Category Archives: Meeting reflections

Meeting Notes – February 13, 2024

FEBRUARY 13, 2024


Our January general membership meeting was held on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, at 7pm, via Zoom.


  • Call to Order
  • Quorum
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Acknowledgements/Announcements
  • Program
    • Measure C – Sheri Zada and Damon Wright
    • Update – Christopher Cabaldon campaign
    • Fiesta La Primavera – Sheri Leigh
    • Solano County Board of Supervisors District 1 Candidates Forum
      • Cassandra James
      • Michael Wilson
  • Wrap Up – Next Meeting March 12, 2024


  • Feb. 24 – Cooking with Alice – NSDC fundraiser with Congressman Mike Thompson
  • Feb. 24 – Passion for Performance, Fundraiser
  • Feb. 29 – Making the Democratic Process Work for You – Kathy Kerridge & Mary Ruth Gross, 350 Bay Area – Better World Event on Zoom
  • March 5 – Vote for SCDCC Representatives
  • May 18 – PDB Fundraiser – Champagne Brunch – SAVE THE DATE and join the planning committee to help with the event!


Measure C on the March 5th ballot will fund critical facilities improvements for our schools

  • Building repairs and improvements
  • Classroom renovation and upgrades
  • HVAC system
  • Science and technology lab construction
  • Student access to computer technology
  • Improves health, safety, student achievement and security

We heard from School Board President Sheri Zada and Superintendent Dr. Damon Wright in support of this important measure. Dr. Wright fielded questions.

Endorsed Candidate Update

Christopher Cabaldon updated us on his campaign.

Fiesta La Primavera

Sheri Leigh updated us on her advocacy to dismantle Benicia’s La Migra’ games, and announced an alternative Spring Break celebration event in collaboration with the Solano AIDS Coalition: Fiesta Primavera,   taking place on March 23 at Gazebo Park in Benicia.

Solano County Board of Supervisors District 1 Candidates Forum

We heard from the two candidates who are running for County Supervisor for District 1, and both candidates fielded questions.   The candidates (in alphabetical order) are Cassandra James, incumbent, and Michael Wilson. Both candidates fielded questions from members.

Membership Poll

We have offered members an opportunity to vote on which candidate to endorse via the PDB website.  The bylaws state “New Members shall be entitled to vote on all Club matters sixty (60) days after payment of dues. Existing members, upon payment of membership renewal dues, shall be eligible immediately to vote on all Club matters.”

Meeting Link

Here is a link to the video recording of this important meeting! If asked, enter the passcode: skMZ^h59

Next Meeting: Tuesday March 12, 7:00 pm on Zoom

Don’t miss this important meeting!


Meeting Reflections – January 10, 2023, Birdseye, Scott, and ADEM election

JANUARY 10, 2023
New Councilmembers Birdseye and Scott and all about the ADEM election

Our first meeting of the year was held on Tuesday, January 10 via zoom.


We started the New Year by hearing from our newly elected city council representatives, Kari Birdseye and Terry Scott. Both gave an ambitious and detailed account of their goals for the City of Benicia in coming years. Members also took the opportunity to ask questions.

PDB member Susannah Delano gave a clear explanation of the California ADEM elections and helped members understand the importance of this election of our party delegates for our Assembly District 11. Mail-in ballots have been sent, and in-person voting will happen on Sunday, January 22.

  • Bonnie Hamilton on a Sustainability Challenge for Benicia, in-person at the Benicia Library Jan 26, 7pm, with the book All We Can Save, available at Bookstore Benicia. See also
  • Alan Zada on the District 5 Benicia School Board special election on April 11 at a cost of $60K to $80K. Only District 5 residents can vote. District 5 is purple on this map.
  • Terry Mollica on the Housing and Safety Element, which will The Housing Element will come before the Planning Commission on Thursday January 12th and the City Council on January 24th. More information on the City of Benicia website.
  • Mayor Young talked about the Brown Act and why we can’t have all 3 PDB members who are on the City Council present at our meetings at the same time. Complicated – here’s a link to the Brown Act as it appears on the City of Benicia website. Mayor Young also talked about the upcoming Council meeting, mentioning that downtown parking will be discussed.
Message from PDB Chair  – Your Membership in PDB

Thanks to dues and donations from our amazing membership, PDB supported our endorsed candidates in 2022 both financially and by creating a community bulwark to stand against wealthy, out-of-town business interests—and we saw this fight all the way through to victory! We also use these funds to compensate speakers, pay for utilities like Zoom, and keep the wheels of progress turning in Benicia as we work together for environmental, racial, and social justice.  Sooooo……..

