Famous football brain injury neuropathologist featured in Will Smith movie “Concussion”
As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout moves forward, it is important that we continue to reach out to our diverse communities and make sure everyone has the information and access to protect themselves and their families. Congressman Jerry McNerney (D, CA-09) will hold a conversation on Friday, February 26th from 4:00-5:00 PM to discuss COVID-19 and health disparities in the Black community and how we as a community at large can engage and support one another in the fight against this pandemic. The Congressman will be joined by special guests Dr. Bennet Omalu, Dr. Kim Rhoads, Dr. Otashe Golden, and Stockton Branch NAACP President Bobby Bivens.
Dr. Omalu is the forensic pathologist and neuropathologist who was first to discover and publish findings on brain damage caused by repeat head injuries in American football players, labeled chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). He was later appointed chief medical examiner for San Joaquin County, CA, and is a professor at U.C. Davis, department of medical pathology and laboratory medicine. Omalu was the subject of the 2015 movie Concussion, in which actor Will Smith played the role of the doctor.
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Below is a letter I am submitting to Brentwood Coty Council. It is something residents should be concerned with.
I am writing in concern to the amount of time Councilwomen Rarey and Mendoza spoke about their work with Las Hijas del Campo.
As much as I appreciate the hard work Las Hijas are putting in, it is important to recognize that Councilwoman Mendoza has a conflict of interest allocating so much time and accolades to her sister’s organization. In fact, since I wrote my initial comment, it has come to my attention that Councilwoman Mendoza is a founder of the organization.
The simple fact Councilwoman Mendoza has given public space and allocated her work as a public servant to a non-profit she has founded is a horrible use of her time as an elected official and a clear red flag. She is using her status as a public servant to highlight and provide accolades to an organization that she not only founded, but she is still doing a ton of work with.
Had Councilwoman Mendoza even taken the time to disclose her relationship to the organization, her capacity to make fair, unbiased decisions would not be in question.
Yet – it is clear she is using her position as a public servant to benefit personally. At first, I was questioning her stance due to the immediate family relationship – yet the simple fact she is a founder and active shows there is a direct conflict of interest in her touting the organization and her position as a public servant.
It is a clear conflict of interest and unethical for her to dedicate most of the weekly reports (from the City Council meeting on Feb 9, 2021, at approximately the 30-minute mark of the meeting) to her contributions to the community to her sister. In fact, Las Hijas del Campo is not yet a formalized, legal non-profit 501(C)3 entity. Currently, they have no federal or state documentation. They do nice local work – however, it reflects poorly on the council, specifically Councilwoman Mendoza and the non-profit. In fact, it looks poorly on the entire council when there is time allocated to an organization that has not taken the correct legal steps to work as a nonprofit. And an organization in which Mendoza is a founder and has not taken the time to state her relationship with the organization as a founder.
There are dozens of certified, legal non-profit organizations in Brentwood. It would be wonderful if our elected officials would dedicate their time to actual organizations that are not directly associated with a family member — and the organizations that will not directly benefit from the free support of the local, elected officials because they are family.
I am the founder of a non-profit that has worked tediously with the local homeless population, including the same “campesino” population that Las Hijas de Campo works with. Not only do I work with an overlooked population, but I have also sat down with Brentwood City leadership to seek support and partnership, including the City Manager, Chief of Police, and officers dedicated to the homeless. I partner regularly with the City of Brentwood Parks and Recreation to provide food for feeding programs in the city and was able to work with the local fire department to provide Christmas trees to local families in need. My nonprofit also works with the students at Los Medanos in their weekly food distribution program.
It is a direct conflict of interest that Councilwoman Mendoza is using her platform as an elected official to support and give accolades to her organization.
Las Hijas can benefit directly from the support of Councilwoman Mendoza, in terms of financial gain, status, and increased opportunities for more support and access to resources. Councilwoman Mendoza is not disclosing the family relationship or the simple fact she is a founder. Why is she hiding this fact?
