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Letter Recruiting CRT – Right-Wing ABCUSD Board Candidates Hits Cerritos Mailboxes


RIGHT-WING: Shawn Steel with his wife Rep. Michele Steel, signed the right-wing recruitment letter.


By Brian Hews

August 3, 2022 ~ Hews Media Group-Community News has obtained a disturbing letter mailed to ABC Unified School District residents from Shawn Steel, an attorney who does not live in the district, and husband of Rep. Michelle Steel, attempting to recruit right-wing candidates for this year’s ABCUSD board election.

Residents in ABCUSD Area 3 who received the letter might be interested to know Steel’s extremely questionable history and his right-wing Critical Race Theory-type views.


ABCUSD Trustee Area 3 in red is entirely in Cerritos. South Street is on the bottom, Artesia Blvd. is on the top. The 91 freeway cuts through the area, the blank area above the TA3 is the Cerritos Towne Center.


Steel was linked in a Wall Street Journal report in 2020 to an effort by Chinese foreign nationals to influence the Trump administration.

In 2017 the Journal reported that donors with ties to the Chinese state gave Trump hundreds of thousands of dollars for his re-election campaign in exchange for access.

According to the Journal, some Chinese nationals were guests of Steel at an invitation-only meeting in San Diego in May 2017, where Republican leaders discussed campaign strategy.

Steel’s guests included a Chinese Communist party leader, a government-connected Chinese businessman, a Chinese-born U.S. citizen working for a company that donated $300,000 and the founder of Chinese Americans for Trump, who, per the Journal, gave $150,000 to Trump’s campaign.

Steel told the Journal it would be “false, defamatory and offensive” to suggest he helped the Chinese government’s efforts, and he didn’t respond to the O.C. Register’s requests for comment at the time.

Steel’s letter comes just ten months after a controversial meeting, organized by the Cerritos Republican Club, who invited Gracey Van Der Mark to speak at the Cerritos Library.

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


Van Der Mark is a highly controversial Huntington Beach resident who has been accused of being affiliated with the white supremacist Proud Boys while at the same time being accused of racist social media posts.

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.”

The meeting was attended by current ABC Board President and Assembly candidate Soo Yoo and Board Member Michael Eugenio. Yoo was vice-president at