Category Archives: Local elections

You can VOTE in Benicia on Monday, September 28! Roger’s recommendations…

By Roger Straw, September 25, 2020
Roger Straw, The Benicia Independent

Voting starts earlier than ever this year – you can already cast your mail-in ballot next week!

It’s all new to me.  I have ALWAYS waited, and cast my ballot at the polling place on election day, but not this year.

Candidates for public office have had to change tactics.  I should know –  I’ve been involved in 7 local campaigns over the last 13 years.  We used to send out mailers and knock on doors in October, and there was always a big Get Out the Vote push on Monday before the election.  It all has to be done much earlier now.  And most of us will have already voted by early-, mid- or late-October this year.

So we are making up our minds now.  It’s not hard at all for most of us to know who would make the better President: Joe Biden, of course.  But who will we elect as the next Benicia Mayor?  Who for City Council?  And what about those pesky ballot measures?

For good guidance on these, check out ProgressiveDemocratsOfBenicia.org.  See their CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENTS page and their Recommendations on Ballot Measures.

~ How and where to cast your mail-in ballot EARLY ~

Roger’s recommendations

Steve Young – for BENICIA MAYOR

Benicia Mayor: Steve Young.  I support Steve for his careful analysis of facts and his grounding in city administration.  Benicia will forever owe Steve a debt of gratitude for his intense and persuasive questioning of Valero and City staff during the long fight against Valero’s dirty and dangerous “Crude by Rail” proposal.  The entire Planning Commission and City Council deserve praise, but it was Steve whose star shined most brightly during those pivotal times.  By the way, those who know me are aware of my bias in favor of women candidates.  I’m a longtime male feminist, and usually I will lean left and go with a woman candidate.  But in this year’s race, with Mayor Patterson choosing not to run, I have to go with Steve Young.  More about Steve Young, or Donate and Volunteer.

Terry Scott – for BENICIA CITY COUNCIL

Benicia City Council: Terry Scott.  I support Terry for his vision and values, and for his leadership as Chair of Benicia’s Arts and Culture Commission.  More about Terry Scott, or Donate and Volunteer.

Benicia Candidate Forum – Progressive Democrats interview Mayor and Council candidates

Repost from ProgressiveDemocratsOfBenicia.org, (Also appearing in the print edition of the Benicia Herald), August 15, 2020

Election Season Jump Starts with Candidate Forum at Progressive Democrats of Benicia

This article does not imply endorsement.  Our endorsement vote is currently in progress. Results to be posted on August 19.

(Benicia, CA) – Benicia’s election season was kicked off last Tuesday with one of the first candidate forums of the 2020 campaign, featuring notable absences by mayoral candidate Christina Strawbridge and city council candidate Tom Campbell.

The online, well-attended forum presented mayoral candidate Steve Young, along with Terry Scott and Trevor Macenski, both candidates for our local city council.  Each candidate responded to a series of questions from the Progressive Democrats group and then host Maggie Kolk fielded questions from the attendees via chat.

[If you have time, check out  the ZOOM video recording of the forum for candidate statements, questions and answers.]

It was clear that the candidates in attendance are extremely knowledgeable on the issues facing Benicia. The rich exchange of ideas informed not only the members attending but the candidates themselves on the differences of opinions and experience.

Councilman Young stated that he brought four decades of local government experience as well as his service to Benicia in serving on the local planning commission for four years and as Vice Mayor for two years and another two years as a council member.

Terry Scott shared his experience as Senior Vice President, Global Head of Creative Services for Hasbro and his work as a futurist in understanding the needs of an aging Benicia moving forward.  Scott also currently serves as the chair of Benicia’s Arts and Culture Commission but mentioned that he wants to be known as more than the “art guy.”

Vice Chair of Benicia’s Planning Commission Trevor Macenski demonstrated his professional experience in environmental and city planning and excelled at answering questions on those issues.

There was agreement on most issues, such as the need for fiscal responsibility and budget adjustments to the City’s fiscal outlook to prepare for the financial impacts of the pandemic.  All agreed that assistance to Benicia businesses, affordable housing, and running clean campaigns should be a priority.

