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Constance Beutel: Kari Birdseye for Benicia City Council

Kari Birdseye for Benicia City Council

Background, Experience and Commitment

By Constance Beutel, Benicia resident, July 17, 2022

Constance Beutel, Benicia CA

I strongly support Kari Birdseye for Benicia City Council.  Ms. Birdseye has exceptional professional qualifications and civic service that are essential to our community.

  • She is a working professional with wide corporate and nonprofit experience.
  • She has served as Matthew Turner elementary school PTA President.
  • She has served on Benicia’s Planning Commission since 2015 and currently is the Chair of the Commission.

With her background and experience she has demonstrated a commitment to invite community participation, respectfully listen and deeply research community issues.  Further, she is unafraid to put community interests over outside influence.

Her commitment to Benicia’s economic vibrancy, historic character, and clear focus on our health and safety relating to air and water quality make her an ideal and steadfast City Council candidate.

I’m voting for Benicia’s future and Kari Birdseye; I hope you will too.

Constance Beutel, EdD

More letters, news & links about Kari here on the BenIndy

And best of all – Kari’s website!

Kari Birdseye For Benicia City Council 2022

Betty Lucas: She’s Got What It Takes

She’s Got What It Takes

Kari Birdseye for Benicia City Council

By Betty Lucas, Benicia resident, July 3, 2022

Betty Lucas, Benicia CA

As a Benicia newbie, moving to this wonderful city in 2019, I recall being shocked by the negative advertising filling my mailbox during the 2020 city council campaign. The tone of such a small-town election seemed to be the antithesis of living in such a welcoming community, where drivers downtown stop for you, even if you are not in a crosswalk.

I was later appalled to learn this negative advertising was from a Political Action Committee (PAC) most of its nearly $250,000 coming from Valero. The PAC seemed dedicated to attacking nominees they want to keep out of Benicia’s city council, and flooding our community with praise for the candidates they want.

Fast forward to 2022 and the same thing seems like it will happen again. Continue reading Betty Lucas: She’s Got What It Takes

Roger Straw: Kari Birdseye for My Kind of World

Kari Birdseye for My Kind of World

A warrior for wellness and an anchor for hope

By Roger Straw, Benicia resident, June 19, 2022

Roger Straw, The Benicia Independent

I’ve given my life to causes of freedom, justice, peace and public health. In the years after my retirement, that last cause, public health, has expanded to an understand that human health is totally dependent on the health of this big blue ball of a planet that we call home. The earth itself is sick, and it threatens to get worse.

Also in the years since my retirement, I’ve increasingly understood the critical importance of thinking globally and acting locally.

For me, this means I am already hard at work to elect Kari Birdseye for Benicia’s City Council this November.

Kari’s professional life has been stellar in seeking the good of our planet and the security of all life that shares air, water, time and space here. She is a warrior for wellness and an anchor for hope.

You don’t get too many like that in your own small town.

Kari is a kind and gentle soul. She is a mom and loving spouse, a longtime resident of Benicia, a trusted friend to many in our community, and a tireless worker for our schools.

Kari is chair of Benicia’s Planning Commission, serving on that Commission for 7 years. She showed leadership on that most important of our city’s appointed bodies when Benicians rallied against Valero’s dangerous and dirty plan to bring crude oil by train across California’s mountains and into our small town. The Commission studied the issue in depth, listened to the concerns of the public, and stood Goliath to the massive influence of Texas billionaires. I believe Kari was a key factor in stopping crude by rail here in our hometown.

Speaking of Texas… as of right now, the so called “Working Families” Political Action Committee (PAC) reports that it has a fund of $232,386.88 which it will spend here in Benicia to elect its favored candidates to our City Council. We can’t stop that. Federal law permits corporate Texas giants to spend as much as it wants on whatever it wants. The PAC’s $232K is nearly 7 times what a Benicia candidate can spend under Benicia’s voluntary campaign expenditure limit. And the PAC will surely be expanding its war chest beyond that $232K, as it did in 2020 when it spent over a quarter million dollars.

