ANTIOCH -- Goodbye, Pleasanton. Hello, Antioch.
That's what Jerry McNerney is saying as the new alignment of the state's 9th Congressional District has shifted him out of the Tri-Valley and farther into East Contra Costa. His district now covers Oakley, Discovery Bay, Byron, Brentwood and most of Antioch. George Miller represents the westernmost part of Antioch.
McNerney recently opened a 2,100-square-foot field office at the Antioch Community Center, at a cost of $3,000 a month for the next year. The Democrat will employ two full-time staffers in Antioch, while his district director will split time between the Antioch and Stockton offices. Several interns will join the office in the next few weeks.
"It's a good opportunity for people to find out where the office is, have a chance to meet me, and for me to hear what their concerns are," McNerney said.
The new office was originally slated to be an Antioch police substation, but the city department has not had enough staff to utilize the space.
"It's a great location and first-class facility that, unfortunately, has gone to waste," McNerney said.
The southeast Antioch location also provides the offices with a central location near Oakley and Brentwood and within proximity of Highway 4.
"Anytime we can be
Adds Oakley Mayor Kevin Romick: "It's nice to know he's a stone's throw away and plans to be out here more and help us move forward."
McNerney took a tour of parts of his new territory last week, walking around downtown Antioch and visiting Pacific Gas & Electric's Gateway Generation Station and new projects in downtown Oakley. He also spoke with city leaders about their concerns.
"I wanted to get to spend a little bit of time in the communities and get to know the council members and mayors -- give them a chance to size me up," McNerney said. "To see everyone's energy and enthusiasm is encouraging."
"He let us know that we have his ear," Antioch Mayor Wade Harper said. "We know he supports Antioch, issues such as our water rights, bringing in ferry service and wanting to see the downtown revitalized. He told us he'll try to help in anyway he can."
McNerney said he "couldn't help be enthusiastic" about the energy and aims of local leaders, particularly Oakley's toward its new La Costa and Carpaccio restaurants.
McNerney, 61, was first elected to office in 2006. His newly configured district also covers parts of San Joaquin and Sacramento counties.
Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.
What: Open house hosted by U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney
When: 5-7 p.m. Thursday
Where: Antioch Community Center, 4703 Lone Tree Way
Info: 925-754-0716 or 209-476-8552