Her negligence in non-disclosure has shown she is untrustworthy and using her role as a public servant for personal gain.
Please reach out to me with more questions. My non-profit was founded in 2013 and is in good standing with both federal and state government entities and serving the Brentwood community in collaboration with leadership. Ms. Mendoza should be mindful of using her power for the personal gain and benefit of her family. It is unethical, makes Brentwood’s leadership look undesirable, and makes me question the other ways Ms. Mendoza will use her power to answer to her personal agenda and personal gain.
George A. Guevara
Founder of My Angel’s Inc
Bill will “establish commission for Review and Correction of Historical Injustices, and for other purposes.”
The Congressman hopes to address the unfair treatment of the Port Chicago 50 during World War II
Washington, DC – Today, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D, CA-11) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D, CA-13) announced the introduction of the Confronting and Correcting Historical Injustices Act (H.R. 1196), a bill that would establish a commission to recognize and remedy the discrimination suffered by individuals and groups at the hands of the federal government.
The bill would create the Commission for Review and Correction of Historical Injustices, an independent commission responsible for reviewing and investigating federal cases in which individuals and groups have been unjustly discriminated against by federal agencies or entities. Cases eligible for consideration experienced discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation, and where the original act of discrimination led to a charge, conviction, discharge, or dismissal. The Commission would also be responsible for recommending legislative or executive action to adequately make whole those who experienced discrimination.
The proposed bill does not yet include any text, according to the Congressional legislation website.
“Now more than ever, we need to come together as a nation to dismantle the systems that were built to disadvantage people of color and other marginalized groups. To do that, we must confront and correct the injustices the federal government has perpetrated that were based on bias, discrimination, and hate,” said DeSaulnier. “I can think of no better way to celebrate Black History Month than publicly acknowledging those injustices and setting them right. Only by addressing the past can we begin healing the stark divides that continue to exist in our country. I am grateful to lead this effort with a civil rights champion like Congresswoman Lee.”
The bill is in addition to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s (D, TX-18) Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act (H.R. 40), that she reintroduced, last month.
“For too long, the federal government has played a central role in creating unjust policies across the United States, from redlining and mortgage discrimination to the systemic racism in our public health system that persists today,” said Lee. “It’s past time that we recognize the legacy of racial inequality in our institutions and call on the federal government to address these historical injustices. The Confronting and Correcting Historical Injustices Act is a critical step in demanding accountability and action from the federal government in order to move forward. I thank Congressman DeSaulnier for his leadership on this issue.”
One example that inspired this legislation is the case of the Port Chicago 50. On July 17, 1944 at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine in DeSaulnier’s district and hometown of Concord, California, 435 African American munitions sailors, who were not properly trained or supported by the Navy, were killed or injured when a cargo vessel exploded as they were loading munitions. When 50 of these men refused to return to the unsafe working conditions that killed their fellow sailors without additional supports or training, they were discriminately charged and convicted of mutiny. Without a process like the one the bill creates in place, the families of the Port Chicago 50 have been unable to have their loved ones exonerated.
“Wow! I’m so grateful to Congressman DeSaulnier and Congresswoman Lee for this bill to establish a Commission for Review and Correction of Historical Injustices. It has been long overdue. There has been a painful legacy of injustices in this country and I am hopeful it will help in the exoneration of the Port Chicago 50 who were found guilty of mutiny and severely sentenced even though no mutinous acts occurred. The Friends of Port Chicago National Memorial would like their names to be cleared and the convictions removed,” said Rev. Diana McDaniel of the Friends of Port Chicago National Memorial.Read More
Student from Deer Valley High in Antioch places second, San Ramon Valley High student places third
The Arts and Culture Commission is excited to announce Jermaine Gitana from Pinole Valley High School as our 2021 Poetry Out Loud Contra Costa County Champion! On February 11th, we held a Facebook Live Virtual Screening and Awards Ceremony. He was awarded a $200 cash prize and varsity jacket. (See his introduction and winning performance at approximately the 20:35 mark of the competition video)
Esmeralda Noyola from Deer Valley High School (Antioch) won second place and was awarded a $150 prize. Tessa Brubaker from San Ramon Valley High School took third place and was awarded a $100 prize. The County Finals included impressive high school champions Patricia May Villanueva of Prospects High School (Antioch), Michael Miralles of John Henry High School (Richmond), Kyla Erika Nano of Concord High School, and Kaleigh Thurman of College Park High School (Pleasant Hill).
