Category Archives: Meeting notices

Our Next Meeting – June 8th, 2021 7:00 PM – Discussing affordable housing in Benicia

General Membership Meeting
June 8th pm as a
Zoom Meeting

Don’t forget, our next general membership meeting is Tuesday, June 8, 2021 at 7:00-9:00pm. This meeting is open to the public.

Here is the Zoom link to join us:
Progressive Democrats of Benicia June 8th meeting link

Meeting ID: 839 8090 2650
Passcode: 419191      +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

For our next General meeting when we’ll talk about affordable housing in Benicia – what we have and need, the City’s efforts toward meeting its state-mandated Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA), and where Benicia fits into regional cooperation and planning for effective and proven ways to provide affordable housing.

Other News – MAY 25, 2021  Thanks to ROGER STRAW

BENICIA BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTEST MARKS ANNIVERSARY OF MURDER OF GEORGE FLOYD

Benicia Black Lives Matter calls for transparency in Solano County Sheriff Department and action by the Solano County Board of Supervisors.

Nimat Shakoor-Grantham, co-founder of Benicia Black Lives Matter. Photo: Constance Beutel, Benicia

BBLM participated in a peaceful protest today outside the Solano County Sheriff Department in Fairfield CA.

BBLM co-founder Nimat Shakoor-Grantham honored the death of George Floyd and called on the Sheriff and the Solano County Board of Supervisors to address recent revelations about White supremacist extremism in the Solano County Sheriff Department.  [See video and background below.]

Comments from a participant:  “During the course of Nimat’s comments I think 100+ people strolled about, in and out of the buildings, up and down the sidewalks and across the streets. Comments were strong and persistent, invoking “Board of Supervisors” and “Sheriff’s Office” many times, and “not serving all their constituents” over and over.  Effective, I thought.  Also, I noticed people standing up on the roof of the County building across the street from where we were.  Also I saw a drone immediately in front of us up in the air about 100 feet away, sitting there most of the 45 or so minutes that speakers addressed the gathering.”

Thanks to Benicia videographer Dr. Constance Beutel for this short video.   [A longer 11 minute version can be viewed here.]

More News

Recall of two Benicia School Board members. During our April 13 meeting, one of the local issues we discussed was the potential recall of BUSD Chair Sheri Zada and Board Member Mark Maselli. The supporters of the recall effort are now gathering signatures – they have 120 days to gather over 4,000 signatures which must be qualified by the County Registrar’s office to have the recall election.

DON’T SIGN THE RECALL PETITION!!!

Why is the recall wrong?

  • It will cost the Benicia School Board over $300,000 to have the election
  • It’s misplaced – Sheri’s and Mark’s seats are both open for the 2022 election without spending any additional money
  • It’s unfair – the School Board voted 3-2 in October 2020, and again 5-0 in January 2021 to maintain distance learning for students, yet Sheri and Mark are being targeted for “keeping students out of school.” PDB endorsed Sheri and Mark in 2018 and we should support them now!

Go to http://NOBUSDRecall.com  and https://www.facebook.com/NO-BUSD-Recall-101546872022219 for more information and ways you can help stop this attack on two BUSD Board Members who are being unfairly targeted. NO BUSD RECALL plans to have signs and place tables in public places to counter the signature gathering that is expected to continue around town for the next several weeks.

See you June 8th! 

Ongoing Membership Drive! You’ve probably noticed that we are also in the midst of a membership drive. Steering Committee members have been busy calling past members and asking them to renew, and we’ve been actively seeking new members to join. We’re also exploring new ways to pay dues—through family memberships or sustaining and recurring memberships, for example. Nathalie will share some of these ideas on Tuesday night, as well as an update on our efforts to solicit donations to help support a candidate’s fund for the upcoming 2022 elections (two Council seats and two BUSD board seats will be open).

We need help! As PDB continues to grow, create change, and fight voter suppression, we are reaching out with opportunities to become even more involved in your Club’s activities. We’re asking for help from those who have some time—and maybe some specific skills—and the desire to join in with steering the Club in the directions we choose to go.

We have specific needs in the following areas:

1. Website and MailChimp. Our primary webmaster and MailChimp master, Roger Straw, has stepped back from his duties for the present. Some others have stepped up, temporarily, to fill the need. We need a person with website and mailing list experience to assume this role for the remainder of the year. Back-up assistance and training will be available.
2. Development Committee. Join our new fundraising and membership arm! Help us plan events, recruit and support new members, and more. While fundraising experience is a plus, all are welcome and training is available.
3. Steering Committee. We have openings for 2 to 3 motivated individuals to join in monthly planning meetings to select and develop programs, agendas, and related activities. Relevant qualifications and experience are less important than your commitment to putting your time, energy, and bold new ideas to work in this friendly group.
4. Women’s and Youth Caucus. Help plan events and work to attract diversity to our membership, learn how to organize at the grassroots level, and more.

Our Next Meeting – January 12, 2021 – Moving Into the New Year


Tuesday, Jan. 12, 7pm
Election of Officers &
Thinking about PDB 2021 Goals

Moving into the New Year – What’s Next…

Mark your calendar for our next general membership meeting on January 12, 7:00 – 8:30 pm via Zoom. Members will be voting to elect officers for 2021-2023, and then we’ll set up breakout rooms to talk in small groups about our PDB club, Benicia, and suggestions for PDB actions in the New Year.  (Zoom link to be sent later, and available on request via Contact Us.)

JANUARY 12th MEETING
  • PDB Officers elections. Current officers Ralph Dennis (Chair), Maggie Kolk (Secretary), Kathy Kerridge (Treasurer) are offering to continue their roles. Craig Snider, current Vice Chair, has declined to run. Nominations for any of these offices will be accepted up to an including from the floor on Jan. 12th. Please submit your nominations through the Contact button on our web site at progressivedemocratsofbenicia.org/contact/ .
  • Discussion with members on plans for 2021. This part of the program will include breakout rooms so members can talk in small groups. Then, we’ll reconvene together for a review of the groups’ discussions.
    • We (the steering committee) really want to hear the thoughts of members – what you’re thinking about these days, what looks important to you in ’21, and maybe some thoughts on what and how the club should focus its attention. So, bring your thinking caps and gumption and share with us!!!
GEORGIA SENATE SEATS

Yes I know, you thought we were done with elections. But both Senate seats in Georgia are in runoff elections on January 5, 2021.  And there’s a lot of opportunity to help in getting Democratic candidates elected – Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock – which would give the Democrats a majority in the Senate (counting the VP’s vote in ties). Here are two links where you can provide some help:

  • CA Democratic Party (CADEM) – phone banks: https://www.mobilize.us/cadems/event/363063/ .
  • Vote Forward – The VF letter writing is complete, but you can still sign up for phoning, texting, and even volunteering to be a poll watcher!  From the VF website>> “With our 2020 letter writing campaigns now completed, here are some actions we recommend for the weeks ahead to help strengthen democracy in Georgia: Phone and/or Text Bank: Join initiatives led by organizations on the ground such as Fair Fight Action and the New Georgia Project and help reach out to Georgians ahead of the January 5th elections.  Become a Poll Worker: Power the Polls makes it easy to sign up to become a poll worker and ensure there are enough people to staff voting locations across the country. This opportunity is for those who live in Georgia.”  Source: https://votefwd.org/posts/Georgia-Runoff-campaigns GEORGIA CAMPAIGNS COMPLETE!
ASSEMBLY DISTRICT ELECTION MEETINGS (ADEM)

This is important stuff! An opportunity to elect progressives as Democratic party delegates who represent Benicia and Vallejo to the California Democratic Party (CADEM)

  • Democratic-registered voters in our Assembly District 14 will elect 14 delegates to the CA Democratic Party (seven women and seven non-female identified).  Among other activities, these delegates elect the CADEM party chair (upcoming April 2021), and vote on the party’s platform and positions on issues taken by CADEM.
  • This year, the vote for candidates is mail-in ballot only, and you must request your ballot by Jan. 11th.
  • AND, before requesting your ballot, first you must register to vote for the ADEM election. You do that here: https://ademelections.com/?isCandidate=False. If you have any questions, just let us know.  So remember: Jan. 11th is the deadline, and you’ve got to register first. We’ll send out via email to members the slate of candidates we’ll be voting for as soon as the slate is available.
Ralph Dennis, PDB Chair

I sure hope to see you on Zoom on Jan. 12th!  PDB’s membership just grew to 101 heading into 2021! During the course of this COVID-dominated year, we’ve been having 40 or so members join our zoom meetings. For Jan. 12th, let’s see if we can’t double that number – to vote for your officers and to talk about your club and our future in Benicia!  (Zoom link to be sent later, and available on request at Contact Us.)


PDB Election Eligibility

Eligible members may nominate and vote in the election of officers. (An “eligible” member is one who is either new and a member for at least 60 days, or a past member who has renewed dues to become current. Dues are due on January 1 and payable by January 31 of each calendar year.  Dues are only $20/year, payable on our website.)  Nominations can be submitted through the Contact button on the PDB website.  You can also let us know if you have questions about the status of your membership.

What about our May meeting and future meetings?

Let us know what you think!

Ralph Dennis

As you know, we’ve cancelled our March and April general membership meetings over concerns about the coronavirus and in compliance with state and local stay at home orders.

We’re not sure about our May membership meeting at this point and how to proceed with the rest of our 2020 schedule for PDB public meetings and events. The Solano Co. Democratic Central Committee is conducting its April meeting via Zoom, and at least one local Democratic Club – the Stonewall Democratic Club based in Vallejo – has moved its meetings online for the for the foreseeable future, including its April meeting via videoconferencing.

Even if the lockdown is lifted in May in some manner, it’s still unclear what social distancing norms will be in place and how public gatherings can be conducted. How comfortable will we be sitting in a room with 50-60 people? Will we be allowed to have a meeting that large? If we social distance in the Dona Benicia room, does it make sense to do so with so few people in attendance? (Think of chairs six feet apart from side-by-side and front to back.) I have no idea what to expect or how I’ll feel about it. Perhaps you do?

PDB will likely be purchasing a Zoom account for upcoming steering committee meetings, and perhaps that will become the new normal for all future committee meetings. But, what about general membership meetings? We could go the route that Stonewall has chosen and set up videoconference feed for members to attend. While the steering committee sorts out the costs and logistics of doing so, and exploring other options, we need input from members – your thoughts and suggestions. Perhaps there’s someone who has such experience and could even help!

What do you think? Let us know, we need your help! Send any ideas to https://progressivedemocratsofbenicia.org/contact/.

Stay safe and stay home!


Ralph Dennis

Chair