Our Next Meeting – May 11th, 2021 – Climate Change and School Board Recall

General Membership Meeting
May 11th
7:00pm as a
Zoom Meeting

 

Don’t forget, our next general membership meeting is Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 7:00-9:00pm. This meeting is open to the public.

Here is the Zoom link to join us:
Progressive Democrats of Benicia May 11th meeting link

Meeting ID: 894 9636 2942
Passcode: 956675
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

For our May 11th meeting, we’ll have an in-depth look at how we can help address climate change.  We’ll also discuss activity in the current CA Legislative Session on proposed bills targeting climate change issues and needed actions. As Californians, we are experiencing the effects of climate change now, with extreme drought conditions that cause us anxiety with the knowledge of an impending wildfire season soon upon us. To learn more about how we can be part of the solution

  • Maggie Kolk, who recently completed her Climate Reality Project training, will share a Climate Leadership Initiative presentation, and Dr. Bonnie Hamilton will share her experiences with the Solano Climate Action Policy Group she began 3+ years ago after her own Climate Leadership training.
  • Bonnie and Kari Birdseye will also discuss proposed legislation active in the current CA Legislative Session that addresses actions toward climate change and how you can support these bills as the Session continues through the summer months.

Other News

Recall of two Benicia School Board members. During our April 13 meeting, one of the local issues we discussed was the potential recall of BUSD Chair Sheri Zada and Board Member Mark Maselli. The supporters of the recall effort are now gathering signatures – they have 120 days to gather over 4,000 signatures which must be qualified by the County Registrar’s office to have the recall election.

DON’T SIGN THE RECALL PETITION!!!

Why is the recall wrong?

  • It will cost the Benicia School Board over $300,000 to have the election
  • It’s misplaced – Sheri’s and Mark’s seats are both open for the 2022 election without spending any additional money
  • It’s unfair – the School Board voted 3-2 in October 2020, and again 5-0 in January 2021 to maintain distance learning for students, yet Sheri and Mark are being targeted for “keeping students out of school.” PDB endorsed Sheri and Mark in 2018 and we should support them now!

Go to http://NOBUSDRecall.com  and https://www.facebook.com/NO-BUSD-Recall-101546872022219 for more information and ways you can help stop this attack on two BUSD Board Members who are being unfairly targeted. NO BUSD RECALL plans to have signs and place tables in public places to counter the signature gathering that is expected to continue around town for the next several weeks.

See you May 11! 

Ongoing Membership Drive! You’ve probably noticed that we are also in the midst of a membership drive. Steering Committee members have been busy calling past members and asking them to renew, and we’ve been actively seeking new members to join. We’re also exploring new ways to pay dues—through family memberships or sustaining and recurring memberships, for example. Nathalie will share some of these ideas on Tuesday night, as well as an update on our efforts to solicit donations to help support a candidate’s fund for the upcoming 2022 elections (two Council seats and two BUSD board seats will be open).

We need help! As PDB continues to grow, create change, and fight voter suppression, we are reaching out with opportunities to become even more involved in your Club’s activities. We’re asking for help from those who have some time—and maybe some specific skills—and the desire to join in with steering the Club in the directions we choose to go.

We have specific needs in the following areas:

1. Website and MailChimp. Our primary webmaster and MailChimp master, Roger Straw, has stepped back from his duties for the present. Some others have stepped up, temporarily, to fill the need. We need a person with website and mailing list experience to assume this role for the remainder of the year. Back-up assistance and training will be available.
2. Development Committee. Join our new fundraising and membership arm! Help us plan events, recruit and support new members, and more. While fundraising experience is a plus, all are welcome and training is available.
3. Steering Committee. We have openings for 2 to 3 motivated individuals to join in monthly planning meetings to select and develop programs, agendas, and related activities. Relevant qualifications and experience are less important than your commitment to putting your time, energy, and bold new ideas to work in this friendly group.
4. Women’s and Youth Caucus. Help plan events and work to attract diversity to our membership, learn how to organize at the grassroots level, and more.

Meeting of March 9, 2021 – Benicia Black Lives Matter


Tuesday, March 9, 7 PM
Getting together with Benicia Black Lives Matter

Discussion with Benicia Black Lives Matter

On March 9, we welcomed about a dozen Benicia Black Lives Matter members who joined us in conversations and brainstorming how we might support one another and collaborate in the future.

First, each group gave a brief overview of their group’s origins, goals, successes, and membership.  Kari Birdseye, Ralph Dennis and Nathalie Christian presented for the Progressive Dems.  Nimat Shakoor-Grantham and Brandon Greene presented for Benicia Black Lives Matter.

Mayor Steve Young presented an update on the City of Benicia’s responses to BBLM issues, including the status on hiring of the Diversity and Equity Manager.

After these introductions, we divided into six ZOOM “breakout rooms with 5-7 participants, where we shared conversations around areas of work and issues where we might collaborate on projects and actions.

The reports back from the 6 breakout rooms were full of good ideas, comments and suggestions.

PDB looks forward to ongoing strong relationships with BBLM.

Benicia Black Lives Matter is a local, grassroots community group organized to address anti-Black racism in the city of Benicia.  BBLM is the principal reason the City of Benicia is presently interviewing for an Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Manger, establishing a Commission United for Racial Equity (CURE), and will be conducting an Equity Audit of Benicia’s government and services.

We strongly support BBLM’s strategy to get Benicians to “Actively Commit to Change” and its mission to have the City create and target a specific, actionable vision of what a better, more inclusive and equitable future looks like.

