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Second Santa Clara City Council Candidate Suspended from NextDoor App

Santa Clara City Council candidate Anthony Becker was recently suspended from the NextDoor app and he believes it was politically motivated. Becker was notified this week that his account has been suspended until Nov. 4, one day after the election.

The District 6 candidate is involved in a contentious race with Gautam Barve and Robert Mezzetti. Mezzetti is endorsed by Mayor Lisa Gillmor while Becker is part of a group of candidates trying to break what they call “a cycle of discrimination” within the Santa Clara City Council.

Becker says NextDoor accused him of “bullying and belittling others” and suspended his account, but he believes he’s the one who is being bullied.

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“Why can’t I stand up for myself?” asked Becker. “This reminds me of when I was a kid in high school and the bullies would pick on you. Then finally you would react and then you get sent to the office. The bullies get away with it and you’re the one getting in trouble.”

Becker says it was a couple of key users in the neighborhood that would attack the comments he made on NextDoor and when he commented back, he was accused of bullying.

“It’s attacks and spreading lies and then when you defend yourself, they turned it into ‘you’re unstable’ or ‘councilmembers don’t talk like that to people like that.,’” said Becker. “No, councilmembers should start talking like that to people by standing up to what’s right and what the truth is and not just standing down.”

He says similar “trolls” are trying to instigate a response from him on Twitter and Facebook.

Becker is not the only Santa Clara City Council candidate experiencing these problems. A few weeks ago, District 1 candidate Harbir Bhatia was kicked off of her NextDoor neighborhood and all of her comments were removed after people accused her of bullying. Like Becker, she says she was trying to defend herself.

Bhatia’s opponent, Kathy Watanabe, happens to be the moderator of the NextDoor neighborhood. She says she recused herself from the situation because of the election.

“I have purposely refrained from political postings, responding to political postings, reporting content, voting on reported content, etc. because I knew it wasn’t appropriate,” Watanabe posted on NextDoor and reiterated in a separate email to The Weekly. “I cannot shed light on why the account was disabled.”

While Becker is still trying to get his account reinstated, Bhatia has had the issue resolved. NextDoor made her account active again, but her previous comments defending herself are still missing.

Bhatia says it’s symptomatic of a larger issue involving the NextDoor app.

“Our examples are how during elections they can silence people because of the way the system is set up,” said Bhatia. “If that could happen to us now, imagine the amount of bullying that must be happening all the time.”

The Weekly reached out to NextDoor for a comment but has not received one.

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29 Comments
  1. Tom E. 1 month ago
    Reply

    Most of Mr. Becker’s aggressive, creepy, and hurtful posts were screen grabbed. Some were reposted. You could probably find them if you dig a little bit.

    I’m curious why this paper dug so aggressively into Mr. Mezzetti’s past, but has given Mr. Becker a complete pass?

    Your pursuit into Mr. Mezzetti’s background uncovered that he’s been trusted by 4 of the 12 Astronauts that walked on the moon, NFL Hall of Fame Quarterbacks, victims of terrible abuse, and several other clients over decades as a successful, respected attorney.

    We still know nothing of Mr. Becker’s life. Does he have any conflicts? (Besides his reluctance to disavow the York endorsement)

    Is it true that if he is elected his 4-year term will be the longest job he’s ever held? Why is that?

    What company does he work for? Any conflicts there?

    He claims on one hand to have been raised in Santa Clara. On the other hand admits he lived in Los Banos for all of his formative years. Seems like a pretty big exaggeration to let slide.

    NextDoor uncovered his true colors and were obviously troubled by what they saw. Your paper seems reluctant to help the citizens of Santa Clara make an informed vote. This District 6 resident is voting for Mr. Mezzetti.

  2. Ron 1 month ago
    Reply

    How long has Becker lived in District 6? 2 of the canidates running for District 6 Council member have lived here less that a year!! Its obvious that their sole purpose for “renting” in district 6 was to run for open position on the council. Why does Becker even have a voice on Next-door app when it is unlikely that he even knows his neighbors!!!!

  3. Arthur 1 month ago
    Reply

    To Ron and Tom.

    It is funny how much this triggers you.
    I never saw anything Becker did on Nextdoor to be wrong besides defending himself from hateful attacks that continue here.
    And for calling Becker out as a renter, is that wrong ? sounds kind of closed minded.