Big Oil will try again to buy our 2022 election – will try. But Benicia voters will have the last word, because THIS is a cause of freedom, justice, peace and public health, right here in “B Town”. We will think globally, and act, very much locally.

Make a commitment today. Sign up now to endorse, place a yard sign, contribute financially and volunteer. Visit

Roger Straw

More letters, news & links about Kari here on the BenIndy

And best of all – Kari’s website!

Kari Birdseye For Benicia City Council 2022

Carrie Rehak: On Being More Fully Alive with Kari Birdseye

Heartbreaking times, in need of wholeness and healing

By Carrie Rehak, Benicia resident, June 1, 2022

Carrie Rehak, Benicia CA

Locally and globally, we are living in deeply troubling and heartbreaking times, so in need of wholeness and healing. As the late U.S. Nobel Prize- and Pulitzer Prize-winning author and educator Toni Morrison reminds us, externalizing what is inside can also be a way to be in service of the world. She writes: “This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.” Among many other values, the arts can help to open us to wonder and awe, to imagine what is not yet, to make us more ourselves, as individuals and as a community. They can help us be more human and more humane. Hence, as a local artist I am deeply grateful for the generous and courageous service of City Council candidate Kari Birdseye. Birdseye is running again for Benicia City Council after the Valero Energy Corp. and their allies spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to influence our city’s election when Birdseye ran in 2018, as chronicled by KQED and other reputable media outlets.

Perhaps you recall the push polls, designed to spread false information about a candidate: “Did you know that Candidate Birdseye wants to shut down the refinery? Did you know that Birdseye is bad for Benicia, bad for business?” Or how IP addresses in the City of Benicia were fed false online advertisements, making the same claim with unflattering pictures of Birdseye. Such ads even ran on the Benicia High School library computers, where Birdseye’s own children first viewed them. In addition to the smear campaign, the Valero PAC spent big money on mailers promoting their endorsed candidates, Largaespada and Strawbridge. We also may recall that, two years later, the PAC unsuccessfully spent $250,000 trying to oppose the election of Mayor Young. Once again, the refinery is pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars, over six times what a local candidate is permitted to spend, into its “Working Families for a Strong Benicia” PAC.

Kari Birdseye, candidate for Benicia City Council

Like the prophets and visionaries, who throughout time have realigned us with our moral arc, Birdseye speaks truth to power. She will hold polluting industry in Benicia accountable and not negotiate in a back room at the community’s expense. She will not have to explain why Valero, who just made record profits off the rising price of gasoline, is spending so much money once again to try to buy City Council seats. She will not take corporate money.

What Birdseye will do is fight for the health and safety of every Benician.

Birdseye will run a clean campaign as she envisions a future for Benicia, for us and for generations to come that, in addition to economic growth and the diversification of our tax base, will also help to ensure access to such necessities as clean air and clean water. As a community, we must hold the Valero PAC accountable, which includes reporting to the City and on social media any strange polling calls that make untrue claims about any candidate as well as reading the fine print on any campaign information we receive in the mail or online. If it is paid for by “Working Families for a Strong Benicia,” it is paid for by big oil executives in Texas or the powerful building trade unions in Sacramento.

While many of us are familiar with Birdseye’s contributions to Benicia through her service in such roles as Chair of Benicia Planning Commission (since 2017), I personally resonate with Birdseye’s qualities and qualifications as a patron of the arts. More importantly, she values the role that beauty, creativity, truth-telling, and meaning-making play in our day-to-day lives, including the aesthetic of Benicia’s historic downtown. Music is also one of the arts that Birdseye supports. Not only is she married to a professional musician but she also attends many live music events, often in support of local musicians and music venues. In other words, Birdseye understands that we are not only here to survive but to thrive. So it is in hope that I support Kari Birdeye as a City Council candidate: that as a community we may respond to current challenges constructively and creatively, and that together we may be more connected, more vibrant, more engaged, and more whole — that is, more fully alive.

Carrie Rehak
Benicia Resident

More letters, news & links about Kari here on the BenIndy

And best of all – Kari’s website!

Kari Birdseye For Benicia City Council 2022