Tag Archives: Benicia city staff

Benicia Black Lives Matter on structural racism: ‘we still have a long way to go’

An email by Nimat Shakoor-Grantham, Benicia Black Lives Matter Organizer  [See also BBLM on Facebook, and “Our Voices” Interviews]

A Better Benicia


Hello Everyone,

I just read this powerful document from Elizabeth Patterson and I must say that I am experiencing a lot of emotions. I am very Happy that Elizabeth had the insight, awareness and courage to write this. She saw the apparent disparity and refused to remain silent as many people who shouldn’t remain silent choose to do.

If no one acknowledges and speaks out about such things, then such things will continue to happen. I found this writing very enlightening and encourage all to read it. This writing is not one of blame, but of shedding light on a problem that has remained in the dark for much too long.

I am saddened because situations like this still exist and not many people are even aware of it (“There’s no racism in Benicia”) . If people are aware of it, they are choosing not to speak; Maybe because the powers that be and community members at large don’t see this as an issue, they agree with this behavior, or are too timid to say anything, as some people think it best not to “Rock the Boat.”

I assure you that the Benicia Black Lives Movement (BBLM) is here to “Rock the Boat,” not by burning, looting or hating the police (as is the falsely applied stereotype), but by bringing to the attention of the government and the citizens of Benicia that events and issues of structural, conscious/unconscious racism, bias and social injustice will be identified, called out, fought against, and will certainly not be tolerated.

This is why I am so proud of Elizabeth for writing this document. The BBLM is collaborative and will not identify challenges that need to be addressed without working with the appropriate people toward the solution. I Thank the City Staff, Mayor, Past Mayor and City Council for the support you have shown us so far, but we still have a long way to go (as is made very clear by this attached writing). I again recommend that everyone read Elizabeth’s writing and work with us to create a better Benicia for All Citizens.


Nimat Shakoor-Grantham
Benicia Black Lives Matter Organizer 


City Council considers major program to recognize Benicia Black Lives Matter and address unconscious bias

Important Benicia City Council meeting Tues. August 25, 6pm – Please write or call in to show support!

By Roger Straw, August 24, 2020
Protesters hold up signs during a “Black Lives Matter” protest in front of Borough Hall on June 8, 2020 in New York City. Vanity Fair, by ANGELA WEISS/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and peaceful protests here in Benicia, a new local organization was formed, Benicia Black Lives Matter (BBLM).

When BBLM members contacted Benicia elected officials and city staff, including Police Chief Erik Upson, they were met with attentive openness, warmth and a willingness to take action.

BBLM offered a good list of recommendations, and shortly, a Staff Report and a City Resolution were drafted for consideration by the City Council this Tuesday.  The report, Recognition of Benicia Black Lives Matter and Consideration of Resolution to Take Actions to Address Unconscious Bias and the accompanying Resolution outline measures already taken, and call for significant changes, including these 3 major components and more.

  • Creation of a part-time Equity and Diversity Manager position (30 hours/week) at an estimated cost of $133,000 per year;
  • Conduct an “Equity Indicators in Benicia” report with consultant costs estimated at $75,000;
  • Mandate anti-bias training for all City employees and elected and appointed officials at an estimated cost of $8,000.

City Council members will consider whether to approve the resolution at its meeting today – Tuesday, August 25, 6pm on ZOOMThe discussion and vote is the ONLY item on Tuesday’s Agenda, so it will come up quickly.  The ZOOM access information follows below.

To show support by email, see BENICIA – WHERE TO WRITE

To attend the ZOOM meeting – here’s from the 8/25/20 Council Agenda:

How to Submit Public Comments for this videoconferencing meeting:

Members of the public may provide public comments to the City Clerk by email at lwolfe@ci.benicia.ca.us. Any comment submitted to the City Clerk should indicate to which item of the agenda the comment relates. Specific information follows:

– Comments received by 3:00 pm on the day of the meeting will be electronically forwarded to the City Council and posted on the City’s website.
– Comments received after 3:00 pm, but before the start time of the meeting will be electronically forwarded to the City Council, but will not be posted on the City’s website, and will not be read into the record.
– Comments received after the start time of the meeting, but prior to the close of the public comment period for an item will be read into the record, with a maximum allowance of 5 minutes per individual comment, subject to the Mayor’s discretion.

Additionally, the public may view and provide public comment via Zoom (via computer or phone) link:
• If prompted for a password, enter 454382.
• Use participant option to “raise hand” during the public comment period for the item you wish to speak on. Please note, your electronic device must have microphone capability. Once unmuted, you will have up to 5 minutes to speak.