    The question on everyones mind is Robert Mezzetti’s residency because everyone close to him says he lives in San Jose and is using his fathers residence to run for council and basically doing it as a favor for Mayor Lisa Gillmor so she can maintain her majority. They keep calling out Becker for his residency proves
    The Gillmor side always point the finger at others when they are guilty of actually doing that same thing they accuse others of doing. The Gillmor side always feeds off of lies and deception. They provide no facts just false statements and all of those commenters all use the same language and words.
    Becker stated it on nextdoor its strategic including these comments made by you two minions.

  4. SV Voter 1 month ago
    Reply

    As stated officially by Nextdoor:

    “Nextdoor is the neighborhood hub for trusted connections and the exchange of helpful information, goods, and services.”

    It is not a forum for politicians to promote themselves or their politics and political agenda, and they take bullying pretty seriously. Becker and Bhatia are certainly known for their abrasive, bullying tactics, which have no place in our City Council.

    Besides, with the 49ers’ $2M endorsement they’ve wallpapered Santa Clara with their glossy, heavy-stock flyers, so who needs Nextdoor anyway, right? I mean, when you’re in Jed York’s pocket that’s worth a lot more than a social media account.

    • Bothered 1 month ago
      Reply

      Jed York’s pocket? You sound ignorant. You can’t read the fine print either?

      • SC Resident 4 weeks ago
        Reply

        You sound ignorant. You can’t read campaign disclosures?

  5. Tom E. 1 month ago
    Reply

    Arthur, or should I say Anthony?,

    Nice try. Mezzetti has lived in District 6 for 54 years. You haven’t lived in District 6 for 54 weeks. Maybe 54 days? And this is only an issue because in your cowardice you continue to bring it up online. So far, you’ve been too scared to say it to his face (even on Zoom).

    I do actually agree with you that your comments should have remained on NextDoor. They shed tremendous light on your only career as an internet troll and “content moderator.”

    • Maggie 1 month ago
      Reply

      Tom that’s a pretty big lie on your part stating Mezzetti has lived in Santa Clara for 54 years. He’s an alumni of Archbishop Mitty just like me. I can go back years in the alumni directory and it says Mezzetti lives in San Jose, Rose Garden area. Just because his parents lived in Santa Clara doesn’t mean he did.

  6. Arthur 1 month ago
    Reply

    Tom- they are the one that was trolling his comments. You all are a piece of work. You accuse those of exactly what all of you are doing.
    Yes my name is Arthur come visit me in the Golf Links complex. Maybe play a couple rounds of golf to explain to your the corruption in this city for the side you support.
    Again Mezzetti lived in San Jose till what 2016? or 2020 ? no one knows the real story but all you spin the same facts that seem to be cookie cutter and talking points. It is very obvious. I feel bad for Mezzetti being a pawn he deserves better.
    Everyone is talking about how you and others act innocent but are actually instigators because you don’t get your way.
    This city ain’t for sale and wont be controlled by special interests, niners, developers or gillmor’s agenda.
    Do you have proof Tom ?
    Becker has lived in District 6 and that neighborhood longer than you think.
    Ever think of actually knowing what addresses he has lived at?
    Y’all triggered.
    I agree the comments should remain I agree cause it will show how the abusive behavior of those on nextdoor.

  7. Candice 1 month ago
    Reply

    Can you actually prove the creepy comments ? the abusive ? you accuse Becker of these things but you have not provided sources or links to these comments.
    I want to know for myself if these comments are abusive.

  8. Bothered 1 month ago
    Reply

    Tom E, or shall I call you Lisa? Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean they are Anthony. If you want a dictatorship in Santa Clara then go ahead and vote for Mezzetti. He has not lived in Santa Clara for 50 plus years but he has worked with the mayor’s family for many years. If you’re dumb enough to fall for it go ahead and vote for him. And have your friends vote for O’Keefe, her other friend she wants to pad the council with.

    I wonder if it ever occurred to anyone that some people move for good reasons. But I’m sure you wouldn’t bother to venture into anything near fairness. Funny, I read somewhere that Mezzetti only registered to vote with that Santa Clara address in 2017. Might that be when the mayor’s friend, Davis, learned she would be moving away? So the mayor knew she needed to fill that space with another yes person?

