Progressive Democrats of Benicia endorse Kimberly Ellis for CA Democratic Party Chair

May 22, 2019

Progressive Democrats Endorse Kimberly Ellis for California Democratic Party Chair

When former Labor Sec. Tom Perez defeated Rep. Keith Ellison in the race to head the Democratic National Committee, it ...
Kimberly Ellis, 2019 candidate for chair of the California Democratic Party

At its May 14th monthly meeting, the Progressive Democrats of Benicia voted to endorse Kimberly Ellis for Chair of the California Democratic Party. The Chairperson will be elected for a four-year term during the Party’s state convention in San Francisco which begins May 31.

“PDB is excited to support Kimberly,” said Ralph Dennis, Chair of the Progressive Democrats. “I remember her speaking in 2017 at an awards dinner in Benicia, when she gave a passionate speech focusing on environmental justice concerns in California communities, and she really fired up the audience,” Dennis said.

More recently, according to Dennis, during an April 7 forum in Vallejo for candidates running for Chair of the Democratic Party, Ms. Ellis presented her progressive credentials as she answered questions posed by PDB. “She opposes candidates taking money from corporations and supports public financing of elections. And, she also supports race and gender equity for candidates seeking public office, promoting a target of 50% women and 50% people of color,” according to Dennis. Ms. Ellis also wants to end fracking in California, a position the Progressive Democrats encourage the California Legislature to embrace. Fracking is a method of oil and gas production that blasts water, mixed with sand and toxic chemicals, under high pressure deep into the earth to break up rock formations for oil and gas extraction. “But it can also pollute local air and water and endanger wildlife and human health,” Dennis said referring to various studies performed.

Ms. Ellis is also the former Executive Director of Emerge California, a non-profit organization working to encourage and train women to run for office. She has also served on the California Democratic Party’s Finance Committee and its African American Caucus. In 2017, she narrowly lost a bid for the Chair position.

The Progressive Democrats is a local political club chartered by the Solano County Democratic Central Committee, organized in 2017 to promote progressive issues and support progressive candidates for public office. For more information visit the group’s web site at

Ralph Dennis, Chair

Thurs, May 23 in Benicia – PDB Women’s Caucus – Knock Down the House

Dear Progressive Democrats,

Our Women’s Caucus will be hosting a free screening of the film Knock Down the House (trailer here) on Thursday, May 23rd at 7pm, in the Garden Room at the Casa de Vilarrasa, 383 East I Street, Benicia, and we would love to see you there – women AND men!

Knock Down the House follows the incredible stories of four women who decide to run for office against all odds. At a moment of historic volatility in American politics, these women set themselves on a journey that changed their lives and country forever.

At the screening, we’ll provide a brief introduction, screen the film and facilitate a lively discussion afterward. Feel free to bring a snack or drink to share.

For more details please RSVP here:

We hope to see you there – women AND men – and feel free to invite friends!

Kari Birdseye
m: 415.350.7562

Video presentations on Benicia’s Air, Air Monitoring, and Pet Coke

Presentations on Air Quality and Air Monitoring
May 14, Tues 7:00 pm, Benicia Library

On May 14, Progressive Dems of Benicia hosted expert speakers on air monitoring and air quality in Benicia, with a special focus on pet coke.  Many thanks to Constance Beutel and Pat Toth-Smith for the video documenting the program below.

Video of the May 14 program on Benicia’s air

» Not included in the video: Mayor Patterson updated us on efforts between the City of Benicia and Valero to create a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will follow up on actions Valero agreed to after defeat of the proposed Industrial Safety Ordinance.  (The MOU will be helpful, but legally unenforceable.)