On Saturday, community activism group Take Back Antioch (TBA) hosts its first Positive Loitering Pizza Party from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Antioch Skate Park, 4701 Lone Tree Way. TBA founder Brittney Gougeon said the group wants to help turn areas that have become unsavory places into safe, fun hangouts.
“We’re gathering people in the community at areas that are seen at this point as less than positive places to hang out, and then we’re going to try to turn that around,” Gougeon said. “We’re going to try to do that in strategic locations around town.”
The pizza party will gather not just TBA members, but anyone who wants to join the cause to make Antioch a better, safer place. According to the group’s website, the skate park was chosen because it has been ravaged by blight and crime in the past few years.
Gougeon said the pizza party would also help promote the group’s next Quality of Community forum, to be held Saturday, April 9 at the El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St.
The Antioch Police Department will also serve pizza in its second round of the Tip-A-Cop event, benefiting Special Olympics Northern California. Antioch police officers will serve as celebrity waiters on Thursday, March 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Uno Chicago Grill, 4827 Lone Tree Way.
The police department first participated in Tip-A-Cop on Feb. 17, where officers waited on tables at Chili’s, raising $1,686 for Special Olympics Northern California. It was the most that Antioch has raised during the Tip-A-Cop event, and officers are hoping for a similar turnout this time.
Antioch Police Chief Allan Cantando said he’s not sure how many officers would be on hand for the March 24 event, but he encouraged the public to come out, eat and support the worthy cause.
“Obviously, we’re there for the cause, but we also like the component that we’re actually out there meeting the public,” Cantando said. “A lot of time, the public’s giving us money but there’s a lot of personal interaction that happens. We talk to them, they ask us questions and it’s a good back-and-forth with them.”