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Actions by Cerritos Republican Club and Council Lead to Homophobic Push at ABC School District

PROUD TO ALREADY HAVE A RACIST OFFICER: Cerritos Republican Club officers, lower left is Dean Grose, who organized the event. The former Mayor of Los Alamitos posted a picture of watermelons in front of the White House after Obama was elected in 2009.


December 4, 2021


In September of this year, Gracey Van Der Mark, a politician who has been accused of being affiliated with white supremacists while at the same time being accused of racist social media posts, was allowed to speak at the Cerritos Library.

A flyer was circulated on social media under the Cerritos Republican Club logo who sponsored the event.

The flyer was also seen on the right-wing Republican-leaning Facebook page, Cerritos Press One, which has blocked HMG-CN from joining.

The flyer promoting Van Der Mark’s appearance at the library was entitled, What are your kids learning? “Join the non-partisan, no-cost, educational conversation on our children’s education. Critical Race Theory is being taught to our students without our consent and we must engage together for the future of our kids.”

Sources told HMG-CN that Los Alamitos Councilmember Dean Grose organized the event. An accused racist like Van Der Mark, Grose sent out an email image showing the White House lawn planted with watermelons a month after the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Critical Race Theory is only taught in high-level college graduate courses and not K-12, it is an alt-right talking point that is being used to frighten and influence American citizens.

The Cerritos City Council held a special meeting just days before Van Der Mark’s appearance that was dominated by residents slamming Cerritos’ and  City Council Republicans’ questionable invitation and sponsorship of Van Der Mark by the club.

Councilmen Bruce Barrows (appointed), Chuong Vo, and Naresh Solanki are active members of the club and have received large donations during election years.

The three could have canceled the appearance, but they did not, saving election donations while endorsing homophobia in the ABC Unified School District.



ALLOWED RACISM IN CITY: (l-r) Cerritos Mayor pro tem Chuong Vo, Councilman Naresh Solanki and appointed Councilman Bruce Barrows were slammed by residents at a City Council meeting two nights before Van Der Mark spoke at the library. The majority could have stopped Van Der Mark from speaking but they refused to stop the event. All three have garnered thousands in donations from the Cerritos Republican Club.


The fireworks started at public comment with speaker after speaker taking the dais and slamming the Cerritos Republican Club – and the Councilmembers.

“This is perpetuating hate in the City and it is unacceptable; the Republican party in Cerritos is lost; I have a problem with leadership here.”

Chris Foster pointed out the relationships that she has with certain infamous alt-right members.

“It’s time for members of the Republican Club, whom Barrows, Vo, and Solanki are members, to speak out against this.”

Norma Williamson expressed her concern about Van Der Mark, “she ran and lost for Huntington Beach City Council endorsed by Tito Ortiz another infamous right-wing hack.”

Seth Grossman, son of long-time residents Marty and Gail Grossman, said, “the Republican Club has chosen to disgrace our city.”

He pointed out that Van Der Mark and two other men invaded a meeting at the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “They then showed up at Charlottesville chanting ‘Jews will not replace us,’” he said.



BRINGING RACISM TO CERRITOS-  A simple internet search of Van De Mark would have produced several pictures such as these. Behind Van De Mark (front) is a woman flashing a white supremacist sign.

ALT-RIGHT PROTEST: Holding a protest flag, Gracey Van Der Mark marches in an alt-right event where some of the members ended up in Charlottesville chanting “Jews will not replace us.”




ABCUSD Trustees Chris Apodaca and Olga Rios went on the record saying they would “definitely not go.” Trustee Brad Beach was out of town; President Sophia Tse did not answer HMG-CN.

But for their own reasons, newly elected Trustee Michael Eugenio and VP Soo Yoo attended, by default officially representing the ABCUSD Board of Trustees at a meeting promoting a bogus right-wing talking point.

VP Soo Yoo said, “[I] did not know about her, and did not have information about the speakers.  As a Republican Club Member, I attended mainly to support the Republican Club, I knew they were discussing Critical Race Theory.”

In his statement, Eugenio seemed to support CRT saying, “We were invited to attend, which included a presentation on CRT.  I am working closely with our superintendent and district on our ethnic studies program. I am looking forward to this program that will bring cultural awareness and tolerance to our students.”

Later, Yoo and Eugenio, Board Members representing one of the most prestigious school districts in the state, were seen taking a picture with Van Der Mark under a picture of the California Department of Education Seal with a Prohibition Sign, otherwise known as a red circle and line through the middle.




WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? Van Der Mark (left) with ABC VP Soo Yoo and Trustee Mike Eugenio under the Prohibition sign.




That picture triggered a landslide of criticism, including calls for Yoo and Eugenio to resign.

But it was too late, hate had arrived in Cerritos and the ABCUSD. Van Der Mark had softened the beach and created a homophobic alt-right path to the ABCUSD – with the approval of the Cerritos Republican Club and the inaction by Barrows, Solanki, and Mayor pro tem Chuong Vo.

Homophobe Contacts ABCUSD

Brenda Lebsack is a self-proclaimed anti-LGBTQ+, pro-conversion therapy, anti-gender expansive associate of Van Der Mark.

