Progressive Democrats endorse Steve Young for Mayor, Terry Scott for City Council

By Ralph Dennis, August 18, 2020

In this age of pandemic distancing, the Progressive Democrats of Benicia convened about 50 members and interested parties in a digital ZOOM Candidate Forum on August 11.

Candidate for Mayor Steve Young and candidates for City Council Trevor Macenski and Terry Scott gave opening statements, answered prepared questions and audience questions, and finished with brief closing statements.

Members of the Progressive Democrats voted whether and whom to endorse by an online poll on the PDB website.  Voting was open for a week following the Forum.

For endorsement, PDB bylaws require a vote of 50% plus one of those present and voting.

For Mayor of Benicia – Councilmember Steve Young

Results were overwhelming in the Mayoral race.  100% of the 43 members voting chose to endorse Steve Young for Mayor in 2020.  Congratulations, Steve!  Christina Strawbridge, who declined to attend, received no votes.

For Benicia City Council – Arts and Culture Commissioner Terry Scott

The race for City Council presented members with a wider choice.  Members could vote for up to two to fill the two vacant seats.  Incumbent Tom Campbell, who also declined to attend, received only 5 votes, or 11.6% of those voting.  Planning Commissioner Trevor Macenski received 13 votes, or 30.2% of those voting.  Arts and Culture Commissioner Terry Scott received support from 40 members, or 93.0% of those voting, and snagged our only endorsement for City Council.  Congratulations, Terry!

For more information or to order yard signs, volunteer or contribute, visit:

Election Season Jump Starts with Candidate Forum at the Progressive Dems

This article does not imply endorsement.  Our endorsement vote is currently in progress. Results to be posted on August 19.

(Benicia, CA) – Benicia’s election season was kicked off last Tuesday with one of the first candidate forums of the 2020 campaign, featuring notable absences by mayoral candidate Christina Strawbridge and city council candidate Tom Campbell.

The online, well-attended forum presented mayoral candidate Steve Young, along with Terry Scott and Trevor Macenski, both candidates for our local city council.  Each candidate responded to a series of questions from the Progressive Democrats group and then host Maggie Kolk fielded questions from the attendees via chat.

[If you have time, check out  the ZOOM video recording of the forum for candidate statements, questions and answers.]

It was clear that the candidates in attendance are extremely knowledgeable on the issues facing Benicia. The rich exchange of ideas informed not only the members attending but the candidates themselves on the differences of opinions and experience.

Councilman Young stated that he brought four decades of local government experience as well as his service to Benicia in serving on the local planning commission for four years and as Vice Mayor for two years and another two years as a council member.

Terry Scott shared his experience as Senior Vice President, Global Head of Creative Services for Hasbro and his work as a futurist in understanding the needs of an aging Benicia moving forward.  Scott also currently serves as the chair of Benicia’s Arts and Culture Commission but mentioned that he wants to be known as more than the “art guy.”

Vice Chair of Benicia’s Planning Commission Trevor Macenski demonstrated his professional experience in environmental and city planning and excelled at answering questions on those issues.

There was agreement on most issues, such as the need for fiscal responsibility and budget adjustments to the City’s fiscal outlook to prepare for the financial impacts of the pandemic.  All agreed that assistance to Benicia businesses, affordable housing, and running clean campaigns should be a priority.

About racial injustice concerns raised during recent peaceful protests in Benicia, all candidates supported Police Chief Erik Upson’s Plan and community engagement, and said they would continue discussions with him on these concerns after elected.

Candidates Young and Scott agreed that Benicia needs an Industrial Safety Ordinance, which would hold Valero’s Benicia refinery more accountable to our community. Macenski, however, said Benicia did not need an ISO given the existing communication channels between Valero and the City. While Young and Scott agreed that they would reject another Crude-by-Rail project, Macenski said no but also indicated he would be open to projects that enhanced the refinery’s ability to do business “within their existing use permit.”

On the day that presidential candidate Joe Biden announced his Vice Presidential pick of Kamala Harris, all candidates registered their support for the Democratic ticket at the very top.

Although the question wasn’t asked at the forum, the council candidates have gone on record as Scott supporting Steve Young and Macenski supporting Christina Strawbridge for mayor.

“It was a great discussion with the three candidates and on issues that the next Council will be facing,” said PDB Chair Ralph Dennis. “The meeting was well attended with over 50 local voters joining our on-line meeting. It was too bad and extremely disappointing that two Democratic candidates chose not to face the questions asked by the community,” Dennis added.

The Progressive Democrats of Benicia, a chartered club of the Solano County Democratic Central Committee, will announce their endorsements on August 19, after online voting has been tallied.

For more information on the candidates featured at the forum visit:

Meeting of August 11, 2020 – Local Candidate Forum


Endorsement Meeting
Tuesday, August 11
7:00pm on ZOOM…

Council and Mayoral Candidates

PDB’s August 11 General Membership meeting was a discussion with candidates running for Benicia Mayor and City Council. We  decided we no longer needed a second endorsement meeting (previously scheduled for Aug. 20) and so combined the meetings into one on Aug. 11.

All Democratic candidates running for Benicia Mayor and City Council were invited. Incumbent Councilmember Tom Campbell declined our invitation to attend without explanation. Vice-Mayor Christina Strawbridge, who is running for Mayor, also declined to attend citing “previous experiences with the group.”

As a result, we had plenty of time to hear from the Democratic candidates running for Benicia Council and Mayor who graciously accepted our invitation to discuss their campaigns and vision for Benicia with members of the Benicia community:

  • Candidate for Mayor: Councilmember Steve Young
  • Candidates for Council: Trevor Macenski and Terry Scott

Several members shared questions with us they would like the candidates to answer.  Here are the prepared questions that we asked each candidate.  And here is a video recording of the August 11 Forum.

Ralph Dennis
PDB Chair


HOW TO PARTICIPATE…

Endorsement meeting on August 11…
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Progressive Dems of Benicia will meet on Zoom. 
Members and friends will receive Zoom login instructions by email.  If you are not currently on our member or interested parties email list and want to attend, you can either Become A Member,  OR,

if you are just interested and want to attend, go to our Contact Us page to ask for Zoom instructions by email.

The ballot and voting procedures…
For eligible members voting, the ballot will be posted with instructions on the PDB web site following completion of the Aug. 11 meeting. The voting period will be open until August 18, 5:00 pm PT.  You will submit your ballot via the online form.  We will verify members’ status. Results of the votes in each race will be published on Aug. 19.

Equity & Justice for All