Endorsement Forum Questions – Nov. 2020 Election

Following are the prepared questions asked of all local candidates at our PDB Candidate’s Forum on August 11, 2020.  Candidates included Steve Young (Mayor), Trevor Macenski (Council) and Terry Scott (Council).  View the video of the Forum here, and read a report on the Forum here.

Note that by majority vote of our members, the Progressive Democrats of Benicia endorse Steve Young for Benicia Mayor, and Terry Scott for Benicia City Council for the November 2020 election.  Show your support here:

PREPARED QUESTIONS
Response  – one minute per candidate

Housing

The following questions focus on housing solutions and related issues in Benicia:

  • Would you support infill housing and if so, would you advocate for the City to either build or manage the building of such housing, splitting the cost of building with the builder? Would  you recommend that the City set up an HOA and receive funds for each infill unit as a revenue source for the City?  Please explain your response.
  • We know there is a lack of housing for low-and-middle income people in the Bay Area. What plan would you propose to increase affordable housing in Benicia, specifically housing that would admit those  low to middle income wage earners, for example retail workers or those starting out as new teachers or health care workers,  to the real estate market?
  • Water rates: What is your plan to address water rates?

Business

  • What is your plan for attracting new businesses to downtown and the Industrial Park? Considering the current pandemic,  what types of business would you encourage and how would you support them?
  • How should Benicia adjust its budget with the decrease in revenues from COVID-related business closures?
  • What are your thoughts about the Benicia’s dependency on businesses that significantly contribute financially to the City’s revenue base? Do you have a plan to diversify our tax base to reduce the City’s dependency on these businesses.
  • Would you support City owned and operated business rental space in downtown and other parts of the city? If so, would you support the City lowering rental fees to below market prices to support small business and to provide competition to existing private landlords?

Valero

  • With regard to Valero’s failed permit to have crude oil shipped via rail to Benicia – would you support this project if it resurfaces again or similar projects that would increase Benicia citizens exposure to additional toxic pollutants in our air and water?
  • The City of Benicia is the only jurisdiction in the Bay Area with a refinery that does not have in place an Industrial Safety Ordinance (ISO). Do you support the Benicia adopting an ISO, like the one implemented in 1998 by Contra Costa County, to provide the City a seat at the table not currently provided by state regulations regarding review of incident reports, safety plans and audit reports, and risk management plans required by petroleum refineries?

Positive Campaign

  • Do you agree not to accept campaign contributions from any political action committee, return any such funds if received and how would you handle any negative campaigns issues?

Environment

  • What would you do to make sure Benicia lowers its greenhouse gas emissions in the residential, commercial and municipal realms and do you support hiring a climate action coordinator?

Racial Justice

  • If elected, what would be your first action be to address racial injustices described by Benicians during recent peaceful protests in the City?

Equity & Justice for All