To be clear…
By Larnie Fox, September 26, 2022
In her letter to the editor in the Benicia Herald on September 23, 2022, my friend Patty Gavin quoted me writing to Christina Strawbridge “Thanks for your commitment to the arts…”. Unfortunately, she inadvertently implies that I am supporting Christina in the upcoming elections. To be clear I am strongly supporting Kari Birdseye and Terry Scott for City Council. So strongly in fact that my wife and I have spent hundreds of hours working with a talented group of people organizing scores of local artists to create colorful, creative, one-of-a-kind campaign yard signs for Kari and Terry. Watch for them around town and on social media.
Kari has kept a steady hand on the rudder as Chair of our Planning Commission, doing her homework, making careful decisions, guiding us through difficult times. Terry has shown boundless energy as Chair of our Arts and Culture Commission, working to open up the Majestic Theater, bringing Shakespeare in the Park, facilitating concerts by the Golden Gate Symphony with their Benicia Chorus, working to fund all our local arts nonprofits, and bringing a flowering of public art to town, crowned by the stunning “Neptune’s Daughter” sculpture gazing out from our waterfront. Kari and Terry will bring new energy and new ideas that our Council clearly needs.
I personally like both Christina Strawbridge and Lionel Largaespada. However, Lionel is still a Republican who leans toward short-term thinking, and Christina has been weak on crucial issues. Both have been compromised by our elephant in the room, Valero.
I do NOT want to live in a “company town”. Lionel works for a company that does business with Valero. Christina is married to a man with powerful connections to pro-Valero Unions. She has been working behind the scenes to obtain funding from Valero for a multi-use soccer field. Though Christina and Lionel publicly deny any connection to Valero, I find it troubling that Valero spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to support them in past elections, and to discredit Kari Birdseye and Mayor Steve Young. What does Valero know that we don’t?
I know that whoever wins our two City Council seats will be decent people who care about Benicia, but I don’t want them beholden to big oil. I want them to be focused on keeping Benicia safe, clean, culturally engaging, economically vibrant and independent.