TAKE A STAND WITH PDB AND 350 BAY AREA ACTION
TO SUPPORT FRONTLINE COMMUNITIES in demanding health and safety setbacks from oil and gas drilling in California
SB 467, the Dirty Drilling Phase out and Setbacks bill, did not pass through the Natural Resources and Water Committee last week because it was ONE VOTE SHORT, but the fight is not over.
The bill is now being amended to ensure that frontline communities are protected from toxic oil and gas drilling by requiring a 2,500 foot setback for the over 2 million Californians that live, work, go to school, and are cared for with oil and gas drilling right in their backyards.
Texas has setbacks—and CA does not. This harms mostly low-income and Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities. We have just a few days to get at least one voteto move this bill forward to protect the health and safety of our children, neighbors, friends, and workers from the oil and gas industry’s harmful practices. Here’s your chance to join the statewide VISÍON ALLIES Coalition and tell our lawmakers to do something for the health of Californians.
CALL THREE SENATORS NOW AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE
The target is 1,000 calls to three Senators to urge them to vote YES when the amended bill comes back for a vote.
Thank you for taking action today to secure the health and safety of vulnerable frontline communities.
CHOOSING OUR CA ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 14 DEMOCRATIC PARTY DELEGATES
YOU can help vote for a PROGRESSIVE SLATE to represent us! Details and HOW to vote…
WHAT DELEGATES DO: The Delegates we elect will vote for the officers of the California Democratic Party, as well as endorsements for legislative and statewide offices and ballot propositions. In even numbered years the Delegates establish the party platform and weigh in each year on state resolutions.
The PDB Steering Committee recognizes that there has been a division within the Party between Progressives and Labor/corporate interests. In Solano County, the labor slate includes an offshoot of the Working Families PAC which spent nearly $300,000 in an unsuccessful attempt to defeat Steve Young in the race for Benicia Mayor.
This year, due to the Pandemic, the Democratic party is doing an all-mail ballot to elect delegates representing Assembly District 14 (Grayson). We are urging you to go to the link [https://ademelections.com/?isCandidate=False] to request a ballot be mailed to you, and then consider supporting the Progressive slate, as listed below.
Your Steering Committee supports this group of Democratic Progressive Candidates who want to change the Democratic Party from the corporate and divisive politics of the past. The AD 14 Progressives for Change slate is asking for your vote in January 2021 to take the party into a more transparent, accountable, and inclusive future.
How to get a Party Ballot and VOTE…
Due to the pandemic, the California Democratic Party (CADEM) has implemented a vote by mail for the 2021 Assembly District 14 Elections.
Deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot is Monday January 11, 2021.
AND… please tell and email this information to your Democratic friends in District 14 (Benicia, Vallejo, Concord, Clayton, Martinez, Pittsburg [western portion], Pleasant Hill, Rodeo, and the northern part of Walnut Creek).
SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) Bay Area is part of a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice, with passion and accountability.
SURJ Study & Action is a community of learners committed to examining the histories of white supremacy and resistance movements and building our abilities to effectively take action in support of Black and Brown-led organizations fighting for racial justice.
…We are responding to Black peoples’ long-standing call for white people, in large numbers, to talk, study and take action with each other so we can confront white supremacy in our workplaces, schools, with our families and throughout our lives.
Learning in community makes our movements strong. We train up, so we can show up!
FROM RALPH DENNIS, PDB CHAIR: I strongly recommend that white PDB members and friends look in a mirror and consider the benefits that attending these classes will provide. No matter how much we who are white think we are “aware of” and fight against racial prejudices and discrimination, and/or that “I’m not racist,” none of us can know how it feels to be black in a white-dominated culture. And, all of us need to acknowledge the history and systemic nature of racism in our country, and here in Benicia, and learn how to address it and become anti-racist in actions and deeds. These classes are a path towards beginning that journey in Benicia.
Here’s more information from Chief Upson and how to register for the classes.
Showing Up for Racial Justice – Study & Action Course
(From City of Benicia this week, Message from the Interim City Manager 11/30/20)
The Benicia Public Library and Benicia Black Lives Matter are teaming up to offer a free series of classes for the community, cosponsored by the Bay Area chapter of Stand Up for Racial Justice (SURJ).
Participants are asked to:
commit to attending all 6 sessions of this intensive program in order to hold accountability to the group, build community, and get the most out of the series;
allow enough time in your schedules to read the weekly assignments, about 2.5-4 hours per week;
commit to participating in at least 3 racial justice actions during the course of the Intensive. Facilitators will suggest actions to be a part of at each weekly meeting.
Two six session courses are available, one series held on Tuesdays beginning January 12 (registration deadline Dec. 29), the other held on Saturdays beginning January 16 (registration deadline Jan. 2). Please choose either Tuesdays or Saturdays. There are 30 spaces available in each series. All meetings are held on Zoom.
After months of campaigning, dramatic ups-and-down in the polls, and a barrage of TV ads blanketing our airwaves, California’s 2020 presidential primary is finally here.
All California counties are required by Monday to begin sending voters mail-in ballots, which means your ballot is headed to your mailbox just as Iowans gather to caucus in the first contest of the primary campaign. Most of the Golden State’s 20 million registered voters are expected to vote by mail, making California’s election day more like an election month that kicks off right now.