“I am a 17-year-old senior at Pinole Valley High who is part Black and Filipino,” said Gitana. “I enjoy playing instruments, making music, swimming, singing, and most of all reciting poetry.”
His performances of the poems Written By Himself by Gregory Pardlo and Piano by D. H. Lawrence proved to be a winning combination! On March 11th, Jermaine will compete in the Poetry Out Loud State Finals where students recite 3 poems. On March 12th, the California State Winner will be announced on California Arts Council email, internet, and social media. We are very proud of Jermaine!
Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Poetry Out Loud provides free curriculum materials—all available online—including a poetry anthology, a comprehensive teacher’s guide, videos of student performances, lesson plans, and promotional and media resources.
All Contra Costa County high school students, grades 9-12, are invited to enter Poetry Out Loud. School winners advance to the County competition each February, then the State competition in March, and ultimately to the National Finals. The 2021 POL National Semifinals will take place on Sunday, May 2nd and the 2021 POL National Finals will take place on Thursday, May 27th and will be held virtually in lieu of holding them on-site in Washington D.C. as previously planned. Both will be video submission-based competitions and will be streamed on arts.gov.
Every Contra Costa County high school (public, private, parochial, independent, alternative, continuation, court, charter and home schools), non-profit organizations, and libraries are encouraged to participate. Students don’t enter the POL competition directly, but through their high schools or a school POL liaison such as a teacher, librarian, school staff, or organization member.
“Last August, I became the new Managing Director and was first introduced to the amazing Poetry Out Loud program,” said Jenny Balisle, Arts and Culture Commission of Contra Costa County Managing Director. “Our incredible team of Donté Clark (Poetry Out Loud Coordinator), Brennan DeFrisco (Poetry Out Loud Student Coach and Assistant Coordinator), and Antonio Tamayo (Poetry Out Loud Digital Content and Technical Assistant) worked together to transition the program online. The Virtual Screening and Awards Ceremony was an evening of many firsts for the Arts and Culture Commission: first Facebook Live event for a signature art program, first ASL interpreters for a live virtual event, and first Land Acknowledgement. Despite the pandemic, we were determined to uplift, support, and celebrate Contra Costa County youth! I’m proud of what we accomplished but most of all- very proud of the resilience and grace of our youth.”
To watch all the competitors in the Virtual Screening and Awards Ceremony please visit here.
AC5 is dedicated to advancing the arts in a way that promotes communication, education, appreciation and collaboration throughout Contra Costa County so that we may grow creatively as a community that preserves and celebrates our diverse cultural expression.
Please visit www.ac5.org for more information and sign up on our email list. We welcome your participation and hope to see you next year!Read More
No representatives of pro-Second Amendment or guns rights organizations included in discussion
Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) will host a virtual town hall meeting on the state of gun violence prevention in America and Contra Costa on Thursday, February 25 at 3:00 p.m. The event will be held live on Zoom and on Congressman DeSaulnier’s Facebook page (facebook.com/repmarkdesaulnier).
DeSaulnier will be joined by a panel of special guests, including Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton; Michelle Sinnott with Diablo Valley Moms Demand Action (www.momsdemandaction.org); Amanda Wilcox of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence; Dr. Garen J. Wintemute with UC Davis Violence Prevention Program; and Sam Vaughn with the Office of Neighborhood Safety in Richmond.
