PDM Meeting: April 10

Tuesday, April 10th, 7:00 pm
Benicia Public Library, Dona Benicia Room
150 East L Street, Benicia, CA

U.S. Senate candidate Kevin de León, 2018 candidate for Senator Dianne Feinstein’s U.S. Senate seat, will be the featured speaker at the Progressive Democrats of Benicia (PBD) next public meeting at the Benicia Public Library on April 10th in the Dona Benicia room at 7:00 p.m. All Democrats and the general public are invited to attend the meeting.

Mr. de León was elected to lead the Senate as President pro tem in 2014, making him the first Latino to hold that position in over a century. He was recently replaced with Toni Atkins.  He served four years in the Assembly before his election to the Senate in 2010. He is the first person in California history to serve as the Chair of the Appropriations committees in both the Assembly and Senate.

According to his Senate President biography, de León is the son of an immigrant mother who supported her family in the San Diego barrio of Logan Heights with housekeeping and other pick-up jobs. He was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He attended U.C. Santa Barbara and graduated from Pitzer College at the Claremont Colleges with honors. He is a Rodel Fellow at the Aspen Institute and a guest lecturer at the University of Southern California.

A recent article in the Los Angeles Times suggests de León’s legislative agenda has been broad. As far back as 2007, soon after taking office, after a child who was playing near where de León lived was hit by a gang member’s stray bullet and died, he made gun control one of his primary issues, including background checks for ammunition buyers.

Mr. de León has also focused on climate change legislation, pushing hard for less fossil fuel use and more alternative energy. In 2017, he helped negotiate a gas tax increase to raise $5.2 billion annually for road repairs. Also during the 2017 Legislative session, he sponsored a bill to create a state-run single-payer health insurance system. It passed the Senate but failed to get out of committee in the Assembly. But, it earned him the endorsement of the California Nurses Association. He told the LA Times, “You can criticize some of my stuff, but you can’t say it wasn’t big and wasn’t bold. I’ve always been of the strong belief that the time period you have, you use it to the fullest.”

In addition to Mr. de León, the April 10th meeting will include some of the Club’s proposed endorsements in the 2018 Primary election on June 5, which will be presented to PDB members for approval.

The Progressive Democrats of Benicia is a local club of Benicians with members from Vallejo and Fairfield, which during the past several months has featured speakers who are 2018 candidates for public office. PDB’s mission includes the election and appointment of public officials who encourage and promote progressive views, and who work to secure, maintain, and protect these rights and opportunities for all in our communities. For more information on PDB please go to https://progressivedemocratsofbenicia.org/.