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.
Tuesday, Nov. 10, 7pm
and thinking about PDB 2021 Goals
Post-Election Sharing – and What’s Next
We planned ahead for a post election gathering, not knowing the results. Whatever the outcome, we wanted to come be with our friends!!!
So… at our meeting on Nov. 10 we briefly shared the results of the Nov. 3 elections, local and national. We celebrated and held our breath over Joe Biden’s slim lead, and worried over the composition of the House and Senate… AND we celebrated our new Mayor Steve Young! Terry Scott’s race for the second Council seat was too close to call at the time (and he later lost by the narrowest of margins).
At the outset of our meeting, we surprised our friend and PDB member, outgoing Mayor Elizabeth Patterson with a time of recognition and honors. We read a Proclamation “Recognizing Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson and Honoring her Decades of Rich and Enduring Service.” This was followed by a delightful video collage by Constance Beutel celebrating Elizabeth’s many years of service and accomplishments. Finally, Elizabeth responded and many of our members zoomed in their thanks and well wishes.
We had planned to include Zoom “breakout rooms” for smaller groups of people to 1) talk freely about the election results and what it means for us and for Benicia and 2) to think about possible goals and focus for PDB in 2021. But we ran out of time, so we plan to do this at our January, 12 2021 meeting.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Election of PDB officers in Jan. ’21. Terms of our current officers expire soon. During the Jan. 2021 General Membership meeting members will elect a Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. Each officer serves a two-year term. We are seeking nominations for these positions which will be accepted beginning now and through the discussion prior to the vote at our Jan. ’21 meeting.
- Our current officers are: Ralph Dennis, Chair; Craig Snider, Vice-Chair; Maggie Kolk, Secretary; and, Kathy Kerridge, Treasurer.
- Eligible members may nominate and vote in the election of officers. (An “eligible” member is one who is either new and a member for at least 60 days, or a past member who has renewed dues to become current. Dues are due on January 1 and payable by January 31 of each calendar year. Dues are only $20/year, payable on our website.) Nominations can be submitted through the Contact button on the PDB website. You can also let us know if you have questions about the status of your membership.
Meeting of Tuesday, Oct. 13, 7pm, on ZOOM…
No more “Election Day” – this is Election Month!
Ballots have arrived – help is needed NOW!
OUR GUESTS on Oct 13:
Mayoral Candidate Steve Young
and City Council Candidate Terry Scott
PDB’s meeting on Oct. 13 focused on Benicia’s Mayoral and Council races. Our endorsed candidates, Steve Young for Mayor and Terry Scott for Council, discussed their campaigns and provided suggestions on how we could further support their election to office.
During the meeting we also discussed how we should prepare for possible “election problems” on Nov. 3 and afterwards. Here’s the link to an article that raises such concerns and what we can do to prepare: 10 things you need to know to stop a coup (by Daniel Hunter of 350.org, on WAGING NONVIOLENCE.org). Mary Susan Gast presented Hunter’s 10 points and encouraged all of us to sign the pledge to Choose Democracy, and sign up for a training. Here are links:
As one of our members wrote, “It’s always best to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. We are in a situation where if Trump tries to stop the counting of votes, then we need to be prepared to act in the face of a coup. And we need to call it what it is.”
In the meantime, here is information on tonight’s Benicia Candidate Forum and on mail-in ballots, and also what you can do to counteract actions already being taken by Trump supporters to suppress voter turnout.
Everything you need to know to VOTE EARLY
- Trump supporters disrupted early voting in Virginia. On the second day of early voting in Virginia, a group of right-wing Trump supporters gathered outside a polling location – waving flags and chanting in a clear attempt to intimidate voters.
- That’s why Women’s March is partnering with Working Families Party, Movement for Black Lives Electoral Justice Project, and dozens of other organizations around the country to organize Election Defenders at local polling places on November 3rd.
- Sign up now to become an Election Defender and join a training to make sure everyone can vote safely no matter what. Join a training session here – a virtual 3-minute training session (choose one, scheduled for 4:30pm on Tuesday, Oct 6, 13 and 20).