Thank You One and All!

Unofficial results (from

David Archer     2,263 votes, 18.99%
Dana Dean        3,406 votes, 28.58%
Rosie Switzer   3,491 votes, 29.29%
Steve Messina 2,711 votes, 22.75%

To everyone who voted, to all who helped with planning, to those who planted our big campaign signs or posted a lawn sign at home or their place of business, to friends and family who have worked so hard and supported me in so many ways -- my heartfelt thanks. A great campaign.

Once again, I pledge to give back to the community for all that my family has received, to work hard to earn and keep your trust, and to bring my particular skills, talents, and experience to bear on behalf of our students and for an ever improving educational experience in Benicia.


Welcome to my Campaign Website

I originally sought a position as a Benicia Unified School District (BUSD) Board Trustee because of my profound gratitude for the support my family has received from the school community throughout the years.

While, like most parents, I struggle to balance the demands of family, work, and community involvement, I have always felt compelled to give back for all that this special community has done for us. Since taking offfice in 2008, I have worked hard to earn the trust of the public and the respect of school administrators, staff and my colleagues on the Board. I believe this position allows me to bring my particular skills, talents, and experience to bear in a way that is uniquely helpful. I trust my efforts thus far have proven this to be true.

I hope you agree and I ask for your vote on November 3rd.

It's all about the kids!

On the Issues

It's all about the kids! Then it gets rather complicated ...

Among the issues facing the School Board at this time are:

  • Maintaining fiscal responsibility and enhancing accountability
  • Preparing students for life and real careers in the 21st Century
  • Providing a nurturing, secure and healthy environment during difficult times

For a more detailed discussion of the issues, see my Issues Page

Dana on Respectful Discourse in Local Politics

A number of people have asked Dana to reprint her article about Joe Thomas, published in a recent issue of Inside Benicia. Here it is, many thanks to IB Editor Jeanne Steinmann...

The Legacy of Joe Thomas

Benicia suffered a great loss recently with the passing of Joe Thomas.  For those of us who knew him, the loss is profound, painful, and obvious.  There is, however, the potential for a subtle, yet even greater loss to the community as a whole if Joe’s passion for civilized, respectful discourse is now left untended and forgotten.

Joe was the embodiment of grace and civility. Though he was a man of great passion and political conviction, Joe never got caught up in the frenzied righteousness that so many of us involved in local politics, myself included, display in the heat of the moment. Instead, in his quiet and deliberate manner he commanded attention and, ultimately, respect for his position.

I knew Joe for several years, largely through our work with the Solano County Democratic Central Committee. Many times I was fortunate enough to watch in something of an awed state while, as others spoke in terse insults (each one louder than the one before it), Joe won the day with only his quiet, deliberate eloquence. Joe would sit patiently while others railed on and, after the shouting stopped, give a measured response that drew in all listeners and for which there simply was no valid retort.

If Joe had any impatience at all it was for those who felt that because they were right they had the right to speak discourteously of other views and those who held them. He could not abide rudeness of any kind.  In fact, in my last conversation with Joe, he was insistent that I do something to ensure a more civil interaction between the School Board members at our televised meetings. He reminded me (okay, maybe scolded) that we must lead by example and always be considerate of each other’s positions. I can only hope he was watching when, in our recent self-evaluation, we determined to try to do just that.

Throughout a life of service, that included studies at Tuskegee Institute, military service, church, the Democratic Party, and teaching at Richmond High School, Joe was ever graceful and gracious.  His presence and his dedication to the greater good were a constant reminder of what could be the best in all of us.

Thus, simply eulogizing Joe seems such an insufficient tribute.  So for my small part and in his memory, I will pledge that from time to time, in the heat of some political battle or another, I will remember Joe’s quiet grace and his example of civility and with that reminder, strive for a more respectful discourse, just as Joe would have wanted and expected. 

In this, I hope others will join me, so that we all might continue to tend Joe’s legacy.

Dana Dean, Attorney at Law, candidate for Trustee, Benicia Unified School District