.Take Back Gets Flak

Besides advocating to make Santa Cruz a safer place, Take Back Santa Cruz (TBSC)’s Facebook page has also been heavily criticized for the way posters shame and lash out at vagrants and anyone who’s been arrested—whether or not they’ve been proven guilty. But in their search for new offenders, TBSC members seemed to turn on one of their own last weekend, inflicting their trademark judgmental sarcasm on a trusted insider.
In a news story published Saturday, May 20, the Santa Cruz Sentinel updated readers on an infamous hash oil explosion that happened on Beach Hill nearly three years ago. Three of the four defendants in that case are pleading not guilty, among them James Burtnett, one of TBSC’s most high-profile members.
That same day, someone posted the story to the TBSC page, suggesting that members attend the court hearings in September, and people began sarcastically sharing their two cents, including posts like, “Is this one of those victimless drug crimes I’ve been hearing about?”
The post highlighting the Sentinel story has since been taken down, but activist Denise Elerick, a critic of TBSC, says the whole event goes to show that criminal suspects are innocent until proven guilty for a reason.
Burtnett, who faces gun and drug charges, could not be reached for comment. TBSC founder Analicia Cube says Burtnett never held a leadership position, and that she doesn’t know him very well. “We’re all imperfect humans,” she says. “We all make mistakes. James was obviously involved in this situation in my mind, but this doesn’t change whether someone can be involved in our community.”
Cube, who stresses that it can be difficult to run a Facebook group of 13,000 people, says a TBSC administrator took down the post because the thread was getting nasty, not because it was about Burtnett. Cube adds that she has grown tired of constant criticism directed at her and the group.
“I don’t have a personal vendetta against Take Back Santa Cruz,” Elerick says. “But I am frustrated with their golden persona. It seems like it’s waning, but I get frustrated when I see them on KSBW as if they’re some authority. They’re just angry parents.”


  1. Elerick, without a doubt, has a personal vendetta against TBSC
    One need look no further than “Take Back Santa Cruz from TBSC”, a page she authored.
    It’s fine if she doesn’t like them, but both she and the author of this article should take a bit of responsibility.

    • Hello,
      I am a member of the public and have every right to complain when I have concerns about a non profit that claims to be lobbying on my behalf. I am very critical of the group efforts to promote a Repeal of Prop 47 ( never gonna happen ) or an amendment in my name. I am equally disturbed that several so called board members call for such ludicrous things like shutting down a syringe exchange (Never gonna happen ) so yes, I will criticize the public safety group. That said, I find it quite ironic and mildly hypocritical that there seems to be compassion and understanding with regards to James felony charges yet others are shamed , humiliated and vilified, protested and court watch efforts are launched sometimes wrongly Kenneth Maffei . The groups is highly politically active in the name of “safety” so yes, criticism is a part of politics. I am unphased by personal attacks on me.

  2. Dear Mrs. Cube,
    Why don’t you tell the community how Burtnett is pictured on your website multiple times, regularly attends your functions while wearing your branded clothing, and participates in your hateful discussions, and you don’t really know him? On Sept 29, 2013 on your closed Facebook page you state, “I got a message from another member to call…Is James Burtnett OK? Does anyone need anything?”
    Now that the heat is on, and TBSC is being exposed, you suddenly don’t know him very well? Riiiiiight.
    And why don’t you tell the community why you didn’t publicly shame James and his friends who were running the illegal drug lab like you tend to do with every other crime that happens in our lovely beach community? The explosion on Sept. 29, 2013 that your member was party to was way more dramatic than most other drug lab fires, three men nearly lost your lives, yet there wasn’t hardly a peep of shaming on your FB page. Why?
    And don’t say you didn’t know. C’mon. No one believes that.
    Your group constantly calls for people who use the Homeless Service Center to be subject to background checks, well maybe it’s time to time to background check your “13,000 members” to make sure that they’re not gun toting, drug producing criminals?
    Be smart Santa Cruz.
    Read the screenshots here.
    Contact Pride.

  3. hahahahaha …” TBSC founder Analicia Cube says Burtnett never held a leadership position, and that she doesn’t know him very well. “We’re all imperfect humans,” she says. “We all make mistakes. James was obviously involved in this situation in my mind, but this doesn’t change whether someone can be involved in our community.” hahahahah really Analicia???? You dont really know him yet James bragged on his own facebook page how Dexter cube is his BUDDY and has been carting him around to drs appointments. ……but you dont know him. Christ. Hire some pr people for damage control. You have fallen off your high horse.

  4. One criminal, or even 12, out of a group that size- not surprising. Actually not bad at all.
    If you look at any organization- a church, political group, some of our local activist groups, it would be a lot higher number of criminals.
    What exactly is the controversy here? How could you possible background check that many people in a Facebook group (and why would you care to try?). It’s Facebook for God’s sake.
    Slow news day?

  5. I think Santa Cruz is waking up to what Take Back Santa Cruz really is: A hate group. You can’t walk around this small community acting like a jerk as long as they have and not expect to get some blow back. I suspect that The Sentinel, KION and other news outlets are intimidated by this group of community bullies, and that’s why you rarely see any counterpoint to the group’s rhetoric. It’s refreshing to see opposition to the censored and manufactured discussions on their closed Facebook page where the level of discussion rarely reaches a jr. high school level. Thank you Good Times! Please look into TBSC more.


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