Category Archives: Monica Brown

Benicia resident Pat Toth-Smith: Why I think Monica Brown deserves another four years as Solano County supervisor

Solano County Supervisor for District 2 incumbent Monica Brown, center, shakes hands with Congressman John Garamendi in 2016. | Robinson Kunt z/ Daily Republic.

By Pat Toth-Smith, February 25, 2024

During the pandemic, Monica Brown served as supervisor for Solano County’s District 2, which includes Benicia, Glen Cove and parts of southern Vallejo.  District 2’s proximity to the SF Bay Area counties of Contra Costa, Napa, and Alameda for employment, recreation, etc., put us at a bigger risk in 2020, when Covid first started – before we had vaccines, Covid anti-viral medications and a full understanding of how it was spread.  For this reason, after mask mandates were initiated in these other Bay Area counties, Monica worked hard to try to get mandatory mask mandates for Solano County. Unfortunately, a lack of support on the board of supervisors meant Monica’s proposal was not taken up at their meetings.

Nevertheless, Monica helped the Solano County Democratic Central Committee’s Covid Subcommittee provide education and support to Solano residents and supported efforts to get mask mandates passed in Vallejo and Benicia. Both cities passed mandatory mask mandates before the statewide mandate went into effect. Lives were probably saved as a result.

Monica also provided valuable educational information about Covid-19, the new vaccines and where to find Covid testing and vaccine injection sites in her regular newsletter and emails that were posted and sent out to her constituents.  She made herself very accessible and was a voice of reason, providing the information people needed.

As a county supervisor for the past seven years, Monica has a track record and experience that benefits all members of Solano County.  She has helped get funding for seniors and families in need, and she supports measures for mental health and homelessness. She started the “Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation” in Solano County, so chefs can prepare and serve food cooked in their homes to consumers. She was there for us Benicians when we opposed the “Crude by Rail” Proposal that could have led to dangerous environmental and civilian hazards.

In Vallejo, Monica supported residents opposed to the toxic Orcem cement plant, and all Solano County residents who opposed the increase in expensive bridge tolls. Monica Brown will be there supporting us citizens when the next dangerous proposals come our way in the future. I urge you to support Monica Brown for the next four years.

Pat Toth-Smith
Benicia Resident

Vallejo resident Paula Bauer: I support Supervisor Monica Brown

District 2 Supervisor Monica Brown (Incumbent). | Robinson Kuntz  / Daily Republic.

By Paula Bauer, February 22, 2024

There have been some unflattering letters and social media posts lately about Supervisor Monica Brown.  I supported Supervisor Brown in 2016, and was her treasurer in 2020.  She won both times, and I just voted for her again in 2024.
Has she made some mistakes?  Yes.  She is human.  She has made mistakes.  But she also shows up and supports the causes I support. She stands with science and supported masks and vaccinations when that was not a popular position in Solano County.  She fought for and got us the home kitchen ordinance that has allowed meal prep in private homes for public consumption.  She has fought for eight years but I don’t think has yet won fire suppression regs.  I also think she understands the issues that Solano County will face with California Forever/Flannery Associates.  We cannot afford to have a rookie trying to ramp up to speed when these issues come before the board. Let’s elect someone who already knows the terrain.
While I’m asking you to support Monica on the board of supes, I’m also asking you to vote for Monica, Kathy Kerridge, Pat Toth-Smith, and me for the central committee.  And I’m asking for all of the same reasons: we support science, LGBTQ rights, women’s health, voting rights, and everything else Big D Democratic.  None of us have been on the central committee as long as Monica, but we are all on it now, and probably against our smarter instincts, are asking you to put us there for four more years.  We ask for and would appreciate your votes.
Thank you.
Paula Bauer
Solano County, District 2 (Vallejo)

VIDEO: Solano County Board of Supervisors hears verbal COVID update and votes to open some businesses

By Roger Straw, May 6, 2020

Below you will find the 1 hour 20 minute video segment of yesterday’s Board of Sups meeting covering COVID-19.  In the video you will hear verbal reports from Emergency Services Manager Don Ryan and Public Health Official Beta Matyas, followed by Supervisor Q&A.  At the end you will hear the Supervisors’ unanimous vote on a motion to approve moving forward with opening of “green” (lower risk) businesses this week.  They will consider moving forward with “yellow” (medium risk) businesses next week Tuesday, May 12.

I am unable to locate documentation at this time as to the specifics of “green” or “yellow” business definitions and the pertinent guidelines and regulations that will govern their openings.  I have requested such documentation from Benicia’s Supervisor Monica Brown.

California’s March 3 election – here’s the Benicia & Solano info

[BenIndy Editor – Below is an interesting overview on our March 3 California election.  Note that March 3 is a PARTY PRIMARY for presidential candidates, but we actually ELECT our non-partisan Solano County Supervisor.  Progressive Democrats of Benicia have endorsed Monica Brown for Supervisor, and will hold a presidential candidate forum on Feb. 12.  Vote by Mail has already begun – everyone vote!  For extensive detail see the Solano County Register of Voters.  – R.S.]

Voting in state is different this year

Here’s how it may impact your ballot

Vallejo Times Herald, by Casey Tolan, BANG, Feb 7, 2020
FILE – In this Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 file photo, from left, Democratic presidential candidates businessman Tom Steyer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.,  (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

After months of campaigning, dramatic ups-and-down in the polls, and a barrage of TV ads blanketing our airwaves, California’s 2020 presidential primary is finally here.

All California counties are required by Monday to begin sending voters mail-in ballots, which means your ballot is headed to your mailbox just as Iowans gather to caucus in the first contest of the primary campaign. Most of the Golden State’s 20 million registered voters are expected to vote by mail, making California’s election day more like an election month that kicks off right now.

Unlike the past two presidential primaries, California will vote in March, just after the first four early states — giving the state with the biggest cache of delegates even more impact on the White House race. Here’s what you need to know to vote…

WHEN IS THE ELECTION, AND WHEN DO I NEED TO REGISTER?

California and a dozen other states hold their primaries on Super Tuesday, March 3. But millions of voters will cast their ballots before then, either by mail or through in-person early voting, which also starts Monday at county elections offices.

The deadline to register to vote in California is Feb. 18, although voters who miss that can still register and vote conditionally at any polling place in their home county during early voting or on election day, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

Voters will choose legislative and congressional candidates in the state’s top-two primary, setting up showdowns in November for those races between the top two finishers, regardless of their parties. But the Democratic presidential primary will be by far the biggest spectacle on the ballot.

WHO GETS TO VOTE IN THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY?

You don’t have to be a registered Democrat. No party preference voters — the fastest-growing segment of the electorate — can participate too. If you vote in person, just ask for a Democratic presidential ballot at your polling place.

Independents who vote by mail, however, were supposed to request a Democratic ballot in advance — if you forgot to do that, you can still ask for a ballot from your county by email or phone. You can also go to your polling place on election day, surrender your mail-in ballot, and get a new Democratic presidential ballot there.

“You’ll have somewhat over 5 million independent voters who, if they don’t fill that out, they’ll have a blank presidential ballot,” said Paul Mitchell, the vice president of the nonpartisan California voter data firm Political Data, Inc.

The GOP only allows registered Republicans to participate in their primary — but independents probably won’t be missing much, as none of Trump’s little known primary challengers have gotten much traction.

WHAT ELSE WILL BE NEW THIS TIME?

Several of the state’s counties, including Santa Clara, San Mateo, Napa, Los Angeles, and Orange, are using a new system that will mail a ballot to every voter, expand in person early voting, and let voters cast their ballot at any vote center in the county. San Mateo piloted the new procedures — called the Voter Choice Act — during the 2018 midterms.

Voters in those counties can mail in the ballot they received or go to any vote center — in Santa Clara County, for example, there will be 22 locations open starting 10 days before the election and 88 locations opening the weekend before election day. Other Bay Area counties will continue to only send mail-in ballots to voters who request them.

Because of the changes, there will likely be more votes cast by mail in California than ever before — Mitchell’s firm estimates that about 15 million of the state’s more than 20 million registered voters will be getting vote-by mail ballots sent to them next year. About 5 percent of voters in the state will cast their ballots by the time of New Hampshire’s Feb. 11 primary, 25 percent by Nevada’s Feb. 22 caucus, and more than 40 percent by South Carolina’s Feb. 29 primary, according to his predictions.

WHY ARE WE VOTING SO EARLY THIS YEAR?

The state legislature and former Gov. Jerry Brown moved up the primary from June to March in 2017. The point was to win California more influence after several presidential primary elections in which the largest state was little more than an afterthought.

So far, however, Californians hoping that the presidential contenders would trade Iowa diners and New Hampshire pubs for Los Angeles taquerias and San Francisco wine bars can be sorely disappointed.

Yes, contenders who may have previously only come to California for fundraisers tacked a rally or public meet-and-greet onto their schedule. And several high profile Democratic conventions in the state last year turned into presidential candidate cattle-calls.

But the four early states have still eclipsed California in their influence on the race so far — even though we have more than double all their delegates combined.

WHO’S LEADING IN CALIFORNIA?

On average, the most recent California polls have put Sen. Bernie Sanders on top, followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former Vice President Joe Biden. A second tier of candidates — former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and former San Francisco hedge fund chief Tom Steyer, have found themselves in the mid-to-high single digits.

The primary rules will make it hard for any single candidate to win a big majority of the state’s 495 delegates. Most delegates will be allocated based on how candidates do in each congressional district, and only contenders who get at least 15 percent of the vote in a district will win any delegates there.

But if only a couple candidates get over that 15 percent hurdle and there’s little geographic variation in the California results, the lower tier contenders could be all but shut out of delegates. Unless some candidates do better in certain regions of the state, “this system magnifies the advantage the leader in the statewide polls has,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll.

IS THERE A WILDCARD IN THE RACE?

The biggest one in the primary is Bloomberg, who’s dumping millions of dollars of his own fortune into television ads. The former mayor is taking the unusual strategy of skipping the first four early states and putting everything on California and other Super Tuesday states. That means that whether Californians embrace a billionaire businessman who was once a Republican will be key to his campaign.

No presidential candidate has made a blow-off-Iowa-and-New-Hampshire strategy work before. But there’s also never been a serious contender who’s been willing to spend at the scale Bloomberg seems prepared to — and his team has vowed to build the biggest California presidential primary operation in history.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO KNOW WHO WON?

Some political junkies still have PTSD from the nail-biting vote counts after the 2018 midterm elections. In a half-dozen closely watched congressional races, the tallying process stretched on for weeks, with several candidates seeing wide leads evaporate as more ballots were counted.

The bad news is that it could take just as long or longer to finish counting votes this time around, because of the growth in mail-in voting and new rules that make it easier to vote early and register on election day. State leaders say it’s a sign of how California is making it as easy as possible to vote.

But while the results may change a few points after election day, experts say it’s unlikely that there’ll be as wide a swing in the presidential primary as in the 2018 congressional photo finishes. “You’re not going to see big, almost double digit shifts from election night to the final results,” Mitchell predicted.