    It’s kind of funny that there’s a few people whining on here about where someone lives who is running for council and all the while we have Lisa’s friend, Davis, calling in from back east, still holding her seat on the council. This is all public knowledge.

    The four candidates that are talked about in the 49er ads don’t appear to have asked to be in those ads, nor are they paying for them. You do know how to read the fine print, right Tom? Because it looks to me that the Niners DO NOT like the mayor and her packed council, who just so happen to vote with her, A LOT of the time. Why did she push so hard for the Niners to be there in the first place?

    You sound rude and ignorant calling out people because they rent instead of own in the city of Santa Clara! Are you an elitist, just like your friend, the mayor?

  9. Bothered 1 month ago
    Reply

    Tom E, or should I say Robert Haugh? Because you sound a lot like the blogger friend of Lisa’s who writes terrible comments and lies about at least one council candidate that the mayor does not like.

    • Sam Yodle 1 month ago
      Reply

      Hey Bothered. It’s ok my friend. From what I can make out from your rant is that “four candidates that are talked about in the 49er ads don’t appear to have asked to be in those ads, nor are they paying for them.” BUT YOU DO NOT ask the obvious. Did they condemn it? Did they denounce it? NO THEY HAVE NOT. Thus, they are complicit!

  10. Howard 1 month ago
    Reply

    Saw a Mezzetti comment somewhere else and then saw this.
    I know Robert Mezzetti personally, Him and I we go back. It is funny cause I am surprised no one else has said it yet but Mezzetti does not live in Santa Clara well at least up till this election. His house is on University Ave in the Rose Garden that he shared with his wife. It is interesting he didn’t list that on his 700 form as property he owns. I have been there many times he hosted a campaign fundraiser for Dominic Caserta and he loves to party and smoke some grass. That is not an issue Rob is a good guy just the misrepresentation of facts if alarming. Rob is better than that I can remember and politics is just not his game. He must be doing this as a favor.

  11. Sam Yodle 1 month ago
    Reply

    Just today I walked for exercise, as I do often (i.e., around districts 4, 5, and 6 and sometimes 2 and 3), and I DISCOVERED a “Ballot Box” at the entrance of the Kona Kai Country Club in District 6. I have NEVER seen a ballot box in any other place I walked. It sickens me to think that District 6 is getting special treatment to ensure thier votes “count.” I do not know whether Becker is the reason a Ballot Box is set next to a Country Club entrance in a wealthy area, but it is CLEAR that Becker is being supported by the wealthy elite that wish to turn Santa Clara into the next San Francisco….

    • Bothered 1 month ago
      Reply

      The guy everyone criticizes because he rents is connected with the country club and the elitists now?

      Maybe the ballot box you DISCOVERED on your multi-district walk is one of those fake boxes the GOP put out in CA.

    • Westwood Oaks 1 month ago
      Reply

      Excuse me, if you actually lived in the D6 Westwood Oaks neighborhood, you would know that Kona Kai has been a historic voting location with both in-person polling place (pre-Covid) and ballot dropbox. I’ve been here since 2005. So now what say you?

      • Sam Yodle 1 month ago
        Reply

        As it appears you’d like a response, Ms. Westwood Oaks, I am glad to oblige. I appreciate that in prior years the Kona Kai Country Club may have been a location at which to cast a vote. I have voted at Santa Clara libraries, schools, churches, senior centers, etc., all in the good ol’ pre-Covid days. Yet, my main point is that members of Kona Kai Country Club are getting special privileges that other Santa Clarans do not get. As of now, Santa Clara has only six (6)(!) drop-off ballot boxes (4 government-related locations, 1 college, and 1 wealthy country club drop off). That is the point. There may be collusion among wealthy Kona Kai Country Club members (i.e., 49er season ticket holders), its favored son, Anthony Becker, and wealthy Jed York. Regardless, all who read this… go VOTE!

        Six locations: Santa Clara City Hall, ​Santa Clara County Traffic Court, ​Briarwood Elementary School, Central Park Library, ​Kona Kai Swim Club, and Mission College (Student drop off).

