Tag Archives: Endorsements

Meeting Reflections – August 25, 2022, Local candidate interviews & endorsements

MEETING REFLECTIONS
PDB MEMBERSHIP MEETING
AUGUST 25, 2022, 7:00 PM

Read summary reflections below.
Watch the Zoom recording here.  >Passcode: Gv^1g6=Z

Endorsement Interviews & Vote

Our Interim Chair, Kathy Kerridge moderated a forum for the three Democratic City of Benicia Council Candidates, Kari Birdseye, Terry Scott, and Christina Strawbridge. Kathy asked each of the candidates to share with the group of approximately 55 attendees 1) why they chose to run for office, 2) why the PDB members should vote to endorse them and 3) what they individually plan to accomplish if elected to serve on the Benicia City  Council.

Kari Birdseye believes that this is the time for a change in leadership on the Council.  As a member of two City commissions, previously the Human Services Board and currently as Chair of the Planning Commission, Kari has great working relationships with City staff, and she understands the challenges that the City faces.  She believes that she can make decisions in a transparent and empathetic manner.  Kari has three main priorities that she will address if elected:  1)  diversification of Benicia’s economic tax base; 2) the housing crisis in our city with an emphasis on senior housing; 3) transparent, friendly leadership – having an open relationship with all of Benicia including the business and neighborhood communities.

Terry Scott believes that over the last five election cycles, the top issues negatively affecting the City have remained the same: roads, cost of water, poor infrastructure,  polluted air and water, and public safety.  If elected, Terry will focus on financial management, a commitment to change in core values among City Council members, to open discussions for change, understand how open space is managed, respect and preserve Benicia’s historic heritage, and promote the reimagining of how things get done on an economic basis.  Terry’s list of accomplishments in Benicia includes Chair of the Arts and Culture Commission (promoting the painted piano, Shakespeare in the Park, signal boxes, BUSD collaboration on student murals, and working with the mayor to add diversity to the Arts and Culture Commission).  Terry was co-organizer of the first Benicia Diversity Festival and co-organizer of the recent March for Our Lives and Women’s March.  Terry is a businessman, futurist, and philanthropist who will use sound business sense and judgment to assess how to fix our current issues with a focus on the future, and how those fixes will affect our community members and our environment.

Christina Strawbridge is running on strength and experience.   She has been a Benicia City Council member for 9 years.  She stated that she was initially hesitant to run again due to the fact that she felt our 2020 election was a “blackeye” on Benicia, mainly due to Valero’s running of attack ads against her opponent, Steve Young.  Christina also stated that she was the recipient of a lot of social media attacks, most of which she stated were untrue.  Christina was very supportive and complimentary of Erik Upson, the current City Manager.  She praised the city staff and Council for their management and support of the citizens and businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Christina’s list of accomplishments for the City of Benicia includes working to revitalize Benicia since 1985.  She also worked to keep both of our state parks off the closure list in 2010.

Kathy Kerridge asked a series of questions previously prepared by the PDB Steering Committee.  Each candidate was given 2 minutes to respond.  The question topics included:

  • Stance on Crude by Rail (should Valero attempt to push through this again)
  • An Industrial Safety Ordinance, and guaranteeing the safety of Benicia’s citizens from industrial accidents caused by Valero
  • Campaign finance restrictions
  • The Valero PAC
  • The Federal Inflation Reduction Act and the facilitation of mitigation and adaptation strategies for climate change
  • Housing in general and housing for seniors and low-income citizens
  • Racial equity and environmental justice
  • Benicia financial position and retention of city staff
  • Position on Measure R (increase the sales tax to improve infrastructure)

During the presentations, attendees entered questions into Chat.  PDB Secretary, Maggie Kolk, chose questions that had not previously been addressed and each candidate was given an opportunity to respond.

Candidates provided a one-minute wrap-up to state their reasons for seeking  PDB’s endorsement.

Members in good standing participated in the endorsement voting process which included the three City Council Candidates and Jose Altamirano for State Board of Equalization, as well as voting whether to provide funding for the endorsed candidates.   The results were not announced but were delivered to members by email the following day.  (See here on PDB website.)

PDB Business

The Treasurer’s report was delivered by Kathy Kerridge.

Announcement and Action Items 

Cynthia Seguin – Asking for support of two congressional bills -repealing laws introduced in the Reagan Era – the Social Security Fairness Act (HR 82) and the Social Security 2100 Act (HR 572). Call congress to end the unfair tax on retired educators.  www.nea.org/advocating-for-change/action-center/take-action/repeal-gpo-wep?ms=daisychainconfirmation

Call Tim Grayson and Lori Wilson to support SB 1137 setbacks for oil wells. https://docs.google.com/document/d/18D_sFxXloOdxBbzda418MPqbo0Iw0bJRHS93-W1uELo/edit

Contact Kathy Kerridge to send out postcards and get yard signs for Benicians for Clean Elections.

Mayor Young – Addressed the City’s financial issues stating that the Council was not aware of these issues.  The Council was presented with what they believed were fair, accurate audits.  The Housing Element was passed by Council last week and will be submitted to the State by the end of the month.  A use permit was given to a cannabis distribution company:  Shryne Group is moving their No. Cal headquarters to Benicia and they will build a 40,000 sq. ft. warehouse.

Future Speakers for September – Erik Upson and Bob Berman.

Progressive Dems of Benicia – Endorsements for June 7 Election

JUNE 7, 2022 ELECTION

Progressive Democrats ENDORSE:
Sharon Henry
Solano County District Attorney
Wanda Williams
Solano Board of Supervisors, District 3
Braden Murphy
California Board of Equalization

ALSO “RECOMMENDED
Daryl Snedeker, Solano County Sheriff
(Snedeker is No-Party-Preference,
so cannot be officially endorsed by PDB)

MORE INFORMATION…

Meeting Reflections – May 10, 2022, Key political campaigns, Endorsements

MEETING REFLECTIONS
THE PDB MEMBERSHIP MEETING
MAY 10, 2022, 7:00 PM
The May 10th general meeting focused on key political campaigns.
KariBirdseyeForBenicia.com

First off, PDB member Kari Birdseye invited all to attend on Sunday, May 22 when she announces her candidacy for Benicia City Council. You are invited to attend the Kickoff Rally on Sunday, May 22, 2-4pm at Benicia’s City Park Gazebo.  Kari presented her views about her campaign and local issues specific to Benicia.  She encouraged volunteers to sign up at her website, karibirdseyeforbenicia.com/.

Election next month – June 7

We also heard from several June 7 election candidates, and voted whether to offer endorsements:
  • Democratic Suisun City Councilwoman Wanda Williams discussed her candidacy for Solano County District 3 Supervisor.
  • Solano County Sheriff candidate Daryl Snedeker discussed his reasons for running.  (Snedeker is No-Party-Preference)
  • Two Democratic candidates for the State Board of Equalization, Braden Murphy and Jose Alatmirano shared with us why we should vote for them in the primary.
Progressive Democrats of Benicia proudly ENDORSE:
Progressive Democrats of Benicia RECOMMEND:

Also at our May 10 meeting:

Benicia Mayor Steve Young talked about the Valero-supported PAC and the expected negative ad campaign anticipated this election year.  Because the “independent expenditures” of PACs are not limited by Benicia’s Voluntary Code of Fair Campaign Practices or state law, the Valero-supported PAC is not limited in the amounts it can spend. In contrast, expenditures by candidates and their campaigns are limited. Learn more about this important dynamic of local politics.

Announcements