All posts by pdm17

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:
Alternatively, go to the link 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 .

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:

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: Passcode: women

March 11 @ 4:00-5:30pm: Passcode: 951045

March 18 @ 4:00-5:30pm: Passcode: women

March 25 @ 4:00-5:30pm: Passcode: women

For questions contact Commission Chair Laura Petty at: (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 today to join the conversation Black Women Lead will also stream LIVE on Facebook.

Podcast with Mark Maselli regarding the recall and opening up of Benicia schools

Andrew Kelly’s ‘Young Voters Report’ debuted last Tuesday

For his inaugural Young Voters Report podcast, Benician Andrew Kelly interviewed Benicia Unifiied School District trustee Mark Maselli.

Kelly explores the recall effort against Maselli and the re-opening of Benicia schools.

The Young Voters Report podcast will come out every other Monday, featuring local issues that effect young people.   Kelly and the podcast are sponsored by Progressive Democrats of Benicia.  Andrew is also a contributing reporter for the Benicia Herald.

View the Maselli podcast and future episodes of Young Voters Report at

Progressive Democrats of Benicia endorse Delaine Eastin for CA Democratic Party Chair

February 17, 2021 

Progressive Democrats Endorse Delaine Eastin for California Democratic Party Chair

The two candidates running this year for Chair of the California Democratic Party attended the February 9th monthly meeting of the Progressive Democrats of Benicia.  Members heard presentations by current Chair Rusty Hicks and challenger Delaine Eastin, followed by question and answers.

The Party Chair will be elected for a four-year term during the Party’s state convention.

Delaine Eastin, endorsed for CA Democratic Party Chair

Our endorsement vote was held virtually on the PDB website, with a resounding win for Delaine Eastin.

Delaine, known personally to a few of us and remembered by many Benicia Democrats for her impressive run for Governor in 2018, garnered 96% of our votes for Party Chair.

“PDB is excited to support Delaine Eastin” said Ralph Dennis, Chair of the Progressive Democrats.  “Eastin presents herself as a Champion for Education, a Defender of the Environment, and a Warrior for Civil Rights.  Those values speak to Progressive Democrats of Benicia.”

At our recent meeting (see 7 minute video below), Eastin called for new leadership in California’s Democratic Party, citing significant losses in the 2020 election and top-down decision making as problems she would tackle.

Eastin is a professor by education.  She was the first and only woman to date to be elected California State Superintendent of Public Instruction.  She was elected to that post twice and served from 1995 to 2003.  Earlier in her colorful career, Eastin represented parts of Alameda County and Santa Clara County in the California State Assembly between 1986 and 1994.  See more at

More at

Progressive Democrats of Benicia 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