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Who Runs TBSC And What Are They Up To?
by TBSC Watch
Monday Oct 12th, 2015 4:26 PM
A deeper look into a secretly run local non-profit whose focus claims to be on safety but whose goal in reality is to change the local political and ideological composition of our community.
800_tbsc.organchart.2015.jpg
[ Though called a non-profit charity, the main goals of TBSC are clearly political and ideological change in Santa Cruz city and county. ]


Take Back Santa Cruz (TBSC) claims to be a non-profit group dedicated to safety issues in Santa Cruz. They claim they are a community group that boasts over 12,000 members in support of their actions, and that they have no ideological direction. The truth is that TBSC has been the grassroots arm to much of the recent laws criminalizing homelessness in the city of Santa Cruz as well as the force behind proposed RV bans, forced closure and relocation of a needle exchange service, a stay away order law from public parks, etc. So with all this activity one has to wonder, who really runs TBSC and how are these "community" decisions really made?

If you go to takebacksantacruz.org and look around for who really runs this group you will typically find nothing. They like to keep it that way because the illusion that Take Back Santa Cruz (TBSC) operates out of is that they are a broad-based community group free from ideology and only laser focused on safety. Nothing could be further from the truth.

To start to understand their real goals and how narrow the group really is, you have to go to the State of California and use their registry search tool to look up TBSC and their founding documents as well as bylaws. Why? Because if you try and contact TBSC directly to get more information, they ignore your request. They're not really interested in public input or scrutiny. So go to http://rct.doj.ca.gov/Verification/Web/Search.aspx?facility=Y
and fill in "Take Back Santa Cruz" in the name for the organization. The results page will show "Founding Documents" at the end of the page. When you open the pdf you finally see who is on the official TBSC Board of Directors.

President- Analicia Lesnowicz (Analicia Cube)
Vice-President- Michael Becker
Treasurer- Healther (Lesnowicz) Babcock
Media Director--Kirsten (Whitten) Attlesey

Analicia and Heather are sisters. In the creation story of the group, the entire group that started the organization but not listed on the Founding Documents were those people listed above as well as Dexter Cube, Ian Babcock,Craig and Pamela Comstock.

The principal office for conducting TBSC business is listed as 765 Cedar Street, SC CA but TBSC bylaws state that meetings can be at anyplace anytime and thus no public meetings or times have ever been listed nor have any agenda items or minutes ever been shared either. This would not really be a problem except recall---TBSC claims they are a large community organization that is the voice of thousands. And yet, how is it that a "community" organization is only run by 4 people who meet in secret with no public agenda, no minutes, no transparency or accountability?


What is it that this Secret Board of Directors really does?


TBSC non-profit is in charge of various activities. Fund-raising is NOT the goal of the group, changing the political and ideological landscape of this county is. If you look at the organizational chart you get a good idea what they are up to.



One of the main ways that the private Board achieves their goals is through the vastly popular but private from public view Facebook group. The TBSC FB group is run with an iron fist by its admins who are empowered with approving threads that the group can read. ONLY those threads which fit the the TBSC agenda are approved and in many cases threads are started by admins themselves. In this way, TBSC FB group is the perfect propaganda machine.

It may seem strange that a community safety group hides from public view but that's because in reality the group likes to keep it's fear mongering and lobbying out of immediate sight--this way it minimizes any potential negative blowback. The other way TBSC manages any potential public relations issues is to keep any potential naysayers or critics out of the FB group altogether. TBSC likes to claim that everyone is welcome in their organization, but many liberal or progressive applicants to the FB group have been denied entry. Even if an occasional critic or one simply voicing a differing opinion manages to gain entry, their stay can be limited at best. A number of people have complained of being thrown out of the group for simply engaging in a debate and taking a side that is in opposition with one of the TBSC main talking points.

Last week indybay published an article on how TBSC is more focused on creating/inflating the narrative that Santa Cruz is unsafe and that (correspondingly) big political changes (sanctioned by TBSC) need to happen. https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/10/05/18778423.php
The article offered a brief glimpse as to how TBSC uses fear and often misinformation to elicit strong responses in readers. The mechanisms for doing so are simple, TBSC FB admins are empowered with keeping the group on message to the talking points set out by the formal (and informal) Board of directors.

When TBSC first started, the admins for the FB group were basically just the Board of Directors/founders: Analicia Lesnowicz Cube, her husband Dexter Cube, Analicia's sister Heather Lesnowicz Babcock , her husband Ian Babcock, now Councilmember Pamela Comstock and her husband Craig, Michael Becker, Kirsten Whitten Attlesey and an anonymous FB profile known as El Gato.

The current TBSC Admins include two of the non-profit's Board of Directors as well as some of the group's most trusted and vocal supporters: Heather Lesnowicz Babcock, her husband Ian, Michael Becker, Gabrielle Korte and Melanie Premo. Samantha Olden was recently a TBSC group admin as well as Santa Cruz City Councilwoman, Pamela Comstock.

If you look at the TBSC organization chart you can see that the TBSC Facebook group is essentially the mechanism that the TBSC uses to achieve their political goals. The group will often launch petition drives (like one they mounted in support of Dep Chief Steve Clark), they front "solutions" groups whose meetings/members/methodology are private but whose "results" are released to the public with great fanfare and acceptance by news organizations and even municipal groups, they call members to action on specific protests or legislation, they may sponsor a forum with a particular political or ideological goal, and lastly though they are careful not to directly endorse candidates, there is typically conversation between group members as to who the "safety" (wink wink that's the code word) slate is. A recent indybay article documenting how TBSC issues a call to action their Facebook group can be seen at:https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/09/08/18777297.php


When you put this all in context, then it makes sense why, in general, the threads on the TBSC Facebook page read like propaganda with no real discussion and only acceptance of the talking points set out by the group leaders. That's because that's EXACTLY what is going on. A small, very small group of people are basically directing the political direction they want the city and county to go. They develop in their small group a set of talking points which they then use on their Facebook group and then using selected facts/misinformation they fan the flames of fear and anger so as to inflame the emotions of members. Once enraged this larger FB group is then very easily directed by what to do when a call to action occurs. What the call to action is, is determined by that small Board of Directors and their associates. Using fear and anger with the promise of safety is a classically efficient method to achieve certain political results and has been used throughout the ages.

This is what a small group of people who are at the head of TBSC are up to and these are the methods they are using.

Next time you watch a city council meeting or read letters to the editor to the Sentinel or correspondence to the Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors or City Council and wonder why they sound remarkably alike, you now know. You are reading talking points organized and promoted by a very small group of people under the guise of a diverse community group that encourages public discourse and collaboration.
§Official Board of Directors TBSC
by TBSC Watch Monday Oct 12th, 2015 4:26 PM
800_tbsc.bod.jpg
This is the core group who directs and controls the whole policy and political direction of TBSC. Just 4 people with no public meetings, debate, direction.
§TBSC Facebook Admins
by TBSC Watch Monday Oct 12th, 2015 4:26 PM
tbsc.admins.png
These are the gatekeepers and PR people for the TBSC Facebook group. It's their job to keep critics out and keep the TBSC talking points and calls to action developed by the small board, on point.
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
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TITLE AUTHOR DATE
TBSC cyberstalker targets Jeffrey HelmsJohn Cohen-ColbySunday Oct 25th, 2015 9:10 PM
TBSC games they playagh Tuesday Oct 13th, 2015 1:47 PM
The face of CryptofascismRazer RayTuesday Oct 13th, 2015 7:34 AM
InvestigateJonMonday Oct 12th, 2015 9:36 PM

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