Category Archives: Benicia Measure C

Benicia favors increasing hotel, sales taxes; school bond measure also verges on passage, by Tony Hicks for Bay City News, March 6, 2024

Three Benicia-area measures on the Solano County ballot in Tuesday’s election were winning, according to preliminary results as of early Wednesday morning.

The city of Benicia’s Measure A, which would raise the transient occupancy tax from 9 percent to 13 percent for a period of 12 years, was passing by a wide margin — 5,114 yes votes to 1,449 no votes, with all eight precincts reporting.

The proposal would generate an additional $250,000 per year, according to an analysis from City Attorney Benjamin Stock.

Another Benicia proposal, Measure B, was also passing by a healthy margin, 4,782 yes votes to 1,811 no votes. Measure B would impose a three-quarter-cent sales tax for 12 years, which would generate an estimated $5.4 million annually.

Both Measures A and B need a simple majority to pass.

The Benicia Unified School District’s Measure C was winning, with 3,998 yes votes to 2,554 no votes. The 61 percent approval was above the 55 percent needed to pass. A yes vote supported authorizing the district to issue up to $122 million in bonds, requiring a levy of approximately $60 per $100,000 in assessed value.

Please vote, Benicia – especially if you are in my 18-39 age group

A portrait of Nathalie Christian
Nathalie Christian

By Nathalie Christian, BenIndy Co-Editor, on the eve of the March 5, 2024 Primary Election

Dear friends,

I don’t share my own thoughts here often, preferring to highlight others’. However, it’s crucial now.

TL;DR: Please vote

This is my plea to vote, sent to all of my fellow Benicia residents but most especially my peers aged 18-39. (I turn 39 this year. Ergh.)

This is an age group that I know is very interested in avoiding the threatened cuts and service reductions should Measures A and B failcuts in all areas of the city, including Parks, Library, Public Works, Public Safety, and more. 

This is an age group that I know is also very interested in maintaining the Boards and Commissions that could be eliminated if those measures fail, as well as the grants that the City provides to the Arts, Culture and essential, community-serving nonprofits. (So vote YES on Measures A and B.)

This is an age group that I know is very interested in improving our school infrastructure for the young families many of us have, as Measure C would do without – bonus!! – raising taxes. (So vote YES on Measure C.)

Yet, shockingly,  only 367 in our age group in Benicia have voted by mail as of February 29, according to City Manager Mario Giuliani’s recent message to the City.

Despite busy lives, voting is essential, and you can still do it in person.

Election Day is tomorrow.

I’m stealing this next part straight from the City Manager’s recent message to the City.

Election Day is tomorrow – what’s your plan to vote? 

Are you wondering where to go to vote in Benicia? Check out the Benicia poll place map or look up your polling location by address. Polling locations are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day, March 5. (Source.)

OK, I’m back.

Our generational cohort could be a political force to reckon with, but we need to own it

While many in our age group are disillusioned with politics (same), our collective voice at the ballot box is the one of the rare ways we can influence genuine change. Not voting – even in primaries – mutes our own voices while dampening our collective voice.

Gen Z, now 18-27 and 40.8 million strong, including 8.3 million new voters since 2022, is ready to shine.  As a bloc, your votes will be the ones to drive change, addressing critical issues like systemic racism, environmental and climate sustainability, equitable access to education and healthcare, meaningful careers, and more. Don’t you want a say in all of that? Would you really rather leave what your future will look like to Boomers, Gen Xers, and (worst of all) millennials like me?

Millennials in the 27-39 camp, well. I know you’re all stressed and tired and overworked. Same. But you have to vote or you forfeit your right to complain, and we all know that’s just too much for a millennial to bear. (Kidding. I love my generation and am leaning into one of our favorite activities, self-deprecation, to cope with having to engage in one of our least favorite activities, asking for help.)

Don’t throw away your vote

There are those in this beautiful town those who abstain from voting as a form of protest, insisting that it saves them from complicity in systemic issues. Or they choose not to vote to register their frustration with a two-party system led by candidates that – even to me, the voting cheerleader – are deeply flawed.

I used to respond diplomatically to such claims, but not anymore. This line of reasoning is a painfully self-defeating conceit that must require cognitive gymnastics worthy of Simone Biles, a Gen Z icon. Do better.

Listen. Politics in America is not a zero-sum game. There is always a worse candidate, a worse result. One that will harm more people – especially people of color, the queer community, women, and children. A non-voter’s complicity in the systems they dislike vastly exceeds a voter’s. As taxpayers, their inaction only doubles their complicity.

Not voting is as good as laying out the red carpet for the systems, candidates, and policies we know have to change.

You don’t have to fill out the whole ballot

Guess what! If all my reasoning up there still failed to move you, you don’t have to vote in any contests you don’t wish to vote in.

You can support Benicia’s health and future by voting YES on MEASURE A, B, and C and leaving the rest of the ballot blank.

Please, if you haven’t mailed your vote, go to the polls tomorrow. You can bring your mail ballot to any polling station or vote in person.

Your participation matters.

Benicia resident Mark Christian: Benicia’s given us a lot. Give a bit back by voting ‘Yes!’ on A, B, & C

Image by DALL-E.

By Mark Christian, February 25, 2024

I’m writing in today to show my support for Measures A, B, and C, which are on the March 5 Primary ballot. All three of these measures are focused on laying the groundwork for Benicia’s continued growth and well-being:

  • Measure A will slightly increase the hotel tax, bringing in an extra $250,000 a year without costing us residents a dime. These proceeds can help improve city services that benefit everyone in town.


  • Measure B proposes a sales tax increase, but the impact on our wallets will be tiny: about $10 a month, or less than a Netflix subscription. In exchange, we’ll get better emergency services, get to keep all of our parks open, and improve library services.


  • Measure C is near and dear to my heart because it focuses on our schools: it will allow the school district to issue $122 million in municipal bonds so we can upgrade our educational facilities, making them safer and better equipped to get our kids ready for the future. That means better technology, safer buildings, and improved learning environments for every student in town. (I don’t know about you, but I would prefer my kids not to be sitting in a musty old classroom that was already old when their parents were sitting in it.) Whether you have kids in the district or not, investing in education today will pay dividends for generations to come.

Voting yes on these measures is voting yes for a better Benicia. It’s about protecting and improving our city’s infrastructure, safety services, and education. Together, these three measures will keep Benicia the great place to live, learn, and grow that always has been.

Benicia’s given us a lot; it’s time we gave it a bit back.


Mark Christian
Benicia resident

Benicia resident Larnie Fox: Supporting Benicia’s best future is as ‘easy as ABC’

Benicia resident and artist Larnie Fox.

By Larnie Fox, February 22, 2024

It’s generally understood that Benicians really like Benicia ~ maybe a bit more than residents of other towns like their towns.

Why is that? Answering for myself: I like that my wife feels safe walking home after dark. I like that we greet each other on the street. I like that the value of my house is steadily rising. I like that we have a strong arts community here, a gem of a local art center, a good local history museum, and wonderful local events. I like my neighbors, and am grateful that it’s easy to connect with them. I like knowing that the neighbor kids are getting a good education. I like our parks and our library. I like being able to walk to good restaurants, cafés, bars and galleries. I like our vibrant local democracy, where any of us can show up to a City Council meeting and tell them what we want ~ and they will listen! Benicia is an interesting, beautiful, historic place, and I feel safe here.

Why is that? It’s because of Benicia’s community and their government. Government is what we decide to do together. That’s why I’m asking you, neighbors and friends, to vote on or before March 5, and vote YES on Measures A, B and C. None of us will feel much financial pain from these votes, but all of us will benefit. We’ll benefit by maintaining our good schools. If you don’t have young kids, you might own a house that will keep its value, and you might be a bit safer if our kids are well nurtured. That’s Measure C. Measures A and B will directly affect your safety through supporting fire and police. It will keep our library afloat, help support our downtown, and hopefully maintain some support for our hard-working local nonprofits that do so much to take care of our less fortunate neighbors and make this a vibrant community. And, it would be nice to get the roads fixed.

For me this is a no-brainer. Please vote, and vote yes on Measures A, B and C.

Larnie Fox
Lower East Side, Benicia