PDB’s mission is to ensure equity and justice for all people, and support the election and appointment of officials that support this mission.  Our programs and actions since 2017 have promoted our mission, and we hope collaboration with BBLM will help us operationalize racial and social justice into our work more effectively.  More broadly, through collaboration we hope we can combine resources and energy for greater impact in Benicia and our communities.

March is Women’s History Month / March 8 is International Women’s Day

Events hosted by our sister organizations…

March is Women’s History Month and March 8th is International Women’s Day.  Local and nearby groups are hosting these events to celebrate women’s contributions to history, society, and culture.  These discussions have local tie-ins which should pique your interest, and we encourage you to check them out!

Post-Election 2020 – What’s Next?

On Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, at 4 pm, the Benicia-Vallejo branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) will co-sponsor with the Center for Common Ground “Post-Election 2020 – What’s Next?”

Andrea Miller, Center for Common Ground

This is a free Zoom program, with Andrea Miller, founding Board Member of the non-partisan Center for Common Ground and its Reclaim our Vote (ROV) Campaign.

Join the Zoom meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85743045142?pwd=aVZaVlpsZE5zQ1NreVJUTXlqNzVsZz09.
Alternatively, go to the link www.zoom.com and enter the following information: meeting ID is 857 4304 5142 and the passcode is 087356.

Ms. Miller will discuss the past 2020 election and how volunteer involvement led to successful voter turnout. Her program will outline the challenges ahead including the need for civic education and engagement and how individuals may get involved. Some of the topics she will address include:

    • Empowerment of underrepresented voters, specifically focusing on young adults from the ages of 18-24, of all races and all ethnicities.
    • Advocacy for federal act S1/HR1, known as For the People Act (For the People Act.) This Act would mandate that all states must allow early voting, voting by mail and online voter registration. It also includes provisions to reform redistricting, campaign finance, and restoration of the right to vote after release from prison.
    • Advocacy on the Equal Rights Amendment.

Please RSVP to rov.solanocounty@gmail.com .


Women Shaping a more Equitable Future

On March 8, 2021, at 5:00 pm, the Benicia-Vallejo and Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek branches of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) will host a free, public Zoom program celebrating International Women’s Day.

The program honors the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world: Women Shaping a more Equitable Future.

The joint AAUW celebration features a welcome and opening remarks by Eleni Kounalakis, California’s Lieutenant Governor. She is the first woman elected to this office and has served in this position since 2019.

The public is invited and may join the Zoom program by registering with EventBrite: https://aauw-womensdaycelebration.eventbrite.com

The program will feature comments by four additional speakers:

    • Elizabeth Patterson, MURP, is a former mayor of the City of Benicia. She will describe her journey for a sustainable world from a young girl to a career in land use planning and management and elected office.
    • Claudia Martinez-Schwarz, MPH, is a food policy expert who is administering a federal grant to educate rural high schoolers in Armenia and leading a USAID grant submission for STEM students in Colombia.
    • Asha Bajaj, PT/DPT, has managed her own practice in physical therapy for 20 years, in which she focused on women’s health. She served as assistant professor of physical therapy at the University of California at San Francisco.
    • Teresa Cheung is a licensed professional chemical engineer, MBA and a past Chair of the Northern California section of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). She was the first woman winner of the Institute’s most prestigious Professional Progress Award.

A question and answer session will be included, as well as a short video salute to international women leaders.


The Solano Commission for Women and Girls will conduct a series of conversations during the month of March with women who have achieved leadership roles in their respective professions and workplaces.

 Women Leaders of Today and Tomorrow

Join Solano Women in Conversation about How They Became Leaders

March 4 @ 4:00-5:30pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88613900571?pwd=OStodUtFN2k3ck95UnRuR0t1MHFPdz09 Passcode: women

March 11 @ 4:00-5:30pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82819586571?pwd=NERGdkJuV3VNRitxV250WDgza0s2UT09 Passcode: 951045

March 18 @ 4:00-5:30pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84497367090?pwd=eE1XTE5kbVU5WDI2QWZkRklvTk9PUT09 Passcode: women

March 25 @ 4:00-5:30pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83828016443?pwd=dEFkcEV5czZKMkZDeE96WmNiaW9kQT09 Passcode: women

For questions contact Commission Chair Laura Petty at: laura@laurapettylaw.com (707)759-2588.


ALSO… Black Women Leading – California Democrats – TOMORROW!  February 25 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm PST

Celebrate Black History Month with the California Democratic Party and the CADEM Black Caucus on February 25, at 5:00 p.m. for Black Women Lead, a virtual conversation on what we can do to support more Black women running for elected office, leading campaigns, and playing key roles in legislative offices. The conversation will include:

    • Congressmember Barbara Lee
    • Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber
    • CADEM’s Women’s Caucus Vice-Chair Carolyn Fowler, and
    • CADEM Black Caucus Chair Taisha Brown

We all know that Black women voters are a core part of Democratic victories but are underrepresented in elected offices, in campaign leadership, and key staff positions. CADEM believes we have seen some progress but more work is needed.

Also, the Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison is joining the CA Democratic Party (CADEM) and the CADEM Black Caucus Thursday, February 25 at 5 p.m. to celebrate Black History Month.

RSVP NOW »

RSVP today to join the conversation https://cadem.vote/leading. Black Women Lead will also stream LIVE on Facebook.

Equity & Justice For All