She is, in my opinion, the single most qualified candidate for Council we have seen in the last dozen years.
By Benicia Mayor Steve Young, October 7, 2022
I want to issue my strongest possible endorsement for Kari Birdseye in her campaign for Benicia City Council. She is, in my opinion, the single most qualified candidate for Council we have seen in the last dozen years.
I got to know Kari in 2014 when we served together on the Planning Commission. Among the most contentious projects we reviewed and acted upon was Valero’s Crude by Rail project which would have changed how the refinery receives crude oil from tanker ships to train cars. We spent more than two years on that project, and listened to dozens of speakers, both for (including current council member Largaespada) and against (many Benicia residents as well as representatives of other governmental entities including California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office, CalTrans, and a variety of environmental organizations).
During this time, Kari was studious, thoughtful, and respectful of all sides before finally voting along with the entire Planning Commission to reject the Valero proposal.
Kari ran for City Council once before, in 2018, when the Valero funded PAC (“Working Families for a Strong Benicia; a coalition of Labor, Industrial Services Companies, Public Safety and Local Leaders Supporting Christina Strawbridge and Lionel Largaespada and Opposing Kari Birdseye for Benicia City Council”) spent more than $200,000 to defeat her.
These characteristics of independent thought, doing her homework, and respectful listening and consideration of all viewpoints have also marked her role on the Planning Commission, where her colleagues have elected her Chair five times. These are skills needed on the City Council.
She has a long history of service to our community ranging from her leadership in the Matthew Turner PTA and Benicia Stingrays Swim Club, to her appointment to the Benicia Human Services Board before being appointed to the Planning Commission. I appreciate that in our 2022 election, Kari supports measures K and R.
Please join me in voting for Kari Birdseye for City Council.