However, when asked if any representatives from pro-Second Amendment and guns rights organizations will be included, DeSaulnier’s aid, Betsy Arnold Marr responded, “This event is focused on data-driven gun violence prevention efforts and we invited groups in Contra Costa working on this issue as well as the DA and an independent researcher from UC Davis. We hope this event will foster a good discussion and look forward to our constituents bringing their perspectives to the Q&A section.”
This will be DeSaulnier’s 125th town hall and mobile district office hour since coming to Congress. Contra Costa residents will have an opportunity to submit questions before the event and live during the town hall.
Solving America’s Gun Problem Virtual Town Hall
Thursday, February 25
This event is open to the public and press. To RSVP, submit a question, or request special accommodations, visit https://desaulnier.house.gov/town-hall-rsvp or call (925) 933-2660.
Saying “Richmond’s residents deserve better”, community and labor groups united in the Lift Up Richmond coalition reject Mayor Tom Butt’s consultant’s budget proposal as vague, misguided, anti-democratic, and bad for Richmond’s residents
Richmond, California – Consultant group Management Partners is scheduled to present a set of so-called budget guidelines at Richmond’s City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 23: the Lift Up Richmond coalition of community and labor groups is demanding these guidelines be scrapped and calling on the Mayor to start the process of creating a fiscal policy from scratch, this time, beginning with input from the community, including City Council, labor unions, small businesses, and community organizations.
The proposal prioritizes cutting City spending and building up reserve fund balances, a year into a global health and economic crisis that has killed millions and put countless people out of work. Developed without collaboration with Richmond’s City Council, small businesses, community members, and labor organizations, the policies are vague, leaving terms like “significant” completely undefined, and where the policies are clear, they are poor, such as giving the City Manager blanket authority to make cuts, and leaving City Council powerless to invest in much-needed services for Richmond residents.
According to Ballotpedia, Richmond voters overwhelmingly approved Measure U in November, “authorizing a business tax of 0.06% to 5% of gross receipts, with higher rates being assigned to marijuana businesses, firearm businesses and big businesses, generating an estimated $9.5 million per year for city services including emergency response, street repair, homeless services and youth services.”
“Budgets are not just numbers in a spreadsheet,” said Gregory Everetts, a Parks and Landscape Division worker with the City of Richmond and president of the Richmond chapter of SEIU Local 1021, “Budgets show what our values really are. The City of Richmond needs a fiscal policy, but the residents of Richmond need that policy to reflect their needs, not just the administration’s desire to fatten up the reserve fund while the people of Richmond are suffering. Richmond’s residents deserve better than this.”
The undersigned individuals and organizations call on City Council to reject this proposal and begin crafting a common-sense fiscal policy that puts services for residents first, over building up reserve funds, and is built collaboratively, inclusively, and transparently, with input from the community members with a stake in Richmond’s budget and the values it puts into action.
The Lift Up Richmond coalition is made up of Richmond community and labor groups, including ACCE Action, APEN, IFPTE Local 21, the Richmond Progressive Alliance, RYSE, and SEIU Local 1021.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More
Suspect identified, being held on $11 million bail
By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff
Tues., Feb. 23, 2021 UPDATE: From the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office – Regarding the Discovery Bay homicide on Saturday, Kimberly Meeks and her son were located this morning and they are safe.
On Saturday, February 20, 2021, at about 8:51 PM, Antioch police officers, AMR medics and Con Fire personnel were shot at by a subject in a drive-by shooting. Two were hit and sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect fled the scene and was pursued by numerous law enforcement agencies. The suspect was taken into custody in the City of Richmond. The suspect was later identified as 26-year-old Darryon Williams of Stockton.
Later that evening, the Antioch Police Department requested Contra Costa Sheriff’s Deputies contact a person related to their case and conduct a welfare check at a residence on the 2100 block of Newport Court in Discovery Bay.
Delta Station Deputy Sheriffs arrived at the residence and found the door to the home open. Deputies conducted a protective sweep of the house and discovered a deceased individual inside with apparent gunshot wounds. The person was later identified as 64-year-old Michael Iliff of Discovery Bay.
