Category Archives: Black History Month

Our Next Meeting – March 9, 2021 – Benicia Black Lives Matter

Tuesday, March 9, 7 PM
Getting together with Benicia Black Lives Matter

Discussion with Benicia Black Lives Matter

Mark your calendars for our next General Membership meeting, March 9 at 7:00 pm, when we welcome Benicia Black Lives Matter members to join us in conversations.

Together we’ll share the goals and objectives of each group and then discuss areas of work and issues where we might collaborate on projects and actions. We’ll include breakout rooms during the discussion so all participants at the meeting can share their comments and suggestions.

BBLM is a local, grassroots community group organized to address anti-Black racism in the city of Benicia.  BBLM is the principal reason the City of Benicia is presently interviewing for an Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Manger, establishing a Commission United for Racial Equity, and will be conducting an Equity Audit of Benicia’s government and services.

We strongly support BBLM’s strategy to get Benicians to “Actively Commit to Change” and its mission to have the City create and target a specific, actionable vision of what a better, more inclusive and equitable future looks like.

PDB’s mission is to ensure equity and justice for all people, and support the election and appointment of officials that support this mission.  Our programs and actions since 2017 have promoted our mission, and we hope collaboration with BBLM will help us operationalize racial and social justice into our work more effectively.  More broadly, through collaboration we hope we can combine resources and energy for greater impact in Benicia and our communities.

This will be a very important meeting for PDB and I encourage all members and friends of PDB to join us and participate in this discussion.

Solano Co. Sheriff’s Department

The Solano Co. Sheriff’s Department made the news recently with an Open Vallejo report detailing support for right-wing extremism among some of the Department’s members.  I encourage you to read Benicia Black Lives Matter’s recent letter which clearly describes the concerns we share.  We’ll be talking to other Democratic clubs in Solano County to identify follow up actions that need to be taken with the Sheriff’s office.

Assembly District Delegates – election results

The Assembly District 14 Delegate elections are completed and six of PDB’s endorsed candidates were elected among the 14 Delegates receiving the most votes: Susannah Delano, Susan George, Brenda Crawford, Thomas Bilbo, Ruscal Cayangyang, and Phillip “Maui” Wilson.  Congratulations to our endorsees!  MORE: on Facebook AD14Progressives4Change.

Endorsement results – Delaine Eastin for California Democratic Party Chair

The two candidates running this year for Chair of the California Democratic Party attended meeting last month.  We heard presentations by current Chair Rusty Hicks and challenger Delaine Eastin, followed by questions and answers.  Our endorsement vote was held virtually on the PDB website, with a resounding win for Delaine Eastin.  MORE: PDB endorses Delaine Eastin for Party Chair.

Pay your dues for 2021!

Members – please take a moment right now and ask yourself if you have renewed your dues for 2021.  And friends, please consider joining PDB as paid, voting members.

Political groups and clubs across the country are reporting shrinking memberships and donations because, to some, our last president’s exit from office was “enough,” and “everything is okay now.”

This is of course untrue—simply look to the Solano Sheriff’s office for proof that right-wing extremism has taken root and is thriving in Solano and beyond, and that it extends to public office.  Please renew your membership and, as you do, consider giving beyond the $20 if you can.  PDB needs your support to accomplish its many goals in 2021 and through the major electoral efforts for the 2022 elections.  Help us get the right people in office by activating your membership and adding on an additional donation, if you can.

That’s all for now!  Let us know of any comments or suggestions you have.

Ralph Dennis

See you on March 9, 7:00 pm!!!

Ralph Dennis

Meeting of February 9, 2021 – Black History Month / CA Dem Chair Interview for Endorsement

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 7 PM
Black History Month and
CA Dem Party Chair Candidates

At our February meeting, we celebrated Black History Month, hearing from two local African-American poets, Bobby Richardson and LaPaula Parker.  Bobby and LaPaula shared their thoughts and poetry on the achievements of African-Americans in the U.S. and the work towards racial justice that must continue in this country and Benicia.  Benicia’s Poet Laureate, Mary Susan Gast, introduced Bobby and LaPaula, and shared her own poem on white privilege.

Our program also included a discussion and Q&A with the two candidates running for Chair of the California Democratic Party, Rusty Hicks, present chair, and Delaine Eastin, challenger.

PDB members will endorse one of these candidates by voting online via the PDB web site during the week after our meeting.    Results will be posted on our Endorsements page.  Party Delegates may consider our endorsement when they vote for the Party’s officers, including the Chair, during the Democratic State Convention scheduled for April 26 – Sunday, May 2, 2021.

Solano Community College hosting virtual Black History Month – Events Feb. 10-24

Edited from the Vallejo Times-Herald by Nick Sestanovich, February 2, 2021.

For decades, Solano Community College has dedicated February to Black History Month with a series of events and discussions focusing on the issues African-Americans have faced and continue to experience.

This year’s slate of events will be presented virtually over Zoom. Shirley Lewis, SCC’s dean of student services, said the platform has worked well in conducting operations during the pandemic and she expects a strong turnout. “We expect good participation,” she said. “It’s open to everybody in the community.”

SCC’s theme this year is “The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity,” in keeping with the national Black History Month theme for 2021.

According to Ms. Lewis, the presentations and discussions will shed some light on the issues African-American families have faced for centuries, with discussions facilitated by current and present college faculty as well as members of the community. Feb. 3 was the first event, “It Ain’t Easy: Black Families in America,” and was hosted by Troy Finley, the founder of Myrtle’s Place; and Ebony Antoine, the director of Broken by Violence. The remaining events occur:

  • On Feb. 10, retired SCC Professor Dr. Karen McCord. SCC’s past ethnic studies program coordinator, will host “The Black Family: Civil Rights Era Challenges and Triumph.” From 3 to 4 p.m.; and, Zoom ID is 997 9665 2696.
  • On Feb. 17, licensed clinical social worker Kenya Sullivan will present “Political Trauma & Self-Efficacy: Reclaiming Our Progress.” From 3 to 4 p.m.; and, Zoom ID is 938 5005 7817.
  • On Feb. 22, adjunct history professor Dr. Damany Fisher will present “Political Violence During the Reconstruction Period: 1865-1877” and discuss the brutal issues that African-Americans faced after the Civil War. From Noon to 1 p.m.; and, the Zoom ID is Zoom ID: 971 3743 4586.
  • On Feb. 24 will be a discussion of the Bryan Stevenson book “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice & Redemption,” facilitated by Lewis and Associated Students of Solano College. “Just Mercy” is the story of a civil rights attorney who represents death row inmates in the South. From Noon to 1 p.m.; and, Zoom ID is 913 7462 0707.
  • The month’s events close Feb. 25 with a presentation by Edward Russell Jr., Vacaville resident and the founder of Brothers Helping Up His (BRUH), titled “Black Cultural Concepts: #Code-Switching.” From 3 to 4 p.m.; and, the Zoom ID is 923 5256 2550.

For more information, visit