TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2023, 7:00 PM
No meeting in December! – See you in January…
We are taking a break in this busy holiday month, so our next meeting will be on the second Tuesday of the new year, January 10, at 7 PM. Mark your calendar now and plan to attend.
Stay tuned here for meeting details…. See you on January 10!
Interim Chair, PDB
NOVEMBER 15, 2022
Our normally scheduled Second Tuesday meeting would have fallen on election day this month, so we postponed our PDB meeting for a week, until the Third Tuesday, November 15.
After a year of jam-packed and informative meetings, we planned for this post-election time together to simply reflect on and discuss the outcome of the elections and where we want to go from here in 2023.
Support for Georgia Senate candidate Raphael Warnock
After Treasurer Nathalie Christian’s treasurer report and several announcements (see below), our Steering Committee presented a recommendation to contribute to the extremely important campaign of Georgia Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock. After discussion, it was moved and seconded to donate $500 to the Warnock campaign. The motion was overwhelmingly approved by Zoom poll. Treasurer Nathalie Christian will look for a “matching gift” opportunity in sending the donation.
PROGRAM: Election Results and Where from Here…
Secretary Maggie Kolk “zoomed” us into breakout groups to chat about our experiences and learnings during the months leading up to last week’s local, state and national elections. Members were also asked to suggest topics for future meetings, to address the need to find a new club Secretary as of January 2023 and to find new members for our Steering Committee.
Returning to the plenary session, we engaged in a great free-ranging discussion on our election learnings and observations, etc.. Here are a few notes from that discussion:
2022 Benicia Election – Some Lessons Learned:
- Start planning and campaigning earlier! (As in NOW!)
- We won the mail-in vote.
- Better marketing for average people (for instance, Birdseye tv ads were helpful).
- Terry Scott did a great job of visiting lots of homes.
- Clever flyers are key.
- Signs were scattered – maybe too few and far between.
- Letters to the editor in print and online were helpful (even though the Benicia Herald has only 1200 or so subscribers).
- Campaigns took advantage of residents’ long memories of Valero PAC’s massive spending and dirty tricks in 2018/20. (A group that was totally separate from candidates’ campaigns had a website and sent out 5,000 postcards. PDB endorsed and arranged without any campaign knowledge to send out 4,000 postcards, many to multiple-voter residences.)
- Forums were ok, but could be improved – maybe could be more debate-like.
- Do more at Farmers Market next time.
PDB – Where From Here:
- Program suggestions: ISO, GHG reduction, North Study Area (Seeno property)…
- Member diversity – need to look into ways we can reach out more, become more relevant to and attract participation of more racially diverse members and youthful members.
- Shorter meetings?
Participants were encouraged to write down notes from their breakout rooms and send by email to PDB Chair Kathy Kerridge.
- Maggie Kolk shared results of our Meeting Poll. Using a form on our website, members indicated whether and how we should return to in-person meetings. Results indicate that we will continue monthly zoom meetings for now, but maybe starting next Spring, will hold quarterly in-person meetings.
- Zoom only – 4 in favor
- In-Person only – 6 in favor
- Combination, continue zoom except for in-person on a quarterly basis – 25 in favor
- Maggie Kolk shared good information about letter-writing for the Warnock campaign via VoteForward, https://votefwd.org/.
- Bart Sullivan shared information about his “marketing” project for a more general audience than current PDB outreach, the podcast Benicia Voice, https://anchor.fm/beniciavoice/ available on Apple and Spotify – and encouraged everyone to listen and subscribe to it.
OCTOBER 11, 2022, 7:00 PM
Read summary reflections below.
Watch the Zoom recording here.
Candidate for Assembly Lori Wilson
Our program this month featured Lori Wilson, our District 11 California Assembly Member, who is running for re-election. Ms. Wilson talked about issues facing the District and State. (See recorded video for intro at minute 2:50 and Assemblywoman Wilson at 4:00.)
State Ballot Propositions
We also heard speakers and discussed the following important State ballot propositions:
- Proposition 1: The Proposition is a legislatively proposed amendment to the California Constitution to prohibit the State from denying or interfering with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives. Gina Fisher, Speakers Bureau Director of the Yes on Prop. 1, shared the campaign’s perspective on the proposition. (See recorded video at minute 32:00)
- Proposition 28: The Proposition proposes to provide additional funding for arts and music education in all K-12 public schools by annually allocating from state General Fund an amount equaling 1% of required state and local funding for public schools and a greater allocation to schools serving economically disadvantaged areas. Danielle Bunch of Create CA spoke about why her group supports the proposition. (See recorded video at minute 49:21)
- Proposition 30: Proposition 30 is the increasingly controversial proposition that proposes to fund programs to reduce greenhouse gasses by imposing taxes on Californian with personal incomes exceeding $2 million. Max Baumhefner, an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Counsel, and a member of the coalition supporting the Yes on 30 campaign, will speak about the need for the proposition. (See recorded video at minute 1:08:08)
Local Candidates Birdseye and Scott
We heard from our two endorsed candidates for Benicia City Council, who shared recent campaign efforts and the need for volunteers in these final weeks before the Nov 8 election. See the recorded video – Terry Scott spoke at minute 1:24:54 and Kari Birdseye spoke at minute 1:27:04.
Valero/Labor PAC Update and discussion
Mayor Steve Young offered comments about the Valero/Labor PAC’s apparent lack of involvement this year (so far) in supporting or opposing candidates for Benicia City Council. The PAC is sitting on a war chest of over $220,000, and PDB members have not received any mailers from the PAC as yet. The PAC has yet to file a campaign finance report with the City of Benicia, which would indicate that they have not exceeded $1,000 for or against any given candidate.
- Bart Sullivan promoted the October 12, 2022 local Candidate Forum, sponsored by the League of Women Voters Solano and the American Association of University Women. [Later: recording of the Forum is now available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7m49BYWS4bg ]
- Bart also shared information about Benicia Voice Podcast, available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts at https://anchor.fm/beniciavoice/. Recent Benicia Voice topics have included Clean and Fair Elections in Benicia and interviews with all five candidates for Benicia City Council.
- Maggie Kolk shared information about a SafeQuest Solano fundraiser, Art From the Heart, on October 24. SafeQuest Solano organizes domestic violence and sexual assault response programs.
- Maggie also encouraged members to consider serving on the PDB Steering Committee. PDB is also looking for someone to serve as our next club Secretary. Maggie, who has served as Secretary since the 2017 planning stages of PDB, will be stepping down after 6 years of exemplary service. THANKS, MAGGIE!!
- Lisa Reinertson and Roger Straw announced a forthcoming members only survey, asking for input to our Steering Committee on our monthly meeting format: Zoom, In-Person, or both?
- Lisa concluded with a reminder for all members to vote, and to remind all family members and friends to vote.
- NEXT MEETING: November 15, 2022 at 7 PM.