Category Archives: Benicia City Council

Breaking news about the proposed Benicia Industrial Safety Ordinance (ISO)

Council will meet on Tuesday, June 19.  Be there if you can!  Lots of info from the Benicia Independent below. Background and documentation at


JUNE 15, 2018 by Roger Straw
Staff for the City of Benicia posted an agenda and multiple important attachments for the June 19 City Council meeting yesterday – see links far below on this page. Most important are a 32-page Draft Industrial Safety Ordinance prepared and submitted by a local citizens’ ISO Working Group under the sure hand of … Continue reading →


JUNE 15, 2018, Excerpt from Mayor Patterson’s E-Alert
I believe we need to have a seat at the table, the public’s right to know and air monitors to restore the public trust that we are putting health, safety and welfare at the top. I am asking the … Continue reading→


JUNE 15, 2018, Repost from the Benicia Herald, by the Benicia ISO Working Group
Most of the time, you cannot see dirty air – for example you can’t see particulates.  We know that particulates increase the age-specific mortality risk, particularly from cardiovascular causes. In fact, epidemiological studies suggest public … Continue reading →


JUNE 15, 2018 Repost from the Benicia Herald by Nick Sestanovich
More than a year after the Benicia City Council approved the first step in a two-step process to consider bringing an Industrial Safety Ordinance (ISO) to Benicia, the council will resume its discussion Tuesday … Continue reading→


MAY 14, 2018 By Roger Straw
Benicia needs an Industrial Safety Ordinance – 3 important points to be made: 1.  We don’t know what is in the air, and we have asthma rates three times the state average. We need air monitors NOW, and state/regional regulations will be slow in coming. 2. ISO is budget neutral for the City. … Continue reading →

Kari Birdseye announces run for Benicia City Council

From a press release…
[NOTE: The Progressive Democrats of Benicia have not yet endorsed any candidate for Benicia City Council.  Posting of this article does not constitute endorsement.]

Planning Commission Chair Kari Birdseye announces run for Benicia City Council

BENICIA, CA, June 7, 2018 — Benicia Planning Commission Chair Kari Birdseye today announced that she is running for a seat on the Benicia City Council in the November 2018 election. A resident of Benicia for nearly two decades, Birdseye has served in various volunteer capacities in the community, including Parent Teacher Association President, a 3-year member of the Planning Commission before becoming Chair, and a current member of the Solano County Fair Association Board of Directors.

“The Benicia City Council is the natural next step in my service to the City of Benicia. I plan to make continuing, sustainable economic development in Benicia a key priority while protecting its clean air and water and its historic, small-town charm. My husband James and I chose to raise our family here nearly two decades ago, and that spirit and feel is what I will work to pass along to our children and generations to come,” Birdseye said.

In addition to her numerous volunteer activities, Birdseye is also a full-time working mother. She’s currently the Strategic Communications Manager for the Natural Resources Defense Council, a leading international environmental non-profit organization, and has worked for several other environmental groups, as well as four years as Communications Director for the Wine Institute in San Francisco. She was also an Executive Producer for CNN based in Atlanta, where she led a team that won an Emmy for their coverage of the Atlanta Olympic bombing in 1996.

Of all the capacities in which Birdseye has served the Benicia community, she is most proud of her vote against the Crude by Rail decision as a Planning Commissioner in 2015. “Along with my fellow commissioners, I placed the health and safety of the people of Benicia first, by denying the dangerous crude by rail proposal,” Birdseye said.

Birdseye lives in Benicia with her husband James, a director for KRON News, and her two children Julia (a freshman at San Francisco State) and son Joseph, a sophomore at Benicia High School. “Benicia is a community of neighbors, and I look forward to being your neighbor at City Hall,” she said.

Questions can be directed to

Christina Strawbridge running for Benicia City Council

Repost from the Benicia Herald
[NOTE: The Progressive Democrats of Benicia have not yet endorsed any candidate for Benicia City Council.  Posting of this article does not constitute endorsement.]

Local business owner and active community member Christina Strawbridge will try to win back her seat on the Benicia City Council in November.
Local business owner and active community member Christina Strawbridge will try to win back her seat on the Benicia City Council in November.

BENICIA >> Former council member Christina Strawbridge might have lost her bid for re-election last time, but she said she knew one thing immediately — she was going to run again.

“I wasn’t finished,” Strawbridge said.

So now she’s thrown her proverbial hat in the ring again and will be on the ballot again in November.

“I’m still very involved with the community,” she said. “I’m really looking at the future of Benicia and the next generation and how we can make Benicia better for them.”

Strawbridge hopes that what she calls her “common sense” approach to city government will be the key that puts her back in city chambers.

She sees the city’s budget as the most pressing issue facing local government, especially how to remain a full-service city in the wake of possible cuts. Strawbridge said that the city needs to find new revenue sources.

As a business owner and former member of the Economic Development Board, Strawbridge said she sees the Industrial Park as a Benicia priority. It must be as attractive as possible to new businesses and be up-to-date with wifi access, among other things.

Strawbridge said she has been engaged with the council’s activity since she left, especially regarding water rate issues and the decision to allow legalized cannabis in town.

She’s coming from an interesting perspective, because she was one of the councilmembers that approved the water rate hikes.

“I felt strongly about it at the time, but things have changed since then,” she said.

Had she been on the council this year, Strawbridge said she would have voted to delay the increases due to the jump in bills due to more accurate meter readings. The fact that the staff that recommended the rate increases have all been replaced, as well as the easing of water conservation rules.

At the very least, she said, the rate increases should not begin in July, when more water is used.

As for marijuana, Strawbridge said that she voted for legalization in the state and approves it for adult use. However, she was a vocal opponent about allowing dispensaries and other businesses on First Street.

“As a business owner who has been involved in the downtown for 30 years, I thought it was sending out the wrong signal,” she said. “This is a location where families gather.”

The decision to allow cannabis business elsewhere in the town felt “rushed” to her, she said.

“Why were we in such a big hurry? It would have been more prudent to wait and see how other communities were embracing this,” she said.

Asked what she was most proud of during her time as a council member, Strawbridge pointed to her decision in the crude-by-rail case which would have brought crude oil into Benicia by train. It was ultimately voted down unanimously by the council due to safety issues, but Strawbridge initially voted to allow the Transportation Board to rule on it before she made her final decision. To her, it was important to get all the facts and as much information as possible, she said.

“It divided the town and there was a lot of pressure out there about making this decision,” she said. “As a council member, you need to be able to listen to the constituents and be objective, listen to what the constituents are saying and do your own research, too.”

Strawbridge owns Christina S Fashion Destination on First Street and has served on the Economic Development Board from 2006 to 2011 where she served as chair and led the Tourism Program, and City Council from 2011 to 2016. Currently she is treasurer for the Benicia Old Town Theatre Group, a board member of Benicia Main Street and a member of its design committee, and a board member for the Benicia Parks Association and a representative on the Solano State Parks Committee.

She is being endorsed by State Senator Bill Dodd, Assembly member Timothy Grayson, and Supervisor Erin Hannigan.