        Not sure if this link will go thru, but here are ONLY SC locations:
        www.sccgov.org/sites/rov/VBM/Pages/VoteEarly.aspx

        • SC Resident 4 weeks ago
          Reply

          Actually, it’s kind of funny you mention Kona Kai. I believe Candidate Suds Jain is a member. Heard that from a friend, have no way to confirm it. He did speak there back in Nov 2019:
          http://konakaiclub.com/uploads/1/2/5/3/125312307/2-november_2019_-_newsletter.pdf

  12. Bothered 1 month ago
    Reply

    You are entitled to your opinion, my friend. I doubt that would hold up in court.

    Why should they be bothered fighting off the 49ers PAC (for you) when they are busy trying to win their campaigns? They were working hard on these campaigns long before the 49ers dropped in to make a big mess of all of this. Thank the mayor for pissing off York.

  13. Daniel 1 month ago
    Reply

    I am not a resident of Santa Clara but of Sunnyvale so you should accept my comments as impartial. I strongly believe the NextDoor app should block all candidates equally during an election cycle. It’s the only way for the NextDoor company to be impartial. It’s too late to do that during this election cycle but I would recommend it for the next one.

    • Jean 1 month ago
      Reply

      I agree with you Daniel. Unfortunately Next Door during this election shows bias by allowing their leads to control the narrative on what and who can and cannot post. Elected officials and candidates should not be in control. Hopefully next election Next Door will do better.

    • SC Resident 4 weeks ago
      Reply

      I disagree. It’s up to a candidate to self-regulate and know how to use the tools they are given. Being a District 6 resident (and a minority), I was disturbed by Anthony Becker’s treatment of my fellow neighbors when they asked him questions. He seemed to easily take offense, and then accused people of being “paid”, or “plants”, or “trolls”. Certainly not the kind of person that can stand up to public scrutiny during public comments if elected! So, after I met with one of the other candidates and gauged his responses to similar questions, I marked my ballot for him, and encouraged my neighbors to do so as well.

      Actually, it didn’t take much convincing, as they arrived at a similar conclusion.

  14. Davy L. 1 month ago
    Reply

    Please note: the San Jose Mercury News, after consulting with all available candidates, made the following independent recommendations:
    District 1: Harbir Bhatia
    District 4: Kevin Park
    District 5: Suds Jain
    District 6: Anthony Becker

    • SC Resident 4 weeks ago
      Reply

      You mean the Murky News, that depends on ad revenue from orgs like the 49ers?

  15. SC Resident 4 weeks ago
    Reply

    I’m a District 6 resident on NextDoor, and I can confirm that I witnessed Anthony Becker becoming unhinged and going ballistic. As soon as people asked him about his links to the 49er’s, he became very defensive. When people prodded him more, he had no self-control and started accusing people of being plants, or paid trolls, etc. I found it interesting as a bystander to see him act such a way to people who are verified residents of the district he is hoping to represent. I guess people got so offended they reported him and he was temporarily removed (ironically he claims to have a job as a content monitor).

  16. SC Resident 4 weeks ago
    Reply

    Actually, Becker has only lived in District 6 since Feb 2020. It appears like he rented a place in the neighborhood to run for office in District 6, since Debi Davis termed out (and now it seems because the rest of the 49er slate was running in the other districts, so he wouldn’t split the vote with them).

    There’s nothing wrong with renting – we’ve probably all done it at one time or another. But he really should spend a couple years to get to know the neighborhood before running to represent it. Otherwise it looks like he bounced into the neighborhood for the express purpose to be eligible to run. And, surprise, surprise, that hasn’t been reported by this site, which runs ads Becker. That’s all.

  17. SC Resident too 4 weeks ago
    Reply

    I am a district 6 resident also. The one thing that is certain, Anthony Becker has been an active member of the city. The other 2 candidates I have never seen or heard of until the election. I voted for the candidate that I know has been an active participant in Santa Clara.

    • Sam Yodle 4 weeks ago
      Reply

      Surely criminals have been “active” in district 6. So does that qualify them to city council? Please explain what POSITIVE “activity” Becker has done than try to grease his pockets. In my humble view, politicians are legalized criminals, it is the person who will commit the least damage ought to be placed into office. Becker is backed by Jed York who has promised to turn Santa Clara into San Francisco. If Becker is voted in, when you walk your street, make there are no needles or human excrement.

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