We will not meet on the Second Tuesday of February – Valentines Day. We are currently in negotiations with a high ranking Democrat for a mutually available date. You won’t want to miss this one!
Our first meeting of the year was held on Tuesday, January 10 via zoom.
We started the New Year by hearing from our newly elected city council representatives, Kari Birdseye and Terry Scott. Both gave an ambitious and detailed account of their goals for the City of Benicia in coming years. Members also took the opportunity to ask questions.
PDB member Susannah Delano gave a clear explanation of the California ADEM elections and helped members understand the importance of this election of our party delegates for our Assembly District 11. Mail-in ballots have been sent, and in-person voting will happen on Sunday, January 22.
Thanks to dues and donations from our amazing membership, PDB supported our endorsed candidates in 2022 both financially and by creating a community bulwark to stand against wealthy, out-of-town business interests—and we saw this fight all the way through to victory! We also use these funds to compensate speakers, pay for utilities like Zoom, and keep the wheels of progress turning in Benicia as we work together for environmental, racial, and social justice. Sooooo……..
For only $20, you can reactivate your membership by clicking this link to pay your annual dues. While you’re there, please consider making an additional donation to help fund PDB’s future activities. Not only will your generosity help us keep our forward momentum, it will also give you a voice in the club, allowing you to vote on important matters and help us execute essential club business.
ANOTHER IMPORTANT way for you to help in 2023 –
As PDB continues to grow and create change, we are increasingly in need of active, committed volunteers who can help us in 2023 so our progressive momentum extends to the 2024 election. While Kari Birdseye is a very welcome presence on Benicia City Council, her absence from our Steering Committee will be deeply felt. Note also that Steering Committee Member Terry Mollica is taking a sabbatical.
With two members now gone from our Steering Committee, we really need you to step up and help out by joining our Steering Committee. Responsibilities are minimal, you don’t have to be any sort of political expert to pitch in, and we’re very friendly and supportive. If you’re interested, please reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can go over exactly what’s involved and how you can fit in!
Interim Chair, PDB
At our January 10 meeting, PDB member Susannah Delano took us to school about our 2023 ADEM election. Borrowing from her notes, here is all you need to know. We are adding a full list of our District 11 candidate names with their ballot numbers (needed to fill in your ballot), and a few of our members’ recommendations on preferred candidates. >> PLEASE DO REGISTER AND VOTE! There is still time!
>> QUESTION: What’s an ADEM election, and why is it important?
Many are still learning about our ADEM election – if that’s you,
see below, after the list of candidates. <<
YOU HAVE TO REGISTER TO VOTE and BE A REGISTERED DEMOCRAT. Some of you registered early enough to get a mail-in ballot (and we will come back to that momentarily). Others can still register online at https://ademelections.com/register/person, but then you will have to vote in person at the Assembly District Election, which will be held in Fairfield at the CA Teachers Assn, 4751 Central Way on Sunday Jan 22, 10 AM – 2 PM (look for the white CTA sign). If anyone would like help reaching the polling location please contact Nathalie (email@example.com or 408-204-7759) to coordinate (safe!) carpooling or transportation options. Please don’t let the in-person requirement prevent you from registering! YOUR votes will help strengthen the progressive caucus in our party. Don’t miss this chance to really push the needle left! Live registration is also possible in-person at the Fairfield voting event Jan 22, 10am-2pm. (Strangely, we are told that registration remains open until 6pm on Jan 22, 4 hours after the voting event closes, not sure how or why.)
Ballot Front: For mail-in ballot voters – your Participant ID number is the 10-digit PIN sent to you in a confirmation email after you registered. The confirmation email was sent to you on the same day you registered. (You can search for the email from CADEM called “ADEM: Registration details.”) Your PIN can also be found online at the ADEM website. Go to https://ademelections.com/register/person – and look for “FIND MY PIN” at top right.
Ballot Back: The back of the ballot ONLY shows candidate NUMBERS (without any names)! Crazy! To fill in the ballot, you will need to access the number assignments for candidates. We will list the matched names and numbers below, or you can go to https://www.adem.cadem.org/candidates-results/ad-11. You will have to deal with this clumsy situation in order to successfully fill in your ballot.
There IS a detailed document online, How to Fill Out and Return Your ADEM Ballot Instructions, with all the info you need, but you will probably find everything you need right here.
PDB has not organized for endorsements or interviewed candidates, but PDB voters should know that among the 20 candidates are two who are members of PDB: Monica Brown and Susannah Delano.
