AFFIRMATIONS BY BENICIA LEADERS

ChooseDemocracyBenicia reached out to local leaders and various groups, asking for statements of concern for a peaceful transition and respect for the democratic counting of votes.  The responses are inspiring:


Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson: “I can’t believe I have to make this statement.  These are perilous times for public health, economic security and our democracy. For all of these reasons I am issuing this statement below. I, like you, think that a coup can’t possibly be a real threat and then I remind myself of history…” […continued From Mayor’s E-Alert]

Steve Young, Benicia City Councilmember and Mayor-elect: “Peaceful elections – There is increasing tension in our country as we approach Election Day.
I do expect the elections in Benicia to be peaceful and, given the excellent work done by the County Registrar of Voters, we will likely know the results in our local elections on Tuesday night. I have no doubt that the people of Benicia will accept the results, and that our transition to a new Mayor and City Council will be easy.
For the national election I do not have the same confidence, unfortunately.”  […continued Email statement]

Benicia Interim City Manager / Police Chief Erik Upson: “…I’m hearing a great deal of concern from the community about voting, possible disruptions at voting locations, the possible transfer of power at the federal level, and civil unrest. I want everyone in the community to know that we have been following the situation closely, preparing for various scenarios and will have extra staff on hand on Election Day and beyond to insure we keep the peace in Benicia. We will be paying special attention to polling places and ballot drop-off locations to insure every Benicia vote is counted and everyone who wants to vote can do so in peace and safety.
While we only have so much control over the national narrative, we are fully committed to democracy and the Constitution, which all City employees are sworn to uphold. The Benicia Police Department is dedicated to these ideals and will vigorously defend the Constitutional rights of those in our community, as well as their safety.
I encourage everyone to have patience and have care for your neighbors and fellow community members, even if you strongly disagree with them philosophically. They will be your neighbors and fellow community members long after this election.”  […continued From City of Benicia This Week Newsletter]

Solano County Supervisor Monica Brown: “The county and the state are doing everything they can to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to vote and that plenty of time is given to have their votes counted. As long as the mail-in ballot is postmarked November 3rd and received by November 20th, the vote will be counted. Stay Safe, Monica”  [Email statement]

Larnie Fox, Benicia Resident and Artist: “Friends and neighbors ~ Living in Benicia, living in the US, most of us have taken our democracy for granted for our whole lives. Now, there is a very real chance that we will not have a free and fair national election. If this happens, we have to be ready to acknowledge that a coup is underway, and we must resist it. We have to be ready to shut down business as usual, and be ready for non-violent actions of civil disobedience if the will of the people as expressed by voting is not respected.” [Email statement]

Benicia-Vallejo AAUW: “In this time of uncertainty and discord it is essential that the fundamental basis of our democracy be supported. All Americans—Democrats, Republicans, and Independents—must be prepared to protect and defend the valid results of the Presidential election whether their preferred candidate wins or loses. To that end AAUW joins with other concerned citizens to keep vigilant and demand that
· Every vote be counted, even if it takes days or weeks to get an accurate count from critical states, especially given the expansion of mail-in and absentee voting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
· The losing candidate concedes, and that Congress, the Electoral College, and state officials honor the accurate, final vote count.”  [Facebook statement]