Lebsack is also vehemently against same-sex marriage, and a critic of a program used in ABCUSD and other school districts, the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS).

After Van Der Mark was allowed an audience, Lesback felt empowered to send an email with a video link to ABCUSD Board Members inviting them to view her video.

In the video Lesback states, “I am not for public education; school districts, Planned Parenthood and Children’s hospitals are partnering together holding gender clinics for kids. Public Schools are intentionally confusing kids about their gender and encouraging the use of puberty blockers which lead to infertility.”

Puberty blockers are medications that suppress puberty by halting the production of estrogen or testosterone. They can stop transgender kids from experiencing the effects of puberty that may not align with their gender identities.

Puberty blockers have been proven to reduce suicidal tendencies, which are often high in transgender adolescents, and a reduced need for expensive gender-affirming operations as adults.

Treatment with puberty blockers may improve the mental health of transgender adolescents, who are at high risk for suicide. A 2020 study found lower odds of lifetime suicidal ideation in transgender adults who wanted to take puberty blockers and were able to access this treatment. Another recent study showed similarly positive effects.

Lately, puberty blockers have become a subject of debate in state legislatures, as lawmakers across the country introduce bills to limit health care options for transgender youth; Lesback is on that train.

Lebsack, a teacher and former Orange, California school board member, became “more involved” with the California Teachers Association after seeing “red flags.”

Lesback attended several union conferences and was alarmed that many of the topics weren’t academic but focused on social justice, human rights, and LGBTQ+ issues.

One conference was the  Equity & Human Rights Conference where she spoke with a union lobbyist and told him about a Mormon student who said that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that gender is ordained by God.

“How do you think I should have responded to that student?” Lebsack asked the lobbyist.

“You should treat that student as though he said black people should be burned at the stake.”

“I could not believe what I heard,” said Lebsack.

A year later, Lebsack said she attended the union’s LGBTQ+ Issues Conference in San Jose and asked the union’s co-chairman whether he agreed with Bramble’s sentiment.

“Yes, without hesitation,” he told Lebsack.

Spewing vitriol now commonly heard during many school board meetings across the county, Lesback stated, “Whoever does not agree with the union’s ideology was compared to the KKK. This intolerant, extremist, union-promoted viewpoint will create hostile school environments for many students and school employees. It’s dangerous, it’s hateful, and it’s exclusive,” Lebsack told the Daily Journal, a paper published by the right leaning Heritage Foundation.

Later Lebsack railed on “gender expansive books in schools that list male, female, and gender-neutral pronouns, which include “they, them, their, themself, he, her, hers, [and] herself.”

“The unions’ radical, forced ideology of unlimited genders and pronouns does not match the values of most California families, especially immigrant families,” she said.

“The books calls on educators to lead the charge to a greater understanding of the gender spectrum. The more teachers become involved in unions, the more they are influenced by woke ideology. Schools are using the word gender inclusion but I call it confusion and delusion; these books intentionally confuse kids about their gender.”

Then Lebsack attacked California school districts who participate in the MTSS program, which ABCUSD uses.

MTSS helps schools identify struggling students early so that they may receive assistance quickly. Some students struggle with academics. Others struggle with behavioral challenges. Still others struggle with both. MTSS is a framework of interventions and supports designed to address those behavioral and academic challenges.

But Lesback apparently has a problem with that framework.

As part of MTSS, districts partner with The Trevor Project and Planned Parenthood.

Lesback blasted Planned Parenthood.  “The organization teaches sex ed to our students and provides birth control resources,” Lebsack said.

Trevor describes itself as “the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ+) young people under 25. They operate a suicide prevention hotline, or Lifeline, which is advertised to students on posters in school restrooms, Lebsack said.

Parents, Lebsack says, “have no idea that the Trevor Project affirms unlimited gender identities and unlimited sexual orientations.”

After Van Der Mark made initial contact, Leback followed up with an email and video link to the ABCUSD Trustees:

Dear ABC Honorable Trustees and Superintendent,
We (not I) want to thank you for caring about the diverse voices in your community. Many interfaith and inter-racial Community leaders all across California came together to be heard. Thank you in advance for taking minutes out of your day to hear the video.” Thank you for your service,

Brenda Lebsack,
Statewide Interfaith Coordinator

With her email, Lesback is trying to penetrate the ABC with her extremist views because of theCerritos Republican Club and Mayor pro tem Chuong Vo, and Councilman Naresh Solanki and appointed Councilman Bruce Barrows inactions and tacit approval of the VP of the ABCUSD Board.

And Soo Yoo is set to become President of the Board at ABC’s next meeting on Dec. 7 at District offices.

We’ll see how far Lesback gets up the beach.

Cerritos Councilman Frank Yokoyama told HMG-CN, “I am outraged and deeply saddened whenever racism and racists are discovered or revealed in our City of Cerritos. The prevalence and tolerance of hateful and racist people threatens our City of Cerritos.

“I denounce these hateful and racist people as well as their hateful racist acts and speech that strike fear into the hearts of our own diverse communities, and I urge my fellow leaders to likewise make such a statement.”

View the video, click here.






  • King Kong says:

    Correction: Cerritos RepubliKKKlan Club