PDB meeting – Tuesday, May 8, 7pm

PDB Meeting – Tuesday, May 8th, 7:00 pm

Senior Center, 187 East L Street, Benicia, CA

Proposed Candidate Endorsements

Speaker: Amy Hartman, Greenbelt Alliance

The May 8thth meeting focused on the Club’s proposed candidate endorsements in the 2018 Primary election on June 5, which were sent to membership and presented to PDB members for discussion and a vote.  [See results here.]

Here’s the Agenda.  For endorsement recommendations, see our Endorsement page.

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 http://progressivedemocratsofbenicia.com/.

Club Issues First Round of Endorsements for June Primary

During the April 10 general meeting, the Club Endorsement Committee presented their recommendations on the various Statewide Propositions and Regional Measure 3. During the meeting, members were given an opportunity to vote whether or not to affirm the Committee’s recommendations.   The following table summarizes the results of the vote and the final decision of the Club regarding the various ballot measures. A vote of 50% + 1 of members present and voting was necessary to achieve the Club’s endorsement.

Committee Recommendation Members Affirming Members Opposing Final Club Endorsement
Proposition 68: Yes


0 Yes
Proposition 69: Yes




Proposition 70: No




Proposition 71: Yes




Proposition 72: Yes




Reg. Measure 3: No      24 2


The vote on Propositions 69 and 71 included two abstention votes for each proposition.

The results mean that the Progressive Democrats of Benicia officially endorses a YES vote on Propositions 68, 69, 71, and 72, and endorses a NO vote on Proposition 70 and Regional Measure 3.  

2018 Statewide Ballot Measures (CA Secretary of State)

Regional Measure 3 (Metropolitan Transportation Commission)

The April 10th vote was the first of two steps in the Club’s 2018 June Primary endorsement process.  For Step 2,  the Endorsement Committee is currently researching candidates for local and state offices.  Any recommendations for endorsement made by the Endorsement Committee will be presented to members for approval during the May 8th general meeting. Committee recommendations will be sent to members for review prior to the May meeting.

Thanks to all the members who participated in the vote. We look forward to further Club discussions on the endorsement of candidates for the upcoming June  Primary.

Club members are encouraged to share their views  about endorsements, races, and candidates with the endorsement committee, executive committee members or through the web site Contact Us link.

Count EVERY Person in 2020 Census

By Steve Young

The decision by President Trump to require a citizenship question as part of the 2020 census has serious implications for the city of Benicia, Solano County and the state of California.  The inclusion of this question, which has not been part of the regular census since 1950, virtually guarantees that there will be a significant undercount, with the result costing Benicia and the rest of California significant sums of money.

The inclusion of the question seems aimed directly at urban centers and states with large immigrant populations. These populations, already on edge with the deportation raids by ICE will be understandably nervous about any interaction with federal officials asking questions about their immigration status. Immigrants, documented or not, contribute heavily to the economy and pay significant taxes. They drive on the same roads and require many of  the same services from local governments (although they are not eligible to receive federal benefits directly).

It has been estimated that the areas where people are undercounted will see their federal contributions for such things as transportation, public health care and infrastructure support decline by nearly $2,000 per person. Per year. For 10 years.

As soon as this change was announced, 19 states–including California– sued the Commerce Department. Among their arguments was that the move was clearly unconstitutional. Article 2 of the US Constitution calls for an “actual enumeration” of people every 10 years. Not just citizens — people. According to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, “including a citizenship question will diminish response rates, and the census will not be able to fulfill its constitutional duty to count everyone.”

More than $600 billion is appropriated across state and local governments each year based on the census reports. An immigrant-heavy region whose population is underreported could lose public health dollars — as well as funding for food programs, school programs, and funding for public health services.
Four former census directors warned in a 2015 legal filing that any effort to add a question about citizenship for all households in the count would seriously undermine its accuracy. “The sum effect would be bad census data,” they wrote of the idea. “And any effort to correct for the data would be futile. Not counting people translates into communities not receiving funding, and that’s equally egregious in a way… It really translates into dollars for services and healthcare.”

It is in the interest of the City of Benicia, our region and our state that ALL people be counted in the 2020 census, and that the citizenship question be removed from the census forms.

 Steve Young is the vice mayor of Benicia.

Equity & Justice for All