Benicia businesswoman Christina Strawbridge announced her candidacy for the Benicia City Council today for the November 2011 election. Although there have been hints that Strawbridge might throw her hat into the ring, she made it official this weekend. Mike Ioakimedes recently announced that he would not seek re-election. When asked what finally prompted the decision, she replied, “I believe I can make a difference in the economic vitality of our town. I’ve always had a vision of what our town can be. We’ve made headway, but there are many possibilities for increased revenue in the industrial park and downtown."

Strawbridge, resident since 1985 and owner of a local women’s clothing store, has been donating her time to community service for over 20 years, with some heavy lifting along the way. Strawbridge has been closely involved in promoting Benicia, and particularly the downtown, for over 20 years. Her fundraising efforts for nonprofits have included producing fashion shows for Benicia Soroptimist, Sutter Hospital, the Benicia Community Action Council, the Solano County Board of Realtors and Benicia Main Street. From 1989-1992, she volunteered with Benicia Main Street, including a stint as president of the board in 1991/1992. She became Main Street’s event coordinator in 1993 and held the position for ten years, where she was instrumental in starting the Benicia Farmers Market and other Main Street events. In 2006, Strawbridge was appointed to the Economic Development Board, where she served a four-year term, and in 2010 became the EDB Chair. She has been the EDB’s representative on the ad-hoc Tourism Committee since its inception in 2009. Through the committee’s efforts, Benicia was featured in this month’s issue of Sunset Magazine.

In addition to her history of community service, Strawbridge is a member of the Benicia Chamber of Commerce, and has run a successful business for many years. She owned The Clothes Stoppe in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and for the past six years she has owned First Street’s Christina S Fashion Destination. She and her husband Scott have two sons, Andrew and Christopher.