November 7, 2022

Dear Community Members,

Veteran's Day is not only a moment to reflect on the past, but also an opportunity to have conversations about how it can help us better understand how we should try to craft our future. As a veteran, I would like to encourage the community to not just take the Veteran’s Day holiday as a day off, but instead take it as an opportunity to reflect and to teach our children. As is said, “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it” – Winston Churchill. I’ve included some links below to events in Benicia hosted by the Benicia Veteran’s Memorial Hall, with my great appreciation.

The City is looking to hire Police Officers and two Community Service Officers (CSOs). Please help us get the word out. We’re looking for some special people who want to be part of a very special team and a wonderful, supportive community. Feel free to forward:

As you know, our vision is a commitment to excellence and a focus on community. As part of the City of Benicia’s vision and its commitment to advancing shared values, inclusion, belonging, and equity, we applied for, and were selected to be a part of the National League of Cities’ inaugural 2022-23 cohort of the Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL) institute. This effort builds upon the current scope of work planned in the coming months, including but not limited to, equity training, an equity indicators report, and an action plan. More information about the Institute can be found here:
It is important to note that the City of Benicia was one of only two California and ten cities nationally to be selected. This opportunity represents the continued work of the City to foster inclusivity throughout our internal organization and our community. The City’s representatives will be Dr. Maliika Chambers, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Manager, Jennifer Baker, Library Director, and Bret Prebula, Finance Director. 

I would like to close with this very nice commendation we received from a community member:

"Dear Mr. Jones,

Yesterday 10/27/22, I encountered Drew, Reggie and others working on/in Gateway Park. I live next door. They kindly came to my door, requested access to my back yard to remove debris. I stepped out to speak with them.

Today 10/28 I saw a truck at the park and approached Roy, to tell him how nice the park looked and how wonderful his co workers were. As was he! I commented on a “Be Kind” sticker on the truck. I walk regularly at Community Park and recognize faces from there as well. They really are first line Community Representatives. They are all so polite, professional and kind. Thoroughly appreciated their hard work all day! The park hasn’t been so clean in a very long time. They too are members of the community, if only by virtue of working here. I hope you’ll pass along that they are most appreciated by the residents. Especially those of us who border a park."  Kathy D.

Erik Upson
City Manager