Category Archives: City of Benicia

Roadmap for Benicia’s new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

First public sharing of last August’s historic resolution

By Roger Straw, March 30, 2021

Signed-Resolution-No.-20-103-with-Job-Description-Attachment.pdf

On my request, the Benicia City Manager has shared the final draft of Resolution No. 20-103, “Resolution of the City Council of the City of Benicia Recognizing Benicia Black Lives Matter and Consideration of Actions to Address Unconscious Bias.”

Previously, I had not been able to locate on the City website a final draft of the Resolution, which underwent lengthy discussion and some significant changes at Council last August.

For comparison, the DRAFT version of the Resolution is easily discoverable on the City website.   A full record of Council comments and public discussion at the August 25, 2020 meeting is available on the City website in the minutes of that meeting.  The August 25, 2020 agenda links to a staff report that accompanied the meeting.

The staff initially recommended funding of $133,000 for a 30 hour per week ETI Manager.  Council Member Largaespada opposed the initiative in its entirety and voted against the motion.  Council member Campbell did not want the salary to exceed $80,000/year.  After discussion, Council shaved it back to $89,000 for 20 hours per week, a highly disappointing outcome, but nonetheless a historic moment with high expectations.  For job description details, see the City’s Job Bulletin, also released to me today.

Now that the City has called into service our new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Manager, Dr. Maliika Chambers, it will be important for the public to support her work and monitor progress as the initiative moves forward.


DOWNLOAD: FINAL DRAFT – Resolution of the City Council of the City of Benicia Recognizing Benicia Black Lives Matter and Consideration of Actions to Address Unconscious Bias, August 25, 2021


Dr. Maliika Chambers, Benicia ETI Manager – Bio

Dr. Maliika Chambers

Dr. Maliika Chambers is a renowned learning, talent, and leadership development expert with over 20 years of experience transforming organizational culture to build diverse, inclusive, and equitable spaces where communities live, learn, and work successfully.

As a university professor, she worked to prepare the next generation of professionals in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and business. She has authored several trade and academic journal articles focused on best practices in driving cultural change through crisis response management, tailoring solutions to the needs of diverse audiences, and the role of executive engagement in successful business transformation efforts.

As a systems architect, her work helps corporations design the infrastructure that drives business strategy, promotes employee development, and retains top talent around the world. Dr. Chambers’ leadership and talent development work spans multiple industries including utility, healthcare, and high-tech. In those roles, she developed strategic business plans to address three critical areas: the alignment of human capital management and business priorities; the design of equitable spaces for cross-functional collaboration; and the critical attributes of sustainable cultural transformation.

Dr. Chambers holds advanced degrees in Sociology, Curriculum Development, Systems Design, Leadership and Organizational Development. She is a certified project manager, credentialed educator, and professional advisor to the California State Board of Education, the Western Association of Colleges and Universities, and the US Department of Education. Dr. Chambers also serves as a Governing Board member for Junior Achievement of Northern California.

“The challenges of equity, inclusivity, and accessibility we face continue to evolve and persist in communities, classrooms, and boardrooms today. I’m excited by the opportunity to build on the current efforts in the City of Benicia to yield positive change, and wholeheartedly support the desire to sustain a vibrant, inclusive, and more equitable environment for Benicia employees, residents, and the local business community.”

Welcome Dr. Maliika Chambers, Benicia’s new Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Manager

Benicia City Manager announces hiring of Equity and Diversity Manager

(City of Benicia This Week, by City Manager Erik Upson, March 29, 2021)

Dr. Maliika Chambers, City of Benicia Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Manager

Today is the first day for our new part-time, limited duration Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Manager.

This ties to the Council’s Strategic Goal of High Performing Government under Priority 6.4 – “Hire Equity Manager by April 2021, implement equity committee within two months of hiring manager, conduct equity study by December 2021”. These tasks were directed by Council Resolution in August of 2020.

I am very excited to be able to bring on such a remarkable manager in Dr. Maliika Chambers. The two panels who interviewed the candidates (community and staff) both were incredibly impressed with Maliika. During my interview with her I found her to be very powerful, positive and committed to bringing people together to find strength in unity, diversity and equity. Her bio is included below.

Erik Upson
City Manager
CityofBeniciaThisWeek@ci.benicia.ca.us


Dr. Maliika Chambers – Bio

Dr. Maliika Chambers

Dr. Maliika Chambers is a renowned learning, talent, and leadership development expert with over 20 years of experience transforming organizational culture to build diverse, inclusive, and equitable spaces where communities live, learn, and work successfully.

As a university professor, she worked to prepare the next generation of professionals in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and business. She has authored several trade and academic journal articles focused on best practices in driving cultural change through crisis response management, tailoring solutions to the needs of diverse audiences, and the role of executive engagement in successful business transformation efforts.

As a systems architect, her work helps corporations design the infrastructure that drives business strategy, promotes employee development, and retains top talent around the world. Dr. Chambers’ leadership and talent development work spans multiple industries including utility, healthcare, and high-tech. In those roles, she developed strategic business plans to address three critical areas: the alignment of human capital management and business priorities; the design of equitable spaces for cross-functional collaboration; and the critical attributes of sustainable cultural transformation.

Dr. Chambers holds advanced degrees in Sociology, Curriculum Development, Systems Design, Leadership and Organizational Development. She is a certified project manager, credentialed educator, and professional advisor to the California State Board of Education, the Western Association of Colleges and Universities, and the US Department of Education. Dr. Chambers also serves as a Governing Board member for Junior Achievement of Northern California.

