Category Archives: Meeting notices

Meeting of Nov. 12, 2019 – Food Co-op & Candidate Endorsements

Note – result of ENDORSEMENT VOTE is here.  ]

Tues Nov. 12, 6:30 pm
Benicia Library, Dona Benicia room

Food Co-op & Candidate Endorsements

Our final meeting for 2019 was held on Tuesday, November 12 at the Benicia Library’s Dona Benicia room at 6:30 pm. We started a bit early for this meeting to make sure there would be plenty of time for our endorsement process, one of our most important functions of the year.

We had two presentations on the program:

FIRST… Paula Schnese, Executive Director of Cultivate Community Food Co-op, Solano Co.’s first community-owned natural grocery store, updated us on the Co-op’s activities and then introduced Jon Steinman, who is on a 130-stop book tour and author of Grocery Store: The Promise of Food Co-ops in the Age of Grocery Giants. Mr. Steinman previewed his book on concerns about trends among dominant grocers, and how the community food co-op model offers an alternative to the larger grocers’ influence on communities and food supply.
VIDEO OF PAULA SCHNESE’ PRESENTATION (5 minutes, video thanks to Pat Toth-Smith)
VIDEO OF JON STEINMAN’S PRESENTATION (40 minutes, with introduction by Paula Schnese, Steinman begins at 1:40, video thanks to Pat Toth-Smith)

Beginning at 7:30… we had two panels of candidates who will be on the Benicia ballot for the March 2020 Primary Elections. For each panel there were prepared questions asked to each candidate, as well as Q&A with the audience. The panels were:

      • Panel 1: CA Cong. District 5: Mike Thompson (incumbent), and Jason Kishineff, challenger.
      • Panel 2: Solano Co. Board of Supervisors, District 2: Monica Brown (incumbent), and challengers Rochelle Sherlock and K. Patrice Williams.

VIDEO OF THE CANDIDATE INTERVIEW SESSION – CA Cong. District 5, Thompson & Kishineff (28 minutes, with Moderator Maggie Kolk, video thanks to Pat Toth-Smith)

VIDEO OF THE CANDIDATE INTERVIEW SESSION – Solano County Supervisor, District 1, Brown, Sherlock & Williams (40 minutes, with Moderator Maggie Kolk, video thanks to Pat Toth-Smith)
ENDORSEMENT RESULTS: Progressive Democrats endorse Mike Thompson and Monica Brown.

Following the discussion with candidates, non-PDB members were be asked to leave the room. The remainder of the meeting was closed to the public and open only to current PDB members. During this remaining time, members discussed the candidates and were given ballots for voting on whether and whom to endorse in each race.

PDB bylaws state that to receive the Club’s endorsement a candidate must receive 50% + 1 of the votes from those present voting. PDB bylaws also state that members are entitled to vote 60 days after payment of dues.

This last PDB meeting of the year was highly informative – on the food front and also about the candidates running for offices that affect each of us on a daily basis.

Meeting of January 8, 2019

Progressive Democrats of Benicia met on Tuesday evening, January 8, 2019 at 7pm. On the agenda for this meeting was election of PDB officers and discussion of activities for PDB in the coming months and seeking ideas from members.

MEETING LOCATION: Casa de Vilarrasa, 383 East I Street, Benicia, (corner of East I and East 4th Streets).  The room is called the Garden Room.



December 14, 2018


It’s time to start the New Year off right – with the first 2019 PDB meeting! At the top of your 2019 to-do list, I am sure.

Well, ready or not, our next meeting is scheduled:

January 8th  7:00pm
The Garden Room
383 Casa Vilarassa (corner of East I Street and East 4th).

The Agenda for the evening will include:

  • Election of PDB officers.
  • Mimosa Montag, Vallejo-Benicia Indivisible for Justice. Indivisible 2.0 for 2019.
  • PDB planning for 2019 actions/meetings.
    • Benicia visit by Cong. Mike Thompson (co-sponsors)
    • Community air monitoring (expand info/awareness)
    • Recruiting women for public office: commissions and boards, gender parity in CA Legislature…. International Women’s Day, March 8.
    • Ideas from members

For those of you who were in on the beginning of PDB, we had our first public meeting on August 27, 2017 at the Garden Room, where we will be on January 8, 2019. It’s nice to revisit old roots, and many thanks to charter PDB member June Mejias for making the arrangements, then and now.

Don’t forget, PDB annual dues are payable in January of each year, that means you can pay your 2019 dues as you come to the Jan. 8 meeting. How convenient!!!

Hope to see you on Jan. 8. By the way, seating space in the Garden Room is about one-half the space we have had at the Library. A word to the wise….

As always, thoughts and suggestions are encouraged, and please visit your PDB web site at

Ralph Dennis, Chair

PDB Meeting, November 13

General meeting of November 13, 7:00 p.m., at the Benicia Library, Dona Benicia room

Message from Ralph Dennis, Chair, November 9, 2018:

Members and Friends –

Our next meeting, and the last one for this year, is Nov. 13 at 7:00 pm, Benicia Library.   (Agenda)

Following the Club reports and related items, we’ll be discussing:

  • Elections: The Nov. 6 election results – local and national races. What happened, and what do we make of it all, in particular locally? (What’s it all about, Alfie?)
  • PDB in 2019: ideas and activities for PDB, beginning in January (then, to space and infinity, and beyond). Ok, enough song and movie references. Maybe we all needed a bit of brevity?

Both discussions are intended to be open with the audience. In fact, we hope to draw future meeting agendas from the comments and ideas provided by the members present. As well as hear any thoughts about how the Club did in 2018, suggestions, and especially anything we should be doing differently and better.

During the discussion of elections, we’ll also provide a summary of the Club’s process for election of its officers, which is scheduled for Jan. 2019 and is required by our bylaws.

As for what there is to say about the elections, we can at least vent some more – the PAC money intervention, the outrageous and nonstop and largely orchestrated comments on social media. But, that can help identify areas to address for the future – 2020, as is already started to happen. As a member recently expressed, “Heaven help us in 2020!” And, as I shared in a recent Benicia Resist! post, “If a progressive runs in 2020, you better have your own PAC.” Not to sling mud, but to counter the volume of stuff we saw on digital ads and through the postal mail. Counter, but remaining positive and on point.

This is an important meeting, as we’re talking about 2019 and how PDB should spend our time. We plan on continuing meetings every 4-5 weeks, maybe in the Library as we have mostly done of late, but maybe elsewhere (which would be less costly or even free). When you come, you can be part of the decision making as we plan out 2019, and ultimately get closer to 2020 races.

See you Tuesday, Nov. 13, Benicia Library, 7:00 pm. Be there or be square!

Ralph E. Dennis
Chair, Progressive Democrats of Benicia