Candidate Ariana Martinez racks up more high-profile endorsements before April 11 Special Election

Local Labor Council Endorses Ariana Martinez for Area 5 School Board Race

April 7, 2023

Ariana Martinez, LCSW, candidate for Benicia Unified School District Board of Trustees, Area 5

The Napa-Solano Central Labor Council (NSCLC) has joined the Benicia Teacher’s Association in endorsing Ariana Martinez for the special election to be held on this upcoming Tuesday, April 11, 2023, for the Area 5 Special School Board Race.

Ms. Martinez has also been endorsed by the following organizations and officials:

  • California State Senator Bill Dodd
  • Benicia Mayor Steve Young
  • Benicia Vice-Mayor Terry Scott
  • Benicia City Council Member Kari Birdseye
  • Solano County Board of Supervisor Monica Brown
  • Benicia Unified School Board President Sheri Zada
  • Benicia Unified School Board Member Mark Maselli
  • Benicia Unified School Board Member Dr. Gethsemane Moss
  • Former Benicia Unified School Board Member Andre Stewart
  • Former Benicia Unified Board Member Gary Wing
  • Former Benicia Unified School Board Member Gary Wing
  • Former Benicia City Council Member Dan Smith
  • Solano County Office Associate Superintendent of Human Resources and Educator Effectiveness Michael Minahen
  • Fairfield-Suisun Unified District School Board Member Jack Flynn
  • California School Employee Association Benicia Chapter 1096
  • Benicia Independent 

Ms. Martinez is a Bay Area native, Benicia High School graduate, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker with hands-on experience in the areas of cognitive psychology, social sciences, organizational development, and education. Read more about Ms. Martinez at

Why is Benicia having a special election?

As previously reported, this special election is the result of a vacancy that the Board was required to fill after no one ran to represent Area 5 in the November election. Any interested, eligible candidate could have applied for the post. Four candidates applied, including Ms. Martinez.

In November, the Governing Board interviewed the four applicants in open session for the position. After comparing the needs of the district with the experience and backgrounds of each of the candidates, the Board chose by a majority vote to appoint Ms. Martinez.

In response to the Board’s appointment, the unsuccessful applicants chose to gather at least 62 signatures and submit them to the County to rescind the appointment. The special election must be paid for by Benicia Unified School District, taking roughly $60,000 to $80,000 from school budgets that must also support students, teachers, school staff, and school facilities.

The two other candidates in this race are Ms. Amy Hirsh and Dr. Ali Mansouri.

How to vote

According to the Solano County Registrar of Voters, voters can drop off ballots in drop boxes at the following locations:

Benicia Pedrotti Ace Hardware (830 Southampton Rd., Benicia)

  • Monday through Friday —  8 am to 6 pm
  • Saturday — 8 am to 7 pm
  • Sunday — 9 am to 6 pm

Solano County Registrar of Voters (675 Texas St., Fairfield)

  • 24-hour drop box on Union Ave.

On Election Day, ballots can be dropped off at any location listed above plus the poll place location listed below, from 7 am to 8 pm:

Matthew Turner Elementary (540 Rose Dr., Benicia)

Only residents of Area 5 may vote in this special election (see map below).

BUSD Area Map (click to enlarge)
*BUSD Area 5 includes: Mathew Turner School, Lake Herman, Water’s End areas.  Click on map to enlarge. Area 5 is in purple.

More information on this matter can be found by searching online for “Important Message From BUSD Governing Board re: Trustee Area 5 Appointment and Petition“.