Tuesday, March 9, 7 PM
Getting together with Benicia Black Lives Matter
Discussion with Benicia Black Lives Matter
On March 9, we welcomed about a dozen Benicia Black Lives Matter members who joined us in conversations and brainstorming how we might support one another and collaborate in the future.
First, each group gave a brief overview of their group’s origins, goals, successes, and membership. Kari Birdseye, Ralph Dennis and Nathalie Christian presented for the Progressive Dems. Nimat Shakoor-Grantham and Brandon Greene presented for Benicia Black Lives Matter.
Mayor Steve Young presented an update on the City of Benicia’s responses to BBLM issues, including the status on hiring of the Diversity and Equity Manager.
After these introductions, we divided into six ZOOM “breakout rooms with 5-7 participants, where we shared conversations around areas of work and issues where we might collaborate on projects and actions.
The reports back from the 6 breakout rooms were full of good ideas, comments and suggestions.
PDB looks forward to ongoing strong relationships with BBLM.
Benicia Black Lives Matter is a local, grassroots community group organized to address anti-Black racism in the city of Benicia. BBLM is the principal reason the City of Benicia is presently interviewing for an Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Manger, establishing a Commission United for Racial Equity (CURE), and will be conducting an Equity Audit of Benicia’s government and services.
We strongly support BBLM’s strategy to get Benicians to “Actively Commit to Change” and its mission to have the City create and target a specific, actionable vision of what a better, more inclusive and equitable future looks like.
PDB’s mission is to ensure equity and justice for all people, and support the election and appointment of officials that support this mission. Our programs and actions since 2017 have promoted our mission, and we hope collaboration with BBLM will help us operationalize racial and social justice into our work more effectively. More broadly, through collaboration we hope we can combine resources and energy for greater impact in Benicia and our communities.
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.
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 DelaineEastin.com.
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 https://progressivedemocratsofbenicia.org/.
Tuesday, Feb. 9, 7 PM
Black History Month and
CA Dem Party Chair Candidates
At our February meeting, we celebrated Black History Month, hearing from two local African-American poets, Bobby Richardson and LaPaula Parker. Bobby and LaPaula shared their thoughts and poetry on the achievements of African-Americans in the U.S. and the work towards racial justice that must continue in this country and Benicia. Benicia’s Poet Laureate, Mary Susan Gast, introduced Bobby and LaPaula, and shared her own poem on white privilege.
Our program also included a discussion and Q&A with the two candidates running for Chair of the California Democratic Party, Rusty Hicks, present chair, and Delaine Eastin, challenger.
PDB members will endorse one of these candidates by voting online via the PDB web site during the week after our meeting. Results will be posted on our Endorsements page. Party Delegates may consider our endorsement when they vote for the Party’s officers, including the Chair, during the Democratic State Convention scheduled for April 26 – Sunday, May 2, 2021.