Tag Archives: 2020 Elections

Benicia Mayor candidate Steve Young: Finding common ground with Valero when they want me to lose SO badly

By Roger Straw, October  19, 2020
The Benicia Herald, Sunday, October 18, p. A5

Candidate for Benicia Mayor Steve Young took out a half-page ad in Sunday’s print edition of the Benicia Herald, laying out steps Valero could take to be a “better neighbor to Benicia.”


Candidate Young continues,

I appreciate the value Valero brings to Benicia and their generosity to assist the community.  But appreciating the good they do and being critical of their negative politics are not mutually exclusive.  It’s not either or.  We can and should do both.

The strain between Valero and the City is often attributed to their contentions relationships with specific candidates and elected officials.  I just don’t see it that way.  I think the blame rests on their response (or lack thereof) to a concerned community and the lengths they have gone to disrupt elections that have historically been fair & friendly.  We need a Mayor with the necessary experience to find a common ground that will enable Valero to become a “”Better Neighbor” to Benicia.  Where do we start?

Young then lays out 3 bullet points for a better relationship with Valero:


    • Increase transparency & improve communication including immediate community alerts for any incident impacting resident health, safety or environment, followed by regular updates and instructions on how to respond.
    • Air quality monitoring systems that work in conjunction with public alerts in accordance with official City policy & procedure.
    • Cease all negative campaigning practices and allow Benicia voters to elect candidates in accordance with City’s Election Code.  Keep elections fair and stop the spread of false or misleading attack ads.

Young then addresses outside election influence and Benicia’s future if Valero continues its negative campaign tactics:


If Valero’s PAC succeeds, we can expect these same destructive tactics in every Benicia election going forward.  It’s time we take a stand and let them know, “Enough is enough!”   You can start by electing me as your next Mayor.  I have the right qualifications and the temperament to repair the discord between the City and Valero, and help heal the divide felt within our community.  I’m ready to get to work!

Young concludes with a statement about big outside money and an invitation for Valero to choose a better course:


I encourage Valero to seize this opportunity and choose to be better.  Restore the peace in our politics, reset your relationship with the community, and work with the City as equal parties, both deserving mutual trust, respect and transparency.  Vote for me, STEVE YOUNG, either on, or before November 3rd.  If elected Mayor of Benicia, I pledge to do whatever it takes to achieve these common goals.

See also:

Here’s what the official ballot box looks like at Benicia City Hall

Benicia official says ballot boxes are only located in two places across town

JohnGlidden.com, by John Glidden, October 14, 2020
[See also here on the BenIndy: Info and links – Where and when to return your mail-in ballot]

BENICIA – With less than three weeks before the Nov. 3 election, there have been reports of unauthorized ballot boxes popping up across the state.

Benicia City Clerk Lisa Wolfe took to social media this week to remind locals that there are only two official ballot boxes in the city.

They include Benicia City Hall, which is located at 250 East L St. Vote-by-mail ballots can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. City Hall will be closed on Oct. 16, and 30.

The second location is found inside Raley’s, situated at 890 Southampton Road. [Every day–6:00a.m. to 11:00p.m. ]

Wolfe also provided pictures of what the official ballot boxes look like and she presented the various ways Benicia can cast their ballots.

“You can either place them in one of the official boxes, mail them in, use the drive through feature the last weekend prior the the election, or vote in person on 11/3,” she wrote.

The fake ballot boxes sprouting up around the state are not authorized and could be illegal, said California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

“Operating unofficial ballot drop boxes — especially those misrepresented as official drop boxes — is not just misleading to voters, it’s a violation of state law,” he told media outlets. “My office is coordinating with local officials to address the multiple reports of unauthorized ballot drop boxes. Californians should only use official ballot drop boxes that have been deployed and secured by their county elections office.”

The last day to register to vote is Oct. 19. The voter registration form must be either postmarked by this date or delivered to a county elections official by this date.

Voters can track their ballot to see when it is received and counted by first registering on the California Secretary of State website, https://california.ballottrax.net/voter/.

Information on registering to vote, voting options and a link to the state voter guide are available through the Solano County Registrar of Voters at www.solanocounty.com/depts/rov.

What if Trump won’t leave? Call it what it is, and be ready…

To stop a coup — take the Choose Democracy pledge, and be prepared for action!

Benicians Mary Susan Gast, Kathy Kerridge and Pat Toth-Smith have done great work recently alerting us to Daniel Hunter’s article* on the very real possibility that there may be an illegal power grab after the election on November 3.  Please scroll down to read the short piece by Choose Democracy, and click to sign the Choose Democracy pledge.  Here in Benicia, let’s prepare for the (unlikely, we hope) prospect of a coup.

We have reason to worry that this fall we may see an undemocratic power grab—a coup. [Check “coup-o-meter” for current events indicating a coup is more or less likely.]

We also know that the people can defend democracy.  Non-violent mass protests have stopped coups in other places and we have to be ready to do the same here.

Elections work because the public agrees to honor the results.  Similarly, coups work only if the public honors them.  When the public refuses to accept the coup as legitimate, coups fall apart.  Refusal looks like millions of people using nonviolent tools to delegitimize the coup by demonstrating, resisting orders, and shutting down the country until democracy prevails.


Go to Choose Democracy to sign this pledge:

  • We will vote.
  • We will refuse to accept election results until all the votes are counted.
  • We will nonviolently take to the streets if a coups is attempted
  • If we need to, we will shut down this country to protect the integrity of the democratic process

Consider attending a training workshop led by George Lakey (Oct 16, 21, 22, or 27) and making LOCAL preparations for the possibility of a coup.  Training sign-up at https://choosedemocracy.us/trainings/#.X4nDP2hKiUk.

*Read the article by Daniel Hunter, “10 Things You Need to Know to Stop A Coup” at  https://wagingnonviolence.org/2020/09/10-things-you-need-to-know-to-stop-a-coup/

*Daniel Hunter is the Global Trainings Manager at 350.org and a curriculum designer with Sunrise Movement. He has trained extensively from ethnic minorities in Burma, pastors in Sierra Leone, and independence activists in northeast India. He has written multiple books, including the “Climate Resistance Handbook” and “Building a Movement to End the New Jim Crow.”

Paul Adler of Benicia Valero: captured on video refusing to refrain from negative election interference

By Roger Straw, October 14, 2020

Youtube video thanks to Dr. Constance Beutel, Benicia.

At a September 19, 2019 public presentation by Valero in Benicia, Paul Adler, Valero Benicia’s Director of Government Affairs and Community Relations, declined to respond to a question regarding interfering in local Benicia elections.

Benicia resident Andrés Soto was in the audience, and posed a question during Q&A.  Recalling Valero’s malicious attacks in Benicia’s 2018 election, Mr. Soto posed a question: “You say you want to be a ‘good neighbor.’  Will you pledge not to conduct a similar negative campaign in the local elections in 2020, and let Benicians make their own decisions?”

Watch the 2-minute video for Mr. Adler’s refusal to make the pledge.  And see Valero & Friends Attempt to Buy our 2020 Election for Valero’s massive effort to buy the Mayor’s seat in 2020 – including misleading and demeaning, negative ads against candidate Steve Young.