For only $20, you can reactivate your membership by clicking this link to pay your annual dues. While you’re there, please consider making an additional donation to help fund PDB’s future activities. Not only will your generosity help us keep our forward momentum, it will also give you a voice in the club, allowing you to vote on important matters and help us execute essential club business.

Yes – Renew my Membership!

ANOTHER IMPORTANT way for you to help in 2023 –

As PDB continues to grow and create change, we are increasingly in need of active, committed volunteers who can help us in 2023 so our progressive momentum extends to the 2024 election. While Kari Birdseye is a very welcome presence on Benicia City Council, her absence from our Steering Committee will be deeply felt. Note also that Steering Committee Member Terry Mollica is taking a sabbatical.

With two members now gone from our Steering Committee, we really need you to step up and help out by joining our Steering Committee. Responsibilities are minimal, you don’t have to be any sort of political expert to pitch in, and we’re very friendly and supportive. If you’re interested, please reach out to us and we can go over exactly what’s involved and how you can fit in!

See you on January 10!


Meeting Reflections – November 15, 2022 – Election results and where from here

NOVEMBER 15, 2022

Our normally scheduled Second Tuesday meeting would have fallen on election day this month, so we postponed our PDB meeting for a week, until the Third Tuesday, November 15.

After a year of jam-packed and informative meetings, we planned for this post-election time together to simply reflect on and discuss the outcome of the elections and where we want to go from here in 2023.

Support for Georgia Senate candidate Raphael Warnock

After the treasurer’s report and several announcements (see below), our Steering Committee presented a recommendation to contribute to the extremely important campaign of Georgia Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock.  After discussion, it was moved and seconded to donate $500 to the Warnock campaign. The motion was overwhelmingly approved by Zoom poll.

PROGRAM: Election Results and Where from Here…

Our secretary “zoomed” us into breakout groups to chat about our experiences and learnings during the months leading up to last week’s local, state and national elections.  Members were also asked to suggest topics for future meetings, to address the need to find a new club Secretary as of January 2023 and to find new members for our Steering Committee.

Returning to the plenary session, we engaged in a great free-ranging discussion on our election learnings and observations, etc.. Here are a few notes from that discussion:

2022 Benicia Election – Some Lessons Learned:

    • Start planning and campaigning earlier! (As in NOW!)
    • We won the mail-in vote.
    • Better marketing for average people (for instance, Birdseye tv ads were helpful).
    • Terry Scott did a great job of visiting lots of homes.
    • Clever flyers are key.
    • Signs were scattered – maybe too few and far between.
    • Letters to the editor in print and online were helpful (even though the Benicia Herald has only 1200 or so subscribers).
    • Campaigns took advantage of residents’ long memories of Valero PAC’s massive spending and dirty tricks in 2018/20. (A group that was totally separate from candidates’ campaigns had a website and sent out 5,000 postcards. PDB endorsed and arranged without any campaign knowledge to send out 4,000 postcards, many to multiple-voter residences.)
    • Forums were ok, but could be improved – maybe could be more debate-like.
    • Do more at Farmers Market next time.
PDB – Where  From Here:
    • Program suggestions: ISO, GHG reduction, North Study Area (Seeno property)…
    • Member diversity – need to look into ways we can reach out more, become more relevant to and attract participation of more racially diverse members and youthful members.
    • Shorter meetings?

Participants were encouraged to write down notes from their breakout rooms and contact us.

    • A member shared results of our Meeting Poll. Using a form on our website, members indicated whether and how we should return to in-person meetings. Results indicate that we will continue monthly zoom meetings for now, but maybe starting next Spring, will hold quarterly in-person meetings.
        • Zoom only – 4 in favor
        • In-Person only – 6 in favor
        • Combination, continue zoom except for in-person on a quarterly basis – 25 in favor
    • A member shared good information about letter-writing for the Warnock campaign via VoteForward,
    • A member shared information about his “marketing” project for a more general audience than current PDB outreach, the podcast Benicia Voice, available on Apple and Spotify – and encouraged everyone to listen and subscribe to it.