Our Next Meeting – Tuesday, February 8 at 7PM


Members and supporters—
Join us on February 8th at PDB’s next General Membership meeting to participate in a discussion on biofuels projects, including two projects proposed by refineries in the Bay Area. Following the biofuels panel discussion which is open to the public, we will close the meeting to members only and finish discussion and vote on two motions pending before members. The information you will need to join our Zoom will be posted here later.

Two oil companies, Marathon and Phillips 66, propose to convert their refineries from processing crude oil to possibly vegetable oil, animal fats, or used cooking oil to create biofuels—what the industry refers to as renewable diesel. The proponents of the projects describe these projects as part of California’s plan to transition from fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But local activists and environmental organizations are voicing reservations as Contra Costa County officials consider whether they should grant permits in the coming months. In addition, a local Benicia company has partnered with a Wyoming-based renewable fuels company which converts organic waste to clean hydrogen and synthetic fuels.

Our panelists for this discussion, which will be moderated by Kari Birdseye, are:

A Q&A session will follow the presentation by our panelists.

The second part of our program will be open to members only, who will hear concluding comments and vote on two motions pending before members: (1) implementing a program to expand diversity within PDB and unite with other Democrats, and (2) change the name of the club to “Benicia Democrats.”

Read this in the meantime!  This linked PDF  (https://progressivedemocratsofbenicia.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/DEIR-Comments-Jay-Gunkelman.pdf) was submitted as a public comment regarding the Phillips 66 proposed biofuels conversion in Rodeo by Jay Gunkelman, our highly respected community expert on refineries and toxic emissions. The entire response is very clearly written and explains many P66 unresolved problems that may also mirror some other refineries. Of note is Mr. Gunkelman’s second paragraph where he compares P66 to those other refineries, including Valero, regarding required fence line detection limits to operate a 5 parts-per-billion. Note that Valero’s detection is significantly above that parameter for Xylene.

And, don’t forget that membership dues are due for 2022! You can easily renew through Act Blue on the PDB website https://progressivedemocratsofbenicia.org/pay-dues-donate/.

See you on Tuesday, February 8th at 7 pm!

Ralph Dennis
PDB Chair

Free Educational Virtual Event on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Free Educational Virtual Event on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Join Benicia Black Lives Matter for a free virtual event on Monday, January 17, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm, to celebrate the national Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Day of Service. Established in 1994 to honor Dr. King’s life and contributions to advancing civil rights for Black Americans, this Federal holiday was intended to be a day of not just reflection, but also a day of action and self-education.

The free educational Zoom event, which is appropriate for all ages and levels of antiracist work, will feature guest speaker Mark Lampkin and focus on Dr. King’s “Three Evils of Society” speech. In 1967, Dr. King identified these three evils as racism, consumerism/poverty, and militarism/war, and he called for a “radical revolution of values” in pursuit of a more just and equitable future for all. And yet, more than 50 years later in 2022, these three evils Dr. King described are as rooted in our daily lives as—if not more entrenched than—ever.

So what have we learned in the last 50 years, and where do we go from here? Which of these three evils affects Benicia, and how can we join together to address it? BBLM is a grassroots community organization that was organized to address anti-Black racism by actively committing to building a better Benicia, one commitment and one change at a time. Join this timely discussion and learn more about the historic urgency that calls everyone to radical change, hope in action, and loving pursuit of improving our shared communities.

Topic: Benicia Black Lives Matter ML King Jr. Day Event
Time: Jan 17, 2022 01:30 PM Pacific Time

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 868 8175 2473
Passcode: 171213
One tap mobile
+16699009128,,86881752473#,,,,*171213# US (San Jose)

Image:  Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial sculpture in Riverside, CA by Lisa Reinertson

Reminder! General Membership Meeting January 11, 2022 7:00 PM

Reminder! Reminder!!
General Membership Meeting
Tuesday, January 11th
7:00 pm

Featured Speaker:
Congressman John Garamendi, Congressional Dist. 8

Members and Friends,
Don’t forget, our next monthly meeting is this Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 7:00. Here is the Zoom info and link:

Meeting ID: 850 1504 5918
Passcode: 727260
+16699006833,,85015045918#,,,,*727260# US (San Jose)

Our program will feature Congressman John Garamendi, who represents Congressional District 8, which now includes Benicia. Cong. Garamendi announced last month he is seeking reelection in 2022 and will introduce himself to Benicians, share with us his priorities for Congress this year, and let us know how we can support his efforts. The newly drawn lines for Cong. Dist. 8 now mean that all five oil refineries in the Bay Area are located in an area represented by one U.S. Representative, John Garamendi. Let’s have our questions ready for Cong. Garamendi!

On Tuesday night, we will also continue discussion from our last meeting on possible changes to the Club and vote on any motions that may arise. We will announce appointments to vacated Officer and Steering Committee positions, including a new Chair and Treasurer and two new Steering Committee members. But, we still need to fill the Vice-Chair position who will be assisting the new Chair in overall club responsibilities, and we need 2-3 additional members to join the Steering Committee to help lead the Club into 2022 in supporting candidates and actions at the local, state, and national levels. It’s time to step up!!!

Non-members are welcome to participate in the discussion and Q&A with Cong. Garamendi. The remainder of the meeting on Club issues will be open only to current and lapsed PDB members.

See you Tuesday night at 7:00!!!

Equity & Justice For All