UPDATE: Benicia City Council adopts mandatory face mask order


By Pat Toth-Smith, Benicia resident, June 17, 2020

Benicia city council did the right thing last night after much discussion and overwhelming support came from many callers and letters.

Congratulations to all who worked hard on getting this passed!  Benicia is now a safe place to shop and be !!!!!! 🍾🎉🙌🎊❤️❤️

Thank you council member Steve Young and Mayor Elizabeth Patterson for taking the lead, doing the right and hard thing for our citizens early.  And thank you city staff and police chief Upson for your work on this.  Thank you council member, Tom Campbell for coming around quickly during the meeting to vote  for it, you got the ball rolling.  And lastly, thank you to council members Largaespada and Strawbridge for also doing the right thing in the end for us citizens even if you maybe didn’t agree with all of it.

Proud to be a Benician …

Thank you all.  Pat

NOTE: The draft resolution (minus amendments) can be downloaded here: A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BENICIA REQUIRING THE USE OF FACE COVERINGS IN INDOOR AND ENCLOSED PUBLIC SPACESUPDATE: Here is the final draft with the amendments.

Benicia City Council considers mandatory face mask order – staff recommends approval

The following business item is on the Benicia City Council agenda for Tuesday, June 16, 2020.  Below you will find instructions for sending your comment to staff and council members.


At the May 26, 2020 City Council study session, the City Council deliberated the merits of mandating the wearing of face coverings in Benicia. Council directed staff to collect data on COVID-19 infections and prepare a resolution requiring the public to wear face coverings indoors and in enclosed public spaces in Benicia. Staff has returned to Council with the requested data and resolution.

Move to adopt a resolution (Attachment 1) requiring the wearing of face coverings in indoor and enclosed public spaces in Benicia.

COVID-19 Data from Bay Area Counties – click for larger view, or download PDF version.



(from a Benicia Happenings post by Jennifer Hanley)

**They’ll be voting on the mask mandate, so send in your comments and explain why it is so important!!

-View live broadcast Ch 27, Tuesday, 6/16 at 7:00pm
-Watch Online at http://www.ci.benicia.ca.us/agenda
-Re-broadcasts on Ch 27: Thurs & Tues following the meeting, 8:30am

(copy the below email group and paste into “To:” field of email)

LWolfe@ci.benicia.ca.us, EPatterson@ci.benicia.ca.us,  CStrawbridge@ci.benicia.ca.us, TCampbell@ci.benicia.ca.us , SYoung@ci.benicia.ca.us, LLargaespada@ci.benicia.ca.us, LTinfow@ci.benicia.ca.us, AShear@ci.benicia.ca.us, BStock@ci.benicia.ca.us

You may choose to identify yourself, or remain anonymous. Briefly state which issue you will be speaking to. Limit submission to 750 words, or about 5 minutes reading length for clerk. ** Emails received PRIOR to 3pm on the meeting day will be distributed to council members, read privately, and recorded. Emails received AFTER 3pm & BEFORE 7pm on the meeting day will be collected by the clerk and read out loud during the council meeting broadcast.


Call in via Zoom: (669) 900-9128
Follow prompts, Meeting ID: 826 4906 6719 — Password: 440887
You will be placed in a virtual waiting room/queue. You will be prompted by the city clerk when it is your turn to share your comments. You will only have five minutes to speak (hard stop, no exceptions). Once complete, you will be muted to the council.

Comments may be submitted by letter via the postal service. Standard postage will apply.
MAIL TO: City Clerk, Lisa Wolfe, 250 E L. Street, Benicia, CA 94510
Mailed comments must be received by end of business day on the day of the meeting and a copy will be distributed to each attendee.

For questions re: agenda, how to connect, submissions, contact:
City Clerk, Lisa Wolfe
250 E. L. Street, Benicia, CA 94510
LWolfe@ci.benicia.ca.us or (707) 746-4200
Business office hours 8am – 5pm.

View Current/Scheduled Meeting Agendas:

Guide to Council Meetings & Public Comment:

Previous Council Meeting Agendas & Minutes:

[Other City Officials that may Attend}
Lisa Wolfe – City Clerk
Lori Tinfow – City Manager
Alan Shear – Asst City Manager
Ben Stock – City Attorney
mgiuliani@ci.benicia.ca.us – Economic Dev, Mario Giuliani
police@ci.benicia.ca.us – Police Chief Erik Upson
JChadwick@ci.benicia.ca.us – Fire Chief, Josh Chadwick
mdotson@ci.benicia.ca.us – Parks & Community, Mike Dotson