Unlike the past two presidential primaries, California will vote in March, just after the first four early states — giving the state with the biggest cache of delegates even more impact on the White House race. Here’s what you need to know to vote…
WHEN IS THE ELECTION, AND WHEN DO I NEED TO REGISTER?
California and a dozen other states hold their primaries on Super Tuesday, March 3. But millions of voters will cast their ballots before then, either by mail or through in-person early voting, which also starts Monday at county elections offices.
The deadline to register to vote in California is Feb. 18, although voters who miss that can still register and vote conditionally at any polling place in their home county during early voting or on election day, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
Voters will choose legislative and congressional candidates in the state’s top-two primary, setting up showdowns in November for those races between the top two finishers, regardless of their parties. But the Democratic presidential primary will be by far the biggest spectacle on the ballot.
WHO GETS TO VOTE IN THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY?
You don’t have to be a registered Democrat. No party preference voters — the fastest-growing segment of the electorate — can participate too. If you vote in person, just ask for a Democratic presidential ballot at your polling place.
Independents who vote by mail, however, were supposed to request a Democratic ballot in advance — if you forgot to do that, you can still ask for a ballot from your county by email or phone. You can also go to your polling place on election day, surrender your mail-in ballot, and get a new Democratic presidential ballot there.
“You’ll have somewhat over 5 million independent voters who, if they don’t fill that out, they’ll have a blank presidential ballot,” said Paul Mitchell, the vice president of the nonpartisan California voter data firm Political Data, Inc.
The GOP only allows registered Republicans to participate in their primary — but independents probably won’t be missing much, as none of Trump’s little known primary challengers have gotten much traction.
WHAT ELSE WILL BE NEW THIS TIME?
Several of the state’s counties, including Santa Clara, San Mateo, Napa, Los Angeles, and Orange, are using a new system that will mail a ballot to every voter, expand in person early voting, and let voters cast their ballot at any vote center in the county. San Mateo piloted the new procedures — called the Voter Choice Act — during the 2018 midterms.
Voters in those counties can mail in the ballot they received or go to any vote center — in Santa Clara County, for example, there will be 22 locations open starting 10 days before the election and 88 locations opening the weekend before election day. Other Bay Area counties will continue to only send mail-in ballots to voters who request them.
Because of the changes, there will likely be more votes cast by mail in California than ever before — Mitchell’s firm estimates that about 15 million of the state’s more than 20 million registered voters will be getting vote-by mail ballots sent to them next year. About 5 percent of voters in the state will cast their ballots by the time of New Hampshire’s Feb. 11 primary, 25 percent by Nevada’s Feb. 22 caucus, and more than 40 percent by South Carolina’s Feb. 29 primary, according to his predictions.
WHY ARE WE VOTING SO EARLY THIS YEAR?
The state legislature and former Gov. Jerry Brown moved up the primary from June to March in 2017. The point was to win California more influence after several presidential primary elections in which the largest state was little more than an afterthought.
So far, however, Californians hoping that the presidential contenders would trade Iowa diners and New Hampshire pubs for Los Angeles taquerias and San Francisco wine bars can be sorely disappointed.
Yes, contenders who may have previously only come to California for fundraisers tacked a rally or public meet-and-greet onto their schedule. And several high profile Democratic conventions in the state last year turned into presidential candidate cattle-calls.
But the four early states have still eclipsed California in their influence on the race so far — even though we have more than double all their delegates combined.
WHO’S LEADING IN CALIFORNIA?
On average, the most recent California polls have put Sen. Bernie Sanders on top, followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former Vice President Joe Biden. A second tier of candidates — former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and former San Francisco hedge fund chief Tom Steyer, have found themselves in the mid-to-high single digits.
The primary rules will make it hard for any single candidate to win a big majority of the state’s 495 delegates. Most delegates will be allocated based on how candidates do in each congressional district, and only contenders who get at least 15 percent of the vote in a district will win any delegates there.
But if only a couple candidates get over that 15 percent hurdle and there’s little geographic variation in the California results, the lower tier contenders could be all but shut out of delegates. Unless some candidates do better in certain regions of the state, “this system magnifies the advantage the leader in the statewide polls has,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll.
IS THERE A WILDCARD IN THE RACE?
The biggest one in the primary is Bloomberg, who’s dumping millions of dollars of his own fortune into television ads. The former mayor is taking the unusual strategy of skipping the first four early states and putting everything on California and other Super Tuesday states. That means that whether Californians embrace a billionaire businessman who was once a Republican will be key to his campaign.
No presidential candidate has made a blow-off-Iowa-and-New-Hampshire strategy work before. But there’s also never been a serious contender who’s been willing to spend at the scale Bloomberg seems prepared to — and his team has vowed to build the biggest California presidential primary operation in history.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO KNOW WHO WON?
Some political junkies still have PTSD from the nail-biting vote counts after the 2018 midterm elections. In a half-dozen closely watched congressional races, the tallying process stretched on for weeks, with several candidates seeing wide leads evaporate as more ballots were counted.
The bad news is that it could take just as long or longer to finish counting votes this time around, because of the growth in mail-in voting and new rules that make it easier to vote early and register on election day. State leaders say it’s a sign of how California is making it as easy as possible to vote.
But while the results may change a few points after election day, experts say it’s unlikely that there’ll be as wide a swing in the presidential primary as in the 2018 congressional photo finishes. “You’re not going to see big, almost double digit shifts from election night to the final results,” Mitchell predicted.