BENICIA – Longtime Benicia councilmember Christina Strawbridge believes her voice is still needed on the city council.
Strawbridge is seeking a third term after being reelected to the five-person council in 2018. She previously served on the council from 2011 to 2016.
“After serving for 9 years, I understand the challenges of running a full-service city,” Strawbridge told the Vallejo Sun. “My record shows that I listen to what is presented, weigh public comment and vote for what is best for Benicia. I have no hidden agenda.”
Strawbridge said one of her top goals is maintaining the city’s financial stability.
“There are challenges ahead, but I believe we are positioning ourselves with manageable goals and priorities,” she said.
Strawbridge also said that another of her goals is advocating for affordable housing “that meets the State’s goals and makes sense for neighborhoods.”
“Open space should remain open,” she said. “Addressing the need for workforce housing is essential in attracting teachers, safety professionals and the next generation of Benicians.”
Strawbridge also said one of her goals, if re-elected, is to help prepare the city’s economic future that includes “investment with return to build security and maintain the quality of life we have grown to expect.”
“We must find ways to keep and attract a staff that will help us reach those goals,” she added.
Strawbridge says she supports Measure R, a three-quarter-cent sales tax increase placed on the November ballot, which is expected to generate $5 million annually for the city.
“Because it is a general tax, it will go into the general fund, meaning the council has the final approval of how the money is used. This council has pledged it will go to roads and infrastructure,” she said. “Measure C is an example of proving this council does what it says it will do.”
Benicia voters passed Measure C, a one-cent general sales tax increase, in November 2014. City officials said that Measure C has generated $45 million as of April 2022 with about a third of that total going toward roads and infrastructure projects. Strawbridge said Measure C ”not only kept city services going to a level that citizens expected but also completed many projects.”
Strawbridge said she also supports the renewal of Measure K to extend the duration of an Urban Growth Boundary, which is expected to sunset on Dec. 31, 2023. Benicia voters first approved the 20-year plan in November 2003 to prevent urban sprawl and preserve agricultural land and open space in the city. Measure K would allow the Urban Growth Boundary to remain in place until Dec. 31, 2043.
“I am in complete support of Measure K and keeping the existing protections of the current Urban Growth Boundary,” she said. “This was recently adopted by a unanimous city council vote. We agreed that maintaining this boundary was important for future generations.”
The longtime councilmember touted the job performance of City Manager Erik Upson as “a gift to our town.”
“He has shown leadership and built trust with the staff, community and council,” Strawbridge said. “Erik has tackled problems that have plagued the city for decades. Tough decisions have had to be made. I trust him.”
Upson was hired as Benicia’s police chief in 2015. He was named interim city manager in September 2020 following the departure of City Manager Lorie Tinfow. The Benicia City Council appointed Upson to the permanent city manager position in January 2021.
Strawbridge made an unsuccessful run for Benicia mayor in 2020. She was first elected to the city council in 2011 prior to the council voting in 2013 to change council elections to even-years. She owns Christina S. Fashion Destination, a women’s retail store in downtown Benicia, and has lived in the city of Benicia with her husband since 1985. They have two children.
Those seeking more information about Strawbridge’s campaign can visit her campaign website.
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THE VALLEJO SUN NEWSLETTER
Investigative reporting, regular updates, events and more
- Benicia City Council
- Election 2022
- Measure R
- Measure K
- Measure C
- Erik Upson
- Christina Strawbridge
- Lorie Tinfow
John Glidden worked as a journalist covering the city of Vallejo for more than 10 years. He left journalism in 2023 and currently works in the office of Solano County Supervisor Monica Brown.
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