Sheriff’s Office homicide detectives and crime lab personnel responded to the location. They were assisted by the Antioch Police Department, CHP and other agencies.
Investigators later identified Williams as the suspect in the murder of Iliff. After being interviewed by detectives, Williams was booked today at about 1 PM into the Martinez Detention Facility on the following charges: one count of murder and ten counts of attempted murder. He is being held in lieu of $11 million bail.
Sheriff’s Office detectives are trying to locate Williams’ four-year-old son and the mother of the child, 31-year-old Kimberly Meeks of Discovery Bay. She has links to the Stockton/Sacramento area. Detectives have concerns about their safety. They are traveling in a dark colored Audi SUV with California license plate – 8UKN742.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on this homicide or the whereabouts of Meeks and her son is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division through Sheriff’s Office dispatch at (925) 646-2441 or at (925) 313-2600. For any tips, email: email@example.com or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.Read More
Both first responders in stable condition with non-life-threatening wounds; ambulance and police car also struck by gunfire; incident under investigation
By Lt. John Fortner, Investigations Bureau, Antioch Police Department & Steve Hill, Public Information Officer, ConFire
On Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, at approximately 8:51 PM, Antioch police officers were called to the 1900 block of Auto Center Drive on the report of a citizen requiring emergency medical attention. A fire engine from Contra Costa County Consolidated Fire Protection District (Con Fire), and an ambulance from Contra Costa American Medical Response (AMR) also responded to the medical call.
While tending to the patient in the parking lot near Auto Center Drive, a suspect in a silver SUV drove by the team of first responders and began shooting at the group. Afterwards, the suspect turned around and drove past the group again firing a second series of shots. A 31-year-old male Con Fire firefighter and a 58-year-old male AMR ambulance transport Alliance paramedic were caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting while responding to a serious medical emergency in Antioch Saturday night.
Shots were reported at 9:08 p.m. shortly after firefighters and paramedics arrived on scene. Both first responders and the original medical call patient were transported to local area hospitals at approximately 9:30 p.m. The firefighter was shot in the foot and the paramedic was shot in the leg and their injuries were determined to be non-life threatening. An ambulance and a police car were also struck by gunfire.
Several Antioch officers gave chase onto Highway 4 as the suspect vehicle fled westbound towards the City of Pittsburg. The vehicle pursuit traveled through Contra Costa and Alameda Counties and ended in the City of Richmond after the suspect vehicle collided with a parked vehicle. The suspect attempted to flee from the scene of the collision, but he was quickly taken into custody by officers from Richmond PD and the California Highway Patrol. The Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff Air Support Unit also provided critical assistance. A firearm was collected at the scene.
“Tonight’s senseless shootings are a vivid reminder of the very real dangers our first responders face, often side-by-side with our law enforcement partners, as they work to save lives across our communities,” said Lewis T. Broschard III, fire chief, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. “We are grateful for the public outpouring of support for our wounded firefighter and AMR paramedic and for the work of law enforcement across the Bay Area to bring the perpetrator or perpetrators to justice.”
“As representatives of our firefighters, and in support of the police and EMS personnel we respond with on a daily basis, we are grateful to report both first responders injured in tonight’s shooting incident are expected to make full recoveries,” said Vince Wells, president, United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County. “I would like to thank the members of the community of Antioch and beyond for your words of concern and support regarding those injured in tonight’s incident. We expect to learn more as the investigation uncovers more details regarding this incident.”