“The challenges of equity, inclusivity, and accessibility we face continue to evolve and persist in communities, classrooms, and boardrooms today. I’m excited by the opportunity to build on the current efforts in the City of Benicia to yield positive change, and wholeheartedly support the desire to sustain a vibrant, inclusive, and more equitable environment for Benicia employees, residents, and the local business community.”

Benicia COVID vaccine clinic – This Tuesday is full, but you can sign up for a future clinic

Benicia City Manager Erik Upson, City of Benicia This Week, Feb. 1, 2021
UPDATE from the City website on 2/1: “Anyone interested in volunteering for future vaccine events should go to tinyurl.com/VolunteerBenicia and enter your name, contact information, how you would like to volunteer and any special training or skills you have. We will reach out to you, if we can use your services and skills at future events.”

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic for Seniors

The City of Benicia announced Friday that it is hosting Solano Public Health Department’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Tuesday, February 2. The clinic is being held for seniors, aged 75 and above, who reside in Solano County. Due to overwhelming response, all 1,400 slots filled by Saturday evening.

Solano Public Health is working to schedule additional vaccine events as vaccine stock becomes available. Those, aged 75 and above, interested in future Benicia clinics may visit www.tinyurl.com/beniciavaccine and leave their name and contact information. City of Benicia staff will reach out if another local clinic is scheduled. Information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Solano County and announcements of additional clinics are available at https://www.solanocounty.com/depts/ph/.

The Moderna vaccine will be administered to registered seniors at Benicia Senior Center on Tuesday. The second dose of the vaccine will be administered in the same location on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. Seniors are to return for the second dose at the same appointment time.

“The City of Benicia is excited to offer this vaccination clinic on very short notice to seniors over age 75,” said Mayor Steve Young. “Many thanks are due to our great city staff who worked over the weekend, in coordination with Solano Public Health and Carquinez Village, to set this up. This is a very ambitious effort, and we ask the public for a certain level of patience as we attempt to vaccinate nearly 1,400 people in a single day.”

On Tuesday, check-in will be at Benicia City Gym, 180 East L Street. Because of limited, socially distant waiting space available, seniors are asked to arrive no more than 15 minutes before their appointment. Appointments will be honored even if lines cause delay. One caretaker is allowed with the person being vaccinated. Caretakers will not receive the vaccination.

Due to heavy traffic expected in the area, limited parking will be available.

Suggested options:

• Those who are more mobile are asked to use street parking farther away and walk in.
• There will be a dedicated drop-off zone in front of the City Gym for less ambulatory seniors. Please do not wait for seniors and linger in the pick-up or drop-off zones to prevent further congestion. Keep in touch with your seniors before picking them up.
• Carpooling with those in the same social bubble is encouraged.

• Soltrans is assisting by providing free shuttles to and from dedicated parking lots:

• Benicia Community Center, 370 East L Street
• Benicia Unified School District Office, 350 East K Street

The City of Benicia thanks neighbors and businesses in the area for their patience and understanding on this important vaccination day.

Carquinez Village, the Benicia senior support organization, worked to help facilitate seniors getting their vaccines. Carquinez Village president Susan Neuhaus said, “Carquinez Village is delighted the city of Benicia has stepped up to serve the older adults in our community.”

Upon arrival, seniors will receive a temperature check and be required to wear a mask and social distance throughout the entire process. During check-in, seniors will be required to show proof of age and proof of Solano County residency.

After check-in, seniors will be directed to the Benicia Senior Center where they will be vaccinated, then be observed for 15-30 minutes. The entire process may take up to one hour. After which, seniors may be picked up from the dedicated pick-up zone in the round-about in front of Benicia Public Library, 150 East L Street, or return to their shuttle stop.

City of Benicia staff and volunteers will be manning a dedicated phone line 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Tuesday at 707.746.4710 to assist with questions or issues that may arise.

“The opportunity to host the clinic came about quickly and involves nearly every City of Benicia staff member,” said City Manager Erik Upson. “We will assess the event on Tuesday and use that to improve the experience when we host the follow-up clinic to administer the second dose on March 2.”

Upson also thanks Solano Public Health, Kaiser Permanente, SolTrans, Medic Ambulance, Carquinez Village, Valero Benicia Refinery, Rotary Club of Benicia and numerous community volunteers for their generous assistance in making the clinic possible.

City of Benicia comment on reports of COVID violations and outbreak at Raley’s

Nextdoor / City of Benicia, by Communications, Office of Economic Development, Teri Davena, City of Benicia, December 30, 2020

Social Media Posts on COVID Cases in Employees of Local Grocery Store.

It has been brought to the attention of the City of Benicia that word is spreading on social media of a large number of employees at Raley’s testing positive for COVID-19.

Additionally, we understand through social media that their staff may have participated in an event that is in conflict with current state guidance.

City staff have contacted management and they have indicated that they currently are not aware of any positive cases, although a potluck was held over the holidays.

City staff is working with Solano County Public Health officials on this concern and will advise if this becomes a public health issue.

As a reminder, we continue to see cases surging throughout the state and urge members of our community to follow current orders and guidance. This includes frequent hand washing, wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing, limiting outings to essential activities and not gathering.

Additional information on current guidance in Solano County is available at solanocounty.com/depts/ph/coronavirus.asp

Questions or comments on this post may be addressed to Fire Chief Josh Chadwick at jchadwick@ci.benicia.ca.us.