There is one District 11 SLATE promoting itself, the “Progressive Workers Alliance” (Napa-Solano Labor Council), endorsing their 14 candidates.
RECOMMENDATIONS: While the Club is making no formal endorsements, several PDB members have emailed their support for various candidates (see summary below). Again, you do not have to vote for 14 candidates (feel free to leave a bunch of spaces blank). You must NOT vote for more than 14 or your ballot will be disqualified. Keep in mind as you prepare your ballot:
THE FULL LIST OF CANDIDATES AND THEIR BALLOT NUMBERS – There are 20 candidates who have filed to run in our Assembly District 11. Voters cast votes for up to 14 candidates. The top 7 SIF (Self-identified Female) and top 7 OSIF (Other than Self-identified Female) candidates will be declared winners. You can vote for up to 14 candidates. There is no requirement to gender-balance your votes on the ballot and it’s ok to vote for fewer than 14 overall. This same list appears at https://www.adem.cadem.org/candidates-results/ad-11
The California Democratic Party– arguably the most powerful state party in the US– holds regional election meetings for Democrats to select delegates to serve 2-year terms. Those delegates help shape and vote on the Party platform, elect Party leadership, and elect Democratic National Committee delegates from CA. The election is held in each State Assembly district – 80 of those statewide. Rank and file Dems in each District elect 14 delegates, 7 self-identified females and 7 other-than self-identified females. (Additional appointees are named as well.) Many times, candidates run in “slates” with really great sounding names, pool their resources, and win more often than unaligned candidates.
Delegates have a lot of influence, particularly in the Democratic Party, influencing endorsements for state and federal offices like the CA Assembly, CA State Senate, CA Governor, US House of Representatives, and the US Senate. Delegates weigh in on ballot proposition positions, and (in even-numbered years) vote to establish the official California Democratic State Platform. They elect 16-25 CADEM Regional Directors who function as our liaison between the California Democratic Party, County Central Committees, and Democratic Party Clubs. Delegates also elect Party Officers: Chair, two Vice-Chairs, Secretary, and Controller (in odd-numbered years after presidential elections). Delegates can join caucuses within the Party to advocate for specific agendas or platforms. The bare minimum for a delegate is to attend the Democratic Party Convention– really no limit to how active a delegate can be in the Party.
Yes, all this is “inside baseball,” but the bottom line is that the ADEM is a high-impact, low-turnout election. And it’s happening now!
We are in Assembly District 11, a new district, 87% of which is here in Solano County, along with tiny bits of Contra Costa & Sacramento Counties. Solano is now the main event in Assembly District concerns – second fiddle no more! It’s exciting and a great time to get more engaged.
Due to weather conditions, some ADEM meeting dates have been delayed. To stay up to date with the most current ADEM meeting dates, please visit www.adem.cadem.org/where-to-vote.
In the meantime, there is still time to register for in-person voting. The in-person voter registration closes January 22, 2023 at 6 p.m.
Here’s what you should know about ADEMs for the month of January:
January 6, 2023
Vote-By-Mail ADEM ballots will be mailed out on January 6th. Individuals who have asked for a vote by mail ballot may drop their ballot off at any in-person voting location or mail their ballot to:
California Democratic Party
℅ Redstone Print and Mail
910 Riverside Pkwy Ste 40
West Sacramento, Ca 95605-1510
January 22, 2023
4th Day of ADEM Meetings
In-Person Participant Registration Closes at 6 p.m.
January 31, 2023
Deadline to verify Voter Registration
Last Day for Vote by Mail Ballots to be received
You may vote at any ADEM location in the State, regardless of whether you are registered in that district.
As a reminder, if you registered to vote in-person, there will be at least one ADEM location in each Assembly District. All locations should be open for 4 hours, opening to the public no earlier than 10 a.m. but no later than 2 p.m. At the in-person voting location in your specific Assembly District, voters may access their voting PIN and a ballot and cast your vote.
Again, find your specific in-person voting location in your district, please visit www.adem.cadem.org/where-to-vote. Please note: This page will be updated frequently due to weather conditions and other unforeseen changes to locations. Please check back often, even right before going to the location to ensure that you have the correct date, time and address details.
Before finalizing and casting your ballot, make sure that your ballot is filled out CORRECTLY. There are 3 ways that a ballot may be considered invalid:
The Scantron Company determines whether a ballot is considered Valid or Invalid. CADEM staff WILL NOT overturn a decision made by the Scantron Company.