrative of American history.
13:50 – We get into Juneteenth Celebration
15:14 – I get into why I was frustrated with the protests in the beginning.
17:16 – how do we overcome racial bias in society.
18:13 – We go back into mental health and what helped Ariel.
21:35 – Ariel’s goal going forward
24:50 – How does bullying and racial relations overlap. Why is one the message while the other ignored?
26:27 – Brentwood City Council has been silent on the issue, what does that tell you?
29:22 – Ariel highlights how systems in the United States needs to change.
32:00 – If we are talking defund the police force because police are bad, how do we get the police force to look like the community they represent. We also get into Richmond City Councilmember Jael Myrick youtube video on Defund the Police.
35:41 – How do people get in touch with Ariel to work on a plan to create action items. She is focused on the Brentwood Union School District, Liberty Union High School District. She gets into history/social studies, the need to get more social on things.
38:34 – Ariel talks about her brothers experience right now going through the school system. She highlights when she graduated high school, she was broken. She doesn’t want another generation of kids being broken at graduation.
41:35 – Ariel is hoping the people of East Contra Costa can unify and come together for the youth, human beings to protest and come together for change. After the protest, where do we go from there? She again highlights the need for change at the Brentwood Union School District, Liberty Union High School District.
44:30 – I share my frustration with Brentwood elected officials.
46:45 – We get into how youth today, through this conversation, will realize they are not alone, there are many experiencing the same things. Ariel highlights racism is so covert, people do not know they are doing it.
50:30 – We get into need to change culture for the better and reform has to be everywhere from the police, education, news and more. We need to focus on the context.
55:00 – Politicians will not make the easy decisions because of pandering for votes (on both sides). Change can happen if they really want to. Ariel asks about what I learned in history.
1:00:00 – What is next step? Should be bottom up, not top down movement. How can people get in touch with Ariel.
A chat with Congressman Jerry McNerney
On this episode, I chat with Congressman Jerry McNerney after he attended a Juneteenth Celebration in the City of Antioch. We get into the tone in Washington DC, the national debate on police and racial bias. We talk COVID-19 and upcoming bills that are to be discussed and close by getting into technology, the environment and other topics.Episode Breakdown
00:35 – Intro
01:19 – McNerney on what the tone of Washington DC is with trying to change police regarding police policy such as chokeholds and bad actor police officers, setting standards and more. On being in California and trying to get the rest of the country to catch up on police policy. Balancing needs of different states versus state needs.
05:42 – We get into COVID-19 and impact its having including upcoming bills they are voting on such as the HEROS Act. From single payments to households of up to $6k to $600 per month for unemployment. McNerney highlights a lot of people are living paycheck to paycheck.
11:15: McNerney highlights that on Tuesday, they are having a hearing with Dr. Anthony Fauci. McNerney is one of two scientists in Congress and says that science needs a place at the table.
13:39 – McNerney shares we are already seeing the effects of climate change.
17:25 – McNerney says he believes Juneteenth should be a national holiday.
19:55 – Racial bias and how do we tackle that and make people more aware and become more inclusive of one another. McNerney says we have to tackle public safety, not just police. Social training and de-escalation training for officers. Universal policy for bad officers while police unions should not eb standing by bad officers who commit criminal acts.
23:29 – We get into loyalty to the badge vs. loyalty to fellow officer.
25:52 – We jump into Artificial Intelligence and technology along with drones and where we are headed. We also need better privacy laws. McNerney also shares technology that is impressing him.
36:15 – McNerney talks about the work at home economy and cyber protection is needed.
39:04 – We get into climate change and where we are at with the Delta, improving California Water Storage.
40:40 – We get into local issues that McNerney is watching which includes the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District. He also is watching the economy, broadband access, schools.
42:31 – McNerney shares an update on Mark DeSaulnier
43:10 – McNerney provides final thought on where we are headed.
46:45 – McNerney highlights how he would like to have corporate model change for social good and environmental good.
Immediate Reaction to Antioch City Council Vote on Rejecting Ad-Hoc Committee Creation for Police Reform
On this episode, Ken Turnage II and I sit down and provide our immediate reactions to the Antioch City Council vote Thursday night where they voted against creating an ad-hoc committee on police reform in a 3-2 vote. The council opted for a much larger discussion involving the community as Mayor Sean Wright called this "too big" for an ad-hoc committee.