Category Archives: Past meetings

Meeting of May 14, 2019 – All about our Air, Monitoring, and Pet Coke

All about Air Quality and Air Monitoring
May 14, Tues 7:00 pm, Benicia Library

Most of our program on May 14 was about air monitoring and air quality in Benicia.  Agenda.

Concerns and questions:

    • What air quality monitors do we have?
    • Where are they?
    • What’s in Benicia’s air? What information is being monitored and collected?
    • What else do we need?

Constance Beutel offered a highly informative powerpoint on air quality, air pollution and its health implications, air monitors and steps we can take in our own lives.

Pet Coke. CBE scientist Greg Karras led us in a discussion of pet coke, which is produced and used by Valero – what pet coke is and what are its uses, and how it affects our environmental health.

Kathy Kerridge shared about the rebirth of Benicia’s community air monitoring program, BCAMP, and Mayor Patterson updated us on efforts between the City of Benicia and Valero to create an MOU to follow-up on actions Valero agreed to after defeat of the proposed Industrial Safety Ordinance.

After the program, the members voted to endorse a candidate for California Democratic Party Chair.  Roger Straw presented the recommendation of the Progressive Democrats of Benicia Steering Committee to endorse Kimberly Ellis.  (Vote results to be posted later…)

Meeting of April 18 – Celebrating 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

March 25, 2019

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day!
Thursday, April 18, 7pm, Benicia Library

Click image to download poster

Earth Day’s 50th anniversary was this year.  At our April meeting we celebrated!!!

The first Earth Day in 1970 enlisted 20 million Americans and is credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The idea for a national day to focus on the environment came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Sen. Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment”; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes from Harvard as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land, and April 22 was selected as the date.

On April 18th our program highlighted 350 Bay Area and its Electrify Everything in 2019 program, explaining all the new options for electric alternatives – for cars, air heating and cooling, water heating, and cooking.

What can I do to help avoid climate chaos? – this discussion offered some answers, providing everyday people – just like us – what we can do in our daily lives to move off fossil fuels. Living in California means there is already legislation that makes it easier to accomplish these goals. 350 Bay Area led a discussion of the areas where our choices really can make a difference, including support for AB40.

In addition to the Electrify Everything discussion, Kathy Kerridge, (a PDBer), and David Lindsay of Benicia’s Community Sustainability Commission discussed the commission and it’s current programs.

We began by honoring the hard work and the tremendous accomplishments of the Good Neighbor Steering Committee which recently secured an additional settlement with Valero that brought more money for air monitoring, water conservation and Sustainable Solano.

PDB members are working with 350 Bay Area’s legislative action committee tracking bills to support or oppose those that impact CA’s present renewable energy goals and climate change trends.

Download the AGENDA here.

Meeting of March 8 – Celebrating International Women’s Day

We celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8 with a great crowd at Arts Benicia, 991 Tyler St., Suite 114.

See the video of the event on Constance Beutel’s Youtube channel: full-length version or 20-minute edited version.  From our previous announcement:

2020: Women Stepping Up in Benicia

  • Celebrate International Women’s Day – Women making a difference!
  • Women’s leadership forum – learn about leadership opportunities for women of all ages and life stages from local leaders.


  • Betty Yee, California State Controller since 2015
  • Susannah Delano, Executive Director, Close the Gap California
  • Linda Escalante, So. CA Legislative Director, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
  • Cora Young, Field Representative, Congressman Mike Thompson

Opening remarks by Mayor Elizabeth Patterson
Moderated by Kari Birdseye


Download the poster – distribute far and wide!