‘We Could Not Wait for the County’: Benicia Passes Its Own Mask Mandate

KQED News: Benicia Breaks with Solano County on Masks

Steve Young, mayor of the City of Benicia, says it was important that the city’s mask mandate was unanimous. (Ericka Cruz Guevarra/KQED)

KQED News, by Ericka Cruz Guevarra. Devin Katayama, and Alan Montecillo, Aug 30, 2021

In early August, eight Bay Area counties reinstated mask mandates in indoor public spaces due to the spread of the Delta variant. Solano County was the only one that didn’t.

Last week, the city of Benicia broke with the county by approving — by a unanimous city council vote — its own indoor mask mandate.

Today, we speak with the city’s mayor about this decision, and what it says about differences within Solano County.

Guest: Steve Young, Mayor of Benicia


Ericka Cruz Guevarra: [00:00:00] I’m Erica Cruz Guevarra, and you’re listening to The Bay, local news to keep you rooted.  Mask requirements are pretty common here in the Bay Area, except where I’m at in Solano County, but last week the city of Benicia decided to break away with the rest of the county by passing its own indoor mascot mandate.

Steve Young: [00:00:23] If people had a different attitude about this thing, it would be done. We wouldn’t be having this conversation. We wouldn’t have people continuing to die all across the country. And it’s making it so partisan and political is not in anybody’s interest today.