Category Archives: Meeting reflections

Meeting of March 9, 2021 – Benicia Black Lives Matter


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.

Meeting of February 9, 2021 – Black History Month / CA Dem Chair Interview for Endorsement

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.

Meeting of November 2020 – our post-election gathering

Tuesday, Nov. 10, 7pm
Election Results,
and thinking about PDB 2021 Goals

Post-Election Sharing – and What’s Next

We planned ahead for a post election gathering, not knowing the results.  Whatever the outcome, we wanted to come be with our friends!!! 

So… at our meeting on Nov. 10 we briefly shared the results of the Nov. 3 elections, local and national.  We celebrated and held our breath over Joe Biden’s slim lead, and worried over the composition of the House and Senate…  AND we celebrated our new Mayor Steve Young!  Terry Scott’s race for the second Council seat was too close to call at the time (and he later lost by the narrowest of margins).

At the outset of our meeting, we surprised our friend and PDB member, outgoing Mayor Elizabeth Patterson with a time of recognition and honors.  We read a Proclamation “Recognizing Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson and Honoring her Decades of Rich and Enduring Service.”  This was followed by a delightful video collage by Constance Beutel celebrating Elizabeth’s many years of service and accomplishments.  Finally, Elizabeth responded and many of our members zoomed in their thanks and well wishes.

We had planned to include Zoom “breakout rooms” for smaller groups of people to 1) talk freely about the election results and what it means for us and for Benicia and 2) to think about possible goals and focus for PDB in 2021.  But we ran out of time, so we plan to do this at our January, 12 2021 meeting.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: Election of PDB officers in Jan. ’21. Terms of our current officers expire soon.  During the Jan. 2021 General Membership meeting members will elect a Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. Each officer serves a two-year term. We are seeking nominations for these positions which will be accepted beginning now and through the discussion prior to the vote at our Jan. ’21 meeting.

  • Our current officers are: Ralph Dennis, Chair; Craig Snider, Vice-Chair; Maggie Kolk, Secretary; and, Kathy Kerridge, Treasurer.
  • 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.