About racial injustice concerns raised during recent peaceful protests in Benicia, all candidates supported Police Chief Erik Upson’s Plan and community engagement, and said they would continue discussions with him on these concerns after elected.

Candidates Young and Scott agreed that Benicia needs an Industrial Safety Ordinance, which would hold Valero’s Benicia refinery more accountable to our community. Macenski, however, said Benicia did not need an ISO given the existing communication channels between Valero and the City. While Young and Scott agreed that they would reject another Crude-by-Rail project, Macenski said no but also indicated he would be open to projects that enhanced the refinery’s ability to do business “within their existing use permit.”

On the day that presidential candidate Joe Biden announced his Vice Presidential pick of Kamala Harris, all candidates registered their support for the Democratic ticket at the very top.

Although the question wasn’t asked at the forum, the council candidates have gone on record as Scott supporting Steve Young and Macenski supporting Christina Strawbridge for mayor.

“It was a great discussion with the three candidates and on issues that the next Council will be facing,” said PDB Chair Ralph Dennis. “The meeting was well attended with over 50 local voters joining our on-line meeting. It was too bad and extremely disappointing that two Democratic candidates chose not to face the questions asked by the community,” Dennis added.

The Progressive Democrats of Benicia, a chartered club of the Solano County Democratic Central Committee, will announce their endorsements on August 19, after online voting has been tallied.

For more information on the candidates featured at the forum visit:

Steve Young files official papers, runs for Benicia Mayor

Benicia Councilmember Steve Young files for mayor candidacy

Benicia Councilmember Steve Young is sworn in to run for Mayor of Benicia in the Nov. election on July 30.

BENICIA – Thur., City Councilman Steve Young filed to run in the Nov. 3 race for Benicia Mayor.

“I am happy to announce that I have submitted the signatures required to secure my place on the ballot for Mayor of Benicia,” said Young.

As a Community Development Director, as a Planning Commissioner and as a City Councilmember for Benicia, Young has built a foundation in public service.

“I’m proud to be the voice that listens to the local voter in Benicia, the person who works for a living, who cares for their family, or who is retired,” said Young. “These residents of Benicia want the best public education for their kids, a safe neighborhood, and a walkable downtown with access to our wonderful parks and waterfront. These are the people that I hope to represent, not out of town special interest groups.”

When it came time to collect signatures for the petition for his nomination papers, Young did not seek out specific voters or representatives from large organizations – he took a different approach.

“In the time-honored tradition of using our public spaces for public endeavors and announcements, I stood by the City Park Gazebo and invited the public to sign my petition and be part of my campaign,” said Young. “I cannot tell you how proud and honored I am to be able to submit my election petition and to commit my time and energy to representing the voters of Benicia.”

Steve Young wants to continue his commitment to the residents of Benicia, his commitment to transparency, and to continue to listen and work for them.

“I ask for your vote on or before Nov. 3, 2020,” said Young.

Residents can learn more about his platform, read about his views on current City issues, and volunteer to help by going to www.steveyoungformayor.org.

We will never back down from Benicia’s Big Oil bullies

By Roger Straw, March 4, 2020

Here in Benicia, Big Oil is already setting aside funds to stack our City Council in November.  See Valero PAC report shows $248,111 on hand to influence Benicia’s 2020 election.

As a followup to yesterday’s post, “Wave of oil money hits local Calif. climate candidates” – I am passing on a rather happy email from the California League of Conservation Voters (below).

Please consider supporting the CLCV.

We took on Big Oil and Won!

 

The results of the California Primary speak loud and clear: Californians chose the environment over Big Oil.

Even though Big Oil spent millions of dollars this primary, California voters rejected their best efforts and 95% of CLCV-endorsed candidates are moving on to the General Election in November!

Click here to join our movement, and support our work in the General Election >>>

Through our endorsements, our Environmental Scorecard, and joining forces with key partners in spending strategically in priority races, CLCV is on the front-lines, making sure environmental champions are heading to the November General Election.

Heading into the general election, Big Oil will amplify their efforts to stop our progress. We have a tough fight ahead of us in the fall, but we never back down from bullies – even if it means we are outspent by millions of dollars. Can you chip in today to make sure we can be just as effective come November?

In Solidarity,

Mary Creasman
CEO
California League of Conservation Voters