Tonight at 6pm: Be Heard on Public Participation in Benicia

[Note from BenIndy: Last Thursday we posted a long-form description of changes proposed to Benicia’s voluntary campaign limits cost and public participation policies. Here is a brief reminder of the details and the same information for how to show your support or opposition to the changes, should you wish to do so.]

BenIndy Editorial, May 7, 2024

Tonight at 6pm, the Benicia City Council will vote on proposed revisions to the city’s campaign ordinances and public engagement policies.

Some community members support these changes, particularly those that close loopholes in political practices. However, other revisions have been criticized for potentially restricting public involvement in governance.

Key contested proposals from city staff, opposed by Benicia’s Open Government Commission (OGC), include aligning the city’s response time for public records requests with state law, and reducing public speaking time at meetings from 5 minutes to 3 minutes.

The OGC, established in 2005 to improve government transparency and public participation, reviewed these proposals but declined to recommend the reduction in public speaking time, citing lack of evidence that it would enhance meeting efficiency.

Tonight’s Council meeting will be crucial in determining the balance between reducing staff burdens and maintaining robust public participation.

How to write and email a public comment

If you would like to make your opinion on the topic of the proposed revisions known to City Council, members of the public may provide public comment via email to the City Clerk by email at Any comment submitted to the City Clerk should indicate to which item of the agenda the comment relates. (THE PROPOSED REVISIONS ARE IN AGENDA ITEM 22.C – OPEN GOVERNMENT COMMISSION’S RECOMMENDATIONS TO COUNCIL (City Attorney’s Office).)

– Comments received by 2:00 pm on the day of the meeting will be electronically forwarded to the City Council and posted on the City’s website.

– Comments received after 2:00 pm, but before the start time of the meeting will be electronically forwarded to the City Council but will not be posted on the City’s website.

In your email, put the item number in your subject line (e.g., “Public comment re. Item 22.C”).

In your email body, share why you support or oppose the changes.

How to view the meeting and/or make a live public comment

You can participate in the meeting in one of four ways: 

1) Attend in person at Council Chambers
2) Cable T.V. Broadcast – Check with your cable provider for your local government broadcast channel.
3) Livestream online at
4) Zoom Meeting (link below)

The public may view and participate (via computer or phone) link:
  • If prompted for a password, enter 449303.
  • Use participant option to “raise hand” during the public comment period for the item you wish to speak on. Please note, your electronic device must have microphone capability. Once unmuted, you will have up to 5 minutes to speak.
  • Dial in with phone:
    Before the start of the item you wish to comment on, call any of the numbers below. If one is busy, try the next one.

        • 1 669 900 9128
        • 1 346 248 7799
        • 1 253 215 8782
        • 1 646 558 8656
        • 1 301 715 8592
        • 1 312 626 6799

•  Enter the meeting ID number: 885 0804 7557 (*please note this is an updated ID number*.)

Say the item you wish to speak on. (AGAIN, THE PROPOSED CHANGES ARE IN ITEM 22.C.)

Once unmuted, you will have up to 5 minutes to speak.

Enter password: 449303

When prompted for a Participant ID, press #.

Press *9 on your phone to “raise your hand” when the Mayor calls for public comment.

Any member of the public who needs accommodations should email City Clerk Lisa Wolfe at, who will use her best efforts to provide as much accessibility as possible while also maintaining public safety.