Antioch Police Department detectives with the Violent Crimes and Special Operations Units responded to the scene, along with crime scene investigators, and took over the investigation. The investigation is still active, and evidence is being collected and evaluated.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925) 778-2441, or Detective Brogdon at (925) 779-6895. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.Read More
Their fourth win in a row; Art and Journalism Contest winners also from Cal High
Held virtually, this year 17 schools and 300 students participated;
Acalanes High placed 2nd, Miramonte High 3rd and Hercules High 4th
The 40th Annual Contra Costa County High School Mock Trials were held virtually, this year from January 26 through the final round on Tuesday, Feb. 16. The team from California High School of San Ramon won their fourth straight championship, beating Acalanes High of Lafayette in the final round. California High team played the role of the Prosecution while the Acalanes team fulfilled the role of the Defense. The match was judged and scored by former judge and current Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton, along with five Bay Area attorneys, serving as Mock Trial scorers.
Also, noteworthy, Miramonte High (Orinda) defeated Hercules High (Hercules) during the same evening’s consolation match. This trial was judged and scored by Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Steve Austin, along with five attorney scorers.
The 2021 top four teams were ranked in this order: 1) California High, 2) Acalanes High, 3) Miramonte High, 4) Hercules High. California High has now won four consecutive championships.
The Mock Trials Awards Ceremony were also held virtually, on Thursday, Feb. 18. Opening the event, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey gave the welcome and message to the attendees, followed by remarks made by Contra Costa County Superior Court Presiding Judge Rebecca Hardie, and the Mock Trial coaches presented their Coaches Awards to their exceptional-performing students. This was followed by the announcement of individual awards that were recorded by the volunteer Mock Trial judges and attorney scorers during the four opening preliminary rounds. The ceremony concluded with naming of this year’s championship team from Cal High. (Video begins at the 6:45 mark)
“As like numerous other counties in California, this was a challenging year for our High School Mock Trial program,” said Superintendent Mackey. “Due to COVID-19, this was the first time in 40 years that we were not able to hold our trials in one of the Martinez courthouses, but instead held the competitions via Zoom Meetings. This year’s Mock Trial success was because of a group effort between our volunteer judges and attorneys and our staff, as well as the patient and dedicated team coaches and their determined students. Congratulations to all of you!”
Directed by their teaching coach, Brian Barr, California High will now represent Contra Costa County at the California State Mock Trial competition, March 18-22. The California state finalist team will then compete in the National Mock Trial Competition, held May 13-15.
In the Courtroom Art Contest, students participated as courtroom artists, a companion program to Mock Trials. As courtroom artists, students accompanied their Mock Trial teams and sketched courtroom scenes that were later judged by a team of art judges. The winner was Michelle Nguyen from California High School and will represent Contra Costa County at the state finals.
In the Courtroom Journalism Contest, participating students were given an opportunity to report on a Mock Trial from the perspective of a journalist. As courtroom reporters, students accompanied their school’s Mock Trial teams to the preliminary rounds of the competition. Courtroom reporters then wrote and submitted one 500-word news article on the trial they attended. Articles were judged by a panel of specialists. The winner, Nicholas Harvey, also from California High, will represent Contra Costa County at the state finals. Read his winning article.
The honored guest speaker, Judge Hardie, told the audience, “Congratulations to all of the students, teachers, and coaches for a wonderful competition. I’m so pleased that we didn’t let COVID-19 get in the way of our historic and annual tradition. We are so proud of our longstanding partnership with the Mock Trial program. Here at the county’s Superior Court, Mock Trials is one of our favorite times of the year. And, I heard so many wonderful stories from this year’s volunteering judges. They all agreed about how seamless the trials went this year, especially adapting the competition from our physical courtrooms to virtual courtrooms. The students did not miss a beat!
Coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) and sponsored by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, Mock Trial is an academic event provided for high school students. The hands-on educational program was created to help students acquire a working knowledge of our judicial system, develop analytical abilities and communication skills, and gain an understanding of their obligations and responsibilities as participating members of our society.
This year’s case, People v. Croddy, is the trial of Lee Croddy who hosts a popular YouTube channel called The Right Choice of News (RCN). Croddy has been charged with two counts: (1) aiding and abetting in the commission of first-degree burglary by another, and (2) accessory after the fact. This case will also feature a pre-trial argument on the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and as set forth in Miranda v. Arizona.
Since the beginning of the school year, teams of high school students worked with teacher coaches and volunteer coaches to prepare their version of the criminal case, from both the prosecution and defense perspectives. Students assumed the roles of trial attorneys, pre-trial motion attorneys, witnesses, clerks, bailiffs, artists, and court journalists. During the Zoom Meetings, Mock Trial judges and attorneys scored the students’ presentations and provided immediate feedback.
This year, there were 18 teams from the following 19 Contra Costa County high schools competed: Acalanes High (Lafayette), Alhambra High (Martinez), California High (San Ramon), Campolindo High (Moraga), Carondelet High (Concord), De La Salle (Concord), De Anza High (Richmond), De La Salle (Concord), Deer Valley Law Academy (Antioch), Dougherty Valley High (San Ramon), El Cerrito High (El Cerrito), Hercules High (Hercules), Heritage High (Brentwood), Kennedy High (Richmond), Las Lomas High (Walnut Creek), Miramonte High (Orinda), Monte Vista High (Danville), Richmond High (Richmond). *Richmond High and Kennedy High combine students for one team.
Approximately 60 Bay Area practicing and retired attorneys and sworn judges volunteered their time and expertise to serve as Mock Trial attorney scorers and judges. These volunteers represented judges from the Contra Costa County Superior Courts, and attorney scorers included attorneys from Bay Area county District Attorney and Public Defender offices, the State Attorney General’s Office, and the California Department of Justice. Also serving as attorney scorers, were non-profit, public, private, and corporate attorneys. Because this year’s competition was virtual, there were attorneys volunteering from their offices in Los Angeles; San Diego; Truckee; and Olympia, Washington. In addition, senior students from two Bay Area law schools also lent a hand in scoring.
For all the team and individual results, visit the Contra Costa County Office of Education’s Mock Trial results web page. #cocomocktrial
In 1977, the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) introduced the concept of mock trials to the Los Angeles schools. In 1980, the program expanded to the state level. The California Mock Trial Program currently involves more than 36 counties and over 8,000 student participants from more than 400 teams. Approximately 1,500 attorney volunteers serve as team coaches and scorers, and 500 Municipal, Superior, and Appellate Court judges preside over the trials.Read More
By Allen Payton
Following the revelation of live video in which derisive comments were made about parents by Oakley Union Elementary School Board members during their meeting on Wednesday night, that has since made Bay Area and national news, all four of them have apologized and resigned as of Friday afternoon. (WARNING: video contains graphic language). A fifth seat on the board was already vacant and pending appointment.
Superintendent Greg Hetrick issued a letter announcing the resignations
Board President, Lisa Brizendine who could be heard in the video saying “they want their babysitters back”, issued a separate apology and announced her resignation on Thursday. Members Kim Beede, Erica Ippolito and Richie Masadas offered the following, joint apology:
“We deeply regret the comments that were made in the meeting of the Board of Education earlier this week. As trustees, we realize it is our responsibility to model the conduct that we expect of our students and staff, and it is our obligation to build confidence in District leadership; our comments failed you in both regards, and for this we offer our sincerest apology.
We love our students, our teachers and our community, and we want to be part of the remedy to help the District move forward, returning its full focus to students’ needs. To help facilitate the healing process, we will be resigning our positions as Trustees of the Oakley Union Elementary School District, effective immediately. The Superintendent will be working with the Contra Costa County Office of Education to address the vacancies on the Board of Education.
This was a difficult decision, but we hear the community’s concerns, and we believe yielding to your request that we step down will allow the District to move forward. Please do not let our failure in judgment cast a shadow on the exceptional work that our teachers, administrators and hard-working employees are doing for the students of this District. They deserve and will need your support as you move forward.”
The current members of the Contra Costa Board of Education will serve as the board members of OEUSD until new members are appointed.
Superintendent Hetrick issued the following letter to parents and posted it on the district’s website on Friday: