Category Archives: Sen. Bill Dodd

Urging opposition to California Forever’s megacity, Sen. Dodd has heard enough: “It is now crystal clear to me that this project is bad for Solano County”

[Note from BenIndy: Local governance has issued another rebuke to California Forever’s billionaire city plans.]

Sen. Dodd Opposes Solano County Megacity Plan

California Senator Bill Dodd, District 3. | File photo.


FAIRFIELD – Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, today voiced his strong opposition to a tech billionaire’s plans to erect a new megacity of up to 400,000 people on the outskirts of Fairfield in Solano County, calling the so-called California Forever proposal deeply flawed and irresponsible suburban sprawl with the potential to displace farmers, worsen traffic congestion and hamper national security operations at the adjacent Travis Air Force Base.

“I’ve been skeptical since day one, but reserved my judgment as I gathered more facts,” Sen. Dodd said. “It is now crystal clear to me that this project is bad for Solano County. This group of mega-rich developers from Silicon Valley are trying to steamroll the surrounding community, bypassing a proper, thorough vetting which they know they can’t pass. What they’re proposing will drastically and irreversibly alter the area. It’s not right, and it’s time for all those who value thoughtful policymaking and Solano County’s future to stand up against it.”

Sen. Dodd joins a chorus of community leaders including dozens of elected officials who are speaking out against California Forever. The list of opponents include Congressmen John Garamendi and Mike Thompson, Fairfield Mayor Catherine Moy and Suisun City Mayor Pro Tem Princess Washington.

Opponents cite a number of problems with California Forever including:

  • No plan for traffic impacts on one of the most dangerous and congested roads in the county.
  • Conversion of much needed agricultural land.
  • Housing would interfere with Travis AFB, which plays key national security role.
  • Developers seek to bypass public planning processes and environmental reviews.
  • Need for housing in the region, but this is not the location or way to do it.
  • With three iterations in already, it’s clear there are substantial problems with no answers in sight.

Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Yolo, Sonoma, Solano, Sacramento and Contra Costa counties. More information on Senator Bill Dodd can be found at  

Read more about California Forever on BenIndy!

State senate race heats up, Benicia Mayor Young endorses Chris Cabaldon

Mayor Steve Young endorses former West Sac Mayor Chris Cabaldon for State Senate

State Senate District 3 Candidate Chris Cabaldon. | Image from campaign website.

By Nathalie Christian, June 26, 2023

After speaking with two front-running candidates, Benicia Mayor Steve Young has endorsed Chris Cabaldon to replace Sen. Bill Dodd for State Senate District 3.

Benicia Mayor Steve Young

“Having spent a substantial amount of time talking with both candidates,” Mayor Young wrote, “it was clear to me that Christopher is far more familiar and knowledgeable about the many diverse challenges facing Solano County and the 3rd District. He is someone who is both a progressive and accomplished elected official.”

“When I worked in Sacramento, Chris was the Mayor of West Sacramento for more than 20 years,” Mayor Young continued. “Under his leadership, W. Sacramento transformed from a primarily industrial city as shown by the construction of Raley Field and the redevelopment of the riverfront across from Sacramento. We were both active in the League of California Cities, where he chaired the Asian-American caucus and was the first Filipino LGBTQ Mayor in the US.”


The endorsement was first announced in the Vallejo Times-Herald last week, where Cabaldon responded: “I am honored to have earned the support of Mayor Young. Benicia is a beautiful community, and I look forward to working with Mayor Young to protect access to clean drinking water, create good paying jobs, and invest in the infrastructure our Delta communities – and cities throughout Solano County – need to thrive.”


District 3 includes all or portions of Solano County as well as Contra Costa, Napa, Sacramento, Solano and Yolo counties. The district has been represented by Sen. Dodd since  2016. State senators are limited to serving two 4-year terms, which disqualifies Dodd from seeking another term.

Only the top two candidates in the March 5, 2024, primary will advance to the general election next November, regardless of party affiliation.

The candidates

Per the best of my web sleuthing, three candidates have announced their candidacy for the opening seat: former West Sac Mayor Chris Cabaldon, Vallejo Vice-Mayor Rozzana Verder-Aliga and Rohnert Park City Council Member and former Mayor Jackie Elward. All three candidates are running as Democrats.

Dr. Rozzana Verder-Aliga

State Senate District 3 Candidate Rozzana Verder-Aliga. | Image from campaign website.

Dr. Rozzana Verder-Aliga is the first Filipino-American woman elected to public office in Vallejo and Solano County. She is a mental health professional and licensed marriage and family therapist, and serves Vallejo as Vice-Mayor.

Verder-Aliga served on the Vallejo School Board for 12 years and the Solano County Board of Education for 6 years before being elected to a partial term on the Vallejo City Council in 2013 and re-elected to full terms in 2016 and 2020.

According to various press releases, Verder-Aliga has been endorsed by sitting State Senator Bill Dodd, CA State Treasurer Fiona Ma, CA Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, former CA Superintendent Delaine Eastin, Napa Mayor Scott Sedgley and current West Sacramento Mayor Martha Guerrero, as well as Benicia Independent‘s very own Roger Straw. Lionel Largaespada, a former Benicia council member, also endorsed Verder-Aliga. A full list of Verder-Aliga’s endorsements was not available on her campaign website.

“My goal is to reinvigorate the California dream and strengthen the opportunities it promises its people in the state Senate,” said Verder-Aliga in a press release announcing her campaign.

Jackie Elward

State Senate District 3 Candidate Jackie Ellward.| Image from campaign website.

Jackie Elward is a first-generation immigrant from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Although she has been described as a relative political newcomer, she is a veteran labor organizer and activist as well as a professional educator.

Elward was elected to Rohnert Park City Council in 2020, unseating a six-term council member in the process, and was unanimously selected to serve as mayor by her fellow council members. As the leader of a diverse and progressive majority on City Council, she was the first Black, immigrant woman to serve Rohnert Park.

Elward has spoken openly about the discrimination she has encountered as a Black woman in office, but said that the support of community and labor groups encouraged her to run for higher office regardless.

A list of Elward’s endorsements is available at her campaign website, although it is unclear if the endorsements included there are for this upcoming race and not previous campaigns.

In news releases, Elward has described herself as a “bridge builder” focused on uniting people from different backgrounds  even around the most fractious of issues, and she has said she would work to fill a similar role in Sacramento.

State Sen. Bill Dodd: The effort to recall Governor Newsom is ‘a sham’

Senator helping fund ‘Vote No’ mailers

The mailer funded by Sen. Bill Dodd spotlights the Arizona man with the furry hat and horns at the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attempted take-over. (Courtesy photo)
By Richard Freedman, Vallejo Times-Herald, August 18, 2021

State Sen. Bill Dodd’s recent bout with vertigo has nothing to do with the dizzying feeling he gets seeing the number of names — 46 — on the California Gubernatorial Recall Election ballot hitting mailboxes this week.

Not that Dodd, a former Republican, is concerned about potential replacements for Gavin Newsom. It’s the two boxes — “Yes” and “No” — he’s focusing on, backing up his support of the Democrat governor with a $75,000 mailer campaign.

The state’s Department of Finance says the recall election is costing taxpayers roughly $215.2 million — money Dodd believes “would go a long way of funding so many projects like improving Highway 37. There are so many needs. The idea we’re going to spend it on a sham recall effort doesn’t rise to the level of what I call good government.”

Just short of 1.5 million verified signatures were needed to trigger a statewide ballot. The state verified roughly 1.6 million signatures.

Recall organizers claim government overreach has led to dissatisfaction with Newsom’s leadership. They cite his executive order to phase out gasoline-powered cars by 2035 and rolling power outages to prevent wildfires, among other issues. They also cite a number of issues surrounding his handling of the coronavirus.

“There are a lot of people out there for some reason or other want to support this recall,” Dodd said by phone. “It’s my firm belief that a lot of things that have gone on — COVID-19, wildfires, utility shut-offs — since he became the chief executive officer of this state would happen no matter who is the governor of the state. He had little or no control over those things happening.”

Of the 22 million registered voters in California about 10 million (or 46%) are Democrat and 5 million (24%) are Republicans. The remaining 6.5 million (30%) are independents or registered to other parties, according to the most recent Report of Registration from the California Secretary of State released in February.

Newsom was elected in 2018, beating Republican challenger John Cox 61.9 % to 38.1%.

The thought of a sitting governor with that overwhelming a victory losing his job to someone with a comparatively minuscule portion of the vote on a crowded ballot doesn’t sit right with Dodd.

State Sen. Bill Dodd, D-3, Napa. (Courtesy photo)

“They (recall supporters) are counting on this as their ‘January 6 opportunity’ to overturn the government, but doing it through a recall,” Dodd said, alluding to the failed takeover of the U.S. Capitol.

“This is what happens when either party can go too far,” said Dodd. “These are reactionary times.”

A main figure of that Capitol insurrection, an Arizona man wearing U.S. flag colors face paint, a furry hat and horns, is featured prominently on Dodd’s “Vote No” mailer. Another version of the mailer includes a photograph of the U.S. Capitol building from Jan. 6.

“His point is that the same people who stormed the Capitol are the same people who want to recall Newsom,” said Dodd spokesman Paul Payne.

Dodd is banking on the registered voter party difference to secure Newsom’s remaining term, set to end in January of 2023. Endorsed by Newsom in the 2016 state senate election, Dodd funded the mailout — “Are You Going to Let Them Win?” — as a reminder to vote and vote “No.”

“I think if the people of the state of California turn out and vote on this, I don’t think the chances are very good he will get recalled,” Dodd said. “I think we need to peel back the onion a little bit and stop and think what has been accomplished in terms of policies on climate change, trying to get a handle on the homeless, our budgets and what we’re investing in.”

“I ask that people just vote and let their voices be heard,” Dodd said, believing that “organizers of this recall see this as an opportunity to use COVID-19 and some of these other issues to try and move him out. They have a much better chance of getting someone elected through a recall than with a traditional election.”

Dodd believes recall supporters are counting on the heavy Democratic advantage to be distracted by the pandemic and forgo voting.

“If we don’t vote, we let them potentially win,” he said. “We know that if Democrats and independents vote in large numbers, this recall will fail.”

Dodd declined to speculate how a failed recall could backfire on Republicans.

“I’m not looking for a pound of flesh after this. For me, it’s about having them fail on this issue,” he said. “I’m happy to debate them or work with them on other issues that make sense for everyone who lives in the state or certainly in my district.”

Dodd believes there needs to be “some narrow criteria, whether a governor, legislator or local elected official” can be recalled. He cited Placerville, which is trying to recall four of its five council members because they want to “change the look of Main Street,” according to a recall organizer.

“That’s what elections are for,” Dodd said. “That’s direct democracy put in for a reason.”

Dodd, D-Napa, represents District 3, including all of Napa and Solano counties and parts of Contra Costa, Yolo and Sonoma counties.

BREAKING: Non-delivery of California Voter Information Guide

“…everyone is very jumpy about this election and not to have information in a timely manner is problematic.”  – Constance Beutel

By Roger Straw, September 30, 2020
Click the image to download the online version of the official Voter Guide.

People are voting already, but many are doing so without the aid of the official California Voter Information Guide that details state races and propositions.  The guide is mailed to voters before every election, and reportedly went out in “early September.”

Constance Beutel alerted me this afternoon.  She had been watching for her Voter Guide, checked around, and found others here in Benicia in the same situation.

Beutel phoned the offices of our County Supervisor Monica Brown, State Senator Dodd, and State Assembly Representative Tim Grayson and found out that some if not all staff there had also not received their Voter Guide!  All said they would look into it.

Stay tuned…

With permission, here is Beutel’s letter to Tim Grayson staffer Jana Modena:

Sent: Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, 01:56:16 PM PDT
Subject: No Official Voter Information Guide

I’ve just spoken with Tom Bartee letting him know that I have not received the official California Voter Information Guide. I am not the only one in Benicia in this situation. I do have my official ballot.

I called my County Supervisor’s office and learned that the Sec of State sends this guide out so I then called the Sec of State’s office and waited about 20 minutes to speak to the elections division. I was then told that the guides were mailed in early September and a guide would be mailed to me within the next 5 to 10 days. I asked if this would also apply to all of Benicia. The woman who was answering the phone said, “no.”

Mr. Bartee indicated that he had not received his guide either.

As we all know, everyone is very jumpy about this election and not to have information in a timely manner is problematic!

Please let the Assemblyman know of this problem and expedite a solution.

I await your reply.

thank you