Category Archives: Meeting notices

Our Next Meeting – Tuesday, February 8 at 7PM


Members and supporters—
Join us on February 8th at PDB’s next General Membership meeting to participate in a discussion on biofuels projects, including two projects proposed by refineries in the Bay Area. Following the biofuels panel discussion which is open to the public, we will close the meeting to members only and finish discussion and vote on two motions pending before members. The information you will need to join our Zoom will be posted here later.

Two oil companies, Marathon and Phillips 66, propose to convert their refineries from processing crude oil to possibly vegetable oil, animal fats, or used cooking oil to create biofuels—what the industry refers to as renewable diesel. The proponents of the projects describe these projects as part of California’s plan to transition from fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But local activists and environmental organizations are voicing reservations as Contra Costa County officials consider whether they should grant permits in the coming months. In addition, a local Benicia company has partnered with a Wyoming-based renewable fuels company which converts organic waste to clean hydrogen and synthetic fuels.

Our panelists for this discussion, which will be moderated by Kari Birdseye, are:

A Q&A session will follow the presentation by our panelists.

The second part of our program will be open to members only, who will hear concluding comments and vote on two motions pending before members: (1) implementing a program to expand diversity within PDB and unite with other Democrats, and (2) change the name of the club to “Benicia Democrats.”

Read this in the meantime!  This linked PDF  ( was submitted as a public comment regarding the Phillips 66 proposed biofuels conversion in Rodeo by Jay Gunkelman, our highly respected community expert on refineries and toxic emissions. The entire response is very clearly written and explains many P66 unresolved problems that may also mirror some other refineries. Of note is Mr. Gunkelman’s second paragraph where he compares P66 to those other refineries, including Valero, regarding required fence line detection limits to operate a 5 parts-per-billion. Note that Valero’s detection is significantly above that parameter for Xylene.

And, don’t forget that membership dues are due for 2022! You can easily renew through Act Blue on the PDB website

See you on Tuesday, February 8th at 7 pm!

Ralph Dennis
PDB Chair

Reminder! General Membership Meeting January 11, 2022 7:00 PM

Reminder! Reminder!!
General Membership Meeting
Tuesday, January 11th
7:00 pm

Featured Speaker:
Congressman John Garamendi, Congressional Dist. 8

Members and Friends,
Don’t forget, our next monthly meeting is this Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 7:00. Here is the Zoom info and link:
Meeting ID: 850 1504 5918
Passcode: 727260
+16699006833,,85015045918#,,,,*727260# US (San Jose)

Our program will feature Congressman John Garamendi, who represents Congressional District 8, which now includes Benicia. Cong. Garamendi announced last month he is seeking reelection in 2022 and will introduce himself to Benicians, share with us his priorities for Congress this year, and let us know how we can support his efforts. The newly drawn lines for Cong. Dist. 8 now mean that all five oil refineries in the Bay Area are located in an area represented by one U.S. Representative, John Garamendi. Let’s have our questions ready for Cong. Garamendi!

On Tuesday night, we will also continue discussion from our last meeting on possible changes to the Club and vote on any motions that may arise. We will announce appointments to vacated Officer and Steering Committee positions, including a new Chair and Treasurer and two new Steering Committee members. But, we still need to fill the Vice-Chair position who will be assisting the new Chair in overall club responsibilities, and we need 2-3 additional members to join the Steering Committee to help lead the Club into 2022 in supporting candidates and actions at the local, state, and national levels. It’s time to step up!!!

Non-members are welcome to participate in the discussion and Q&A with Cong. Garamendi. The remainder of the meeting on Club issues will be open only to current and lapsed PDB members.

See you Tuesday night at 7:00!!!

General Membership Meeting January 11, 2022 7:00 PM

Happy New Year Everyone!!!


We’re ready to kick off 2022 with our first General Meeting on January 11 at 7:00 pm. Headlining the program is Congressman John Garamendi, who has announced that he is seeking re-election in the newly designed California 8th Congressional district, which now includes Benicia and Vallejo.

Following Congressman Garamendi, we’ll continue our discussion from our last meeting in November on proposed changes to club bylaws, including consideration of a new name for our club, and address filling some vacant officer and steering committee positions.

We’re still meeting via Zoom. Watch for the zoom link which will be sent closer to the meeting date.

Benicia is now part of Congressional District 8. The newly designed voting districts are based on results of the 2020 Census. Benicia is now part of the 8th Congressional district which has been represented by Congressman Garamendi since 2009. The new district stretches from Vacaville in the north to El Cerrito in the south and includes the cities of Richmond, San Pablo, Pinole, Hercules, Antioch, Pittsburg, and Martinez in Contra Costa County and Fairfield, Suisun City, Vallejo and Benicia in Solano County. On Dec. 20, 2021, Congressman Garamendi announced he is running for reelection to Congress. We look forward to hearing from our new Congressman and his plans in Congress for 2022. Have your questions ready!

During the January 11 meeting, we’re providing as much time as Congressman Garamendi needs to address the club as well as to allow for Q & A.

Club changes.

  1. During our November meeting, we discussed possibly changing the club’s name. We will continue the discussion on a possible name change to allow members who weren’t present in November to share their thoughts. Here is a summary of pro and con comments provided by members thus far. A vote on a name change can take place only after the proposed change has been presented to membership at a preceding meeting. The Jan. 11 meeting will be considered first notice for any motion(s) that arise during this meeting.
  2. We will also announce plans to fill two officer positions: the Vice-Chair position has been open for some time, and Ralph Dennis is stepping down as Chair effective February 8, 2022. Club officers serve two-year terms, and PDB’s next officer elections are January, 2023. If an office is vacated, new officers can be appointed to serve out any remaining terms of a vacated office until elections are held.

Please review the comments on a possible name change for PDB, specifically keeping or dropping the word “Progressive.”

Also, annual club dues are payable beginning in January. Annual dues are $20 per member. See our website for payment information.

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 7:00 pm. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments!