Category Archives: Progressive Democrats of Benicia

Meeting of June 9, 2020 – Upcoming Ballot Measures

Tuesday, June 9, 7:00pm
…on ZOOM…

Once again, in order to continue maintaining social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, Progressive Dems of Benicia held its June meeting on Zoom.

Members and friends received Zoom login instructions by email.  Those not currently on our member or interested parties email list who wanted to attend, could either Become A Member,  OR, if they were just interested and wanted to attend, could let us know on our Contact Us page, so that we could send Zoom instructions by email.


Our featured topic for discussion at our June 9 Zoom meeting was ballot measures on the Nov. 3 ballot. You may have already heard about a proposed “property tax reform” initiative promoted by Schools and Communities First and many other education, health, and labor organizations, plus the ACLU and League of Women Voters.

A “yes” vote would require commercial and industrial properties, except those zoned as commercial agriculture, to be taxed based on their market value, rather than their purchase price.

A “no” vote would continue taxing commercial and industrial properties based on a property’s purchase price , with annual increases equal to the rate of inflation or two (2) percent, whichever is lower.

Generally referred to as the Schools and Local Communities Funding Act, it would create a “split-roll property tax” where commercial properties valued over $3 million would be reassessed every three years at market value. Smaller businesses, farming properties, and residential homes would be exempt and remain under the existing framework.

  • Proponents claim the change could produce up to $12 billion annually – 60% earmarked for local governments and 40% for education. According to a study by the University of Southern California, schools and cities could benefit from the new revenue stream as soon as fiscal year 2021-2022.
  • Opponents of the ballot measure include the anti-tax group Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association – claiming the new tax burden would kill Main Street and the small businesses that survive the pandemic-induced shutdown; and, the California Retailers Association – property owners will raise rents if the measure is approved, meaning businesses will pass on costs to customers. Other opponents include the California Chamber of Commerce, California Farm Bureau Federation and California Bankers Association.

Meeting of May 20, 2020 – Get Out the Vote (GOTV)

Wednesday, May 20, 7pm
Our first Zoom Meeting

After canceling PDB general membership meetings for March and April due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we restarted our general membership meetings on May 20.  In order to maintaining social distancing, members met by Zoom!!!!!

On May 20 we will heard from Nancy Klein who works with West County Organizing, a group of volunteers in Contra Costa County and the greater East Bay who focus on electoral politics to help elect progressives and Democrats!

West County Organizing uses phone and text banks to register voters and Get Out The Vote (GOTV). They also encourage civic engagement through town hall attendance and calls to elected representatives.

Guest speaker Nancy Klein described their recent efforts and shared with us suggestions on how we can initiate and support GOTV efforts for upcoming races to be decided on November 3.

Our own Kathy Kerridge then described a GOTV letter writing party that she is planning, working through Swing Left.

Our first meeting on Zoom went with relatively few technical glitches, and was so well organized that we ended in just a few minutes over an hour!

We will look forward to zooming together again next month.

IMPORTANT: if you are a member of PDB, January was the month to renew your annual dues (unless you joined since October, 2019, in which case your initial membership and dues count for 2020).  PLEASE PAY TODAY!

March Meeting Cancelled

No meeting on March 18

Members and Friends of PDB,

We have decided to cancel PDB’s next General Membership meeting scheduled for March 18 at the Dona Benicia Library in Benicia. We’ve taken this action as a precaution due to concerns about exposure to COVID-19. Below are the latest recommendations from the City of Benicia issued on March 9:


“…At this time, the City recommends that individuals evaluate opportunities to attend events, programs, recreation classes, etc., on a case by case basis. Older people and people with certain underlying health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example, seem to be at greater risk of serious illness and may want to be more conservative when deciding whether or not to attend events. The City has begun implementing enhanced facility cleaning to reduce potential exposure to COVID-19 as well as posting reminders about hand washing and other precautions.”

Here’s a link to the City of Benicia’s web page with coronavirus information, including the full March 9 press release –

And, here are links to additional information on the coronavirus:

Johns Hopkins CSSE Outbreak Tracker
CDC – What You Need to Know about COVID-19
CDC – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
CDC -Confirmed Cases in the United States (updated regularly)
Solano County Public Health Updates & Resources
OSHA Information for Workers and Employers
Sign up for CDC Updates here

Our next meeting is scheduled for April 22. We’ll share more information on the Earth Day program soon. In the meantime, please be cautious and follow the personal contact protocols recommended by healthcare officials:

    • Wash hands with liquid soap and water for at least 20 seconds; alcohol-based sanitizers may also be used.
    • Clean and disinfect any surfaces you or other people frequently touch.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue (or your sleeve) when you cough or sneeze.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Stay home if you are sick or feel sick (unless you are seeking medical care).
    • Avoid close contact with sick people.
    • Get the flu shot to protect yourselves and others from the seasonal flu.

Please be safe and stay informed!

Ralph Dennis


Have you paid your 2020 dues yet?  If you are a member of PDB, January was the month to renew your annual dues (unless you joined since October, 2019, in which case your initial membership and dues count for 2020).  PLEASE RENEW TODAY!