PDB Chair Ralph Dennis: Meeting notice and much more!

Thanks for your calls to Sen. Dodd!
More calls to make!
Next Meeting Feb. 12

Members and Friends,

Ralph Dennis, PDB Chair

Thanks for all the calls to Sen. Dodd’s office last week on Senate Bill 386 – the bill failed to get out of committee and is dead for the Session. During the committee hearing, Sen. Dodd specifically mentioned “all the calls” he had received to vote no on the bill, which he said led him to have concerns about it. Remember, he went from a yes vote last year on this bill to a no this year – calls can make a difference!

We’ll be needing to call Sen. Dodd again soon on SB 54, the “plastics bill” that places a ban on single use plastics starting in 2030. The bill is probably coming to the Senate floor for a vote before the end of January, and Sen. Dodd supported it last year but rumors are he may be wavering. Industry lobbying against this bill is fierce. Watch for Call Alerts from us soon, and for Assembly Member Grayson, too.

Speaking of calls, Maggie Kolk was given call information by a member of the Marsh Creek Dems at the Women’s March in Walnut Creek last Saturday. We’re asking all of you to make calls to the Senate “jurors” (so-called Moderate Republicans) to urge them to vote for impeachment and removal. And, before that vote comes up, for them to support the calling of witnesses and all evidence.  Here is the information for calling.

Next Meeting. Our next general membership meeting is Feb. 12, Wednesday, 7:00 pm at the Benicia Library, Dona Benicia room. The featured discussion will be a “Presidential panel” of representatives from the campaigns of the Democratic Presidential candidates. Not a debate, but a discussion from them of their issues and campaigns and plans as President. We’ll allow lots of time for Q&A with the audience.  Afterwards, PDB members will have the opportunity to endorse one of the candidates in the CA March 3 Presidential Primary. Members will vote at the meeting or on-line via the PDB web site.

City Council, Tuesday night, Jan. 21! Don’t forget the City Council meeting this Tuesday night – discussion on moving elections from at-large to districts is scheduled and a vote by Council members is expected to be taken. [7pm at City Hall TONIGHT – Agenda and staff reports hereRead more on the Benicia Independent: Roger Straw’s thoughts and letters to Council by others.

Monica Brown REELECTION! Monica needs neighborhood walkers for Benicia to ask for votes for Monica in the District 2 Board of Supervisors race. Monica is the candidate in that 3-way race who PDB endorsed, so we encourage you to help Monica in her bid for REELECTION. If you’re interested in doing a bit of walking to talk to your Benicia neighbors about Monica, please contact Stephen Hallett at hallett87@gmail.com.

Ralph Dennis

Benicia Observance of Martin Luther King National Holiday – Monday, January 20, 2020

BENICIA’S 5TH ANNUAL OBSERVANCE OF THE MARTIN LUTHER KING NATIONAL HOLIDAY will take place on Monday, January 20th at 7:00 PM, hosted this year at Community Congregational Church, 1305 West 2nd St.

Noted storyteller Linda Wright will again be present in the persona of Coretta Scott King. Civic leaders, members of the arts community, and youth will give voice to Dr. King’s legacy and his wisdom for us today.

All who attend will be encouraged to reflect, sing together, and share their particular reasons for honoring Dr. King.

“For 3 years Jady Montgomery gathered an informal group at the Gazebo on Martin Luther King Day,” observed Mary Susan Gast of the 2020 planning team.

“Last year Jady decided it might be time to bring the gathering indoors.  Heritage Presbyterian was the site in 2019, and we’re hoping that the location will rotate to other settings in future years.”

Gast continued, “We particularly urge high school or middle school students who would like to read some of Dr. King’s words, or words of their own relevant to the occasion, to contact me at msgast45@gmail.com. That same email address works for anyone who has questions.  We look forward to continuing the tradition of a vibrant community-building MLK Day event in 2020.”

Meeting of January 14, 2020 – BHS youth on climate change / possible Benicia election changes

Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 7pm
Casa de Vilarrasa Community Room,
383 East I St. (corner of East 4th)

PDB’s first meeting of 2020 began with a talk by Benicia High School student Emma Goularte, editor in chief of the BHS newspaper The PAW.  Emma presented the results of a recent student poll on what students think about climate change issues.

We were the first to hear the results of the survey.  Our Q&A with Emma was full of good ideas for follow-up and support.

Next, we focused on an upcoming discussion by City Council on how to elect City Council members, at-large v. district elections.

Currently, council members are elected at-large, meaning all eligible voters can vote for any candidate for Council on the ballot. On January 21, City Council will discuss and consider whether to elect council members by districts, which would mean voters in each defined district would vote only for candidates running for that district Council seat. Several cities in the Bay Area and California have already made this change, as well as many School Districts (including BUSD).

First, Julia Hahn explained what the issue is, why it’s an issue now, and how other communities in CA are implementing the changes. She has worked with Vacaville and Vallejo on addressing these issues and shared some of her experiences. Then Benicia attorney Terry Mollica followed with a discussion of Benicia’s characteristics, and shared his observations on how Benicia should address the issue.

Again, Q&A was smart, energetic and focused.  All were encouraged to attend the January 21 City Council meeting for more on this important issue.

Equity & Justice for All