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PDM Meeting: April 10

Tuesday, April 10th, 7:00 pm
Benicia Public Library, Dona Benicia Room
150 East L Street, Benicia, CA

U.S. Senate candidate Kevin de León, 2018 candidate for Senator Dianne Feinstein’s U.S. Senate seat, will be the featured speaker at the Progressive Democrats of Benicia (PBD) next public meeting at the Benicia Public Library on April 10th in the Dona Benicia room at 7:00 p.m. All Democrats and the general public are invited to attend the meeting.

Mr. de León was elected to lead the Senate as President pro tem in 2014, making him the first Latino to hold that position in over a century. He was recently replaced with Toni Atkins.  He served four years in the Assembly before his election to the Senate in 2010. He is the first person in California history to serve as the Chair of the Appropriations committees in both the Assembly and Senate.

According to his Senate President biography, de León is the son of an immigrant mother who supported her family in the San Diego barrio of Logan Heights with housekeeping and other pick-up jobs. He was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He attended U.C. Santa Barbara and graduated from Pitzer College at the Claremont Colleges with honors. He is a Rodel Fellow at the Aspen Institute and a guest lecturer at the University of Southern California.

A recent article in the Los Angeles Times suggests de León’s legislative agenda has been broad. As far back as 2007, soon after taking office, after a child who was playing near where de León lived was hit by a gang member’s stray bullet and died, he made gun control one of his primary issues, including background checks for ammunition buyers.

Mr. de León has also focused on climate change legislation, pushing hard for less fossil fuel use and more alternative energy. In 2017, he helped negotiate a gas tax increase to raise $5.2 billion annually for road repairs. Also during the 2017 Legislative session, he sponsored a bill to create a state-run single-payer health insurance system. It passed the Senate but failed to get out of committee in the Assembly. But, it earned him the endorsement of the California Nurses Association. He told the LA Times, “You can criticize some of my stuff, but you can’t say it wasn’t big and wasn’t bold. I’ve always been of the strong belief that the time period you have, you use it to the fullest.” Continue reading PDM Meeting: April 10

Track the California races that could flip the House

Repost from the Los Angeles Times

As a crucial primary nears, track the California races that could flip the House

By Christina Bellantoni, Julie Westfall and Allison Wisk
Originally Published Sept. 13, 2017, Updated Jan. 24, 2018, Next Update: March 2018

California’s June 5 primary will set the course for which congressional districts will be battlegrounds — or missed opportunities — this fall. With just over two months to go, we’ve updated our rankings of the most competitive contests in the state. The stakes in the midterm elections couldn’t be higher: control of the U.S. House. Democrats consider 10 Republican-held districts here to be battlegrounds and can’t win the House without winning at least a few of them.

Retirements in Southern California have created two open-seat races that could make that task a bit easier. On the other hand, the Republicans running to replace them might fare better against crowded fields of Democratic hopefuls, many of whom are seeking office for the first time. California’s top-two primary system could threaten Democrats, too, as Republican candidates could grab the top two spots in certain races and advance to the general election, shutting Democrats out.

Taking multiple factors into account, The Times’ California politics editors have ranked the hottest races by the intensity of the fight ahead. We’ll be updating our rankings, and subscribers to the Essential Politics newsletter will be the first to learn what’s changed.

(The Times article continues with detailed coverage
of the top 14 flippable races.)

Delaine Eastin, Gubernatorial Candidate, Makes Education a Priority

By Phyllis DeBois, March 26, 2018

Delaine Eastin, California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction 1995–2003, is the first non-millionaire female running for governor of California.

Eastin spoke with gusto and a sense of humor at the Progressive Democrats of Benicia meeting on March 13, 2018.  She is an intelligent, energetic politician, and a non-corporate funded candidate who is authentic and progressive.

When asked what she wanted people to mostly remember about her talk, Eastin said her comments about education. Her blue-collar family made education a priority and she views this opportunity a gift that gave her a sense of optimism, understanding, and confidence to make choices that would shape her destiny and change her life. Delaine Eastin wants this opportunity for every child and has made education a foundational issue of her campaign.

She states that California is now the 41st state in per pupil spending and the 1st state in per prisoner expenditure. Since 1985 California has built 13 colleges and universities and 23 prisons. Delaine said this is a waste of human resources and tax dollars, and the school to prison pipeline, a reality for some, she is determined to change. She believes that educational opportunities can reduce crime and incarceration and that it can boost economic development. It makes sense and it is the right thing to do.

Delaine describes herself as the candidate with the courage, vision, and heart to do the job. She said other politicians might tell you what you want to hear but don’t have the heart, courage, and vision to do it. Delaine said she has all three: she sees the big picture, has the courage to make the tough choices that will make a difference, and the heart to govern for all people including those at the margins.

In addition to education and prison reform, Delaine Eastin also wants to implement affordable housing, health care for all, and gun control. She will work towards banning fracking, closing the prop 13 corporate tax loophole, writing a long-range plan for California, addressing climate change, plus a myriad of other goals. Though Eastin has made education her foundational issue the environment, economy, crime prevention, and health care are also important issues to her.

Delaine Eastin’s resume includes extensive work in government as California’s first woman Superintendent of Public Instruction, as state assemblywoman 1986-1994 for districts 18 & 20, and councilwoman for Union City 1980-1986. She was a corporate strategic planner for Pacific Telephone and a professor at community colleges and Mills College.

During her various careers, Delaine Eastin has honed a hands-on approach to problem solving: first consulting with the staff to identify the problem, building consensus and working together to find answers and resolve obstacles, and implementing solutions. She is an energetic leader doing as she says a “full-court press” and claims to have a brass backbone. “Speak the truth even if your voice shakes.” is a Maggie Kuhn‘s quote that Delaine Eastin follows even when it is difficult.

To learn more about Delaine Eastin go to:

Delaine Eastin’s Democratic primary challengers are Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Treasurer John Chiang, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Amanda Renteria a former aide to Senator Feinstein. Republican primary candidates are Assemblyman Travis Allen and businessman John Cox.

The Progressive Democrats of Benicia will meet April 10th, at 7 p.m., in the Benicia Public Library when California State Senator Kevin de Le’on will speak about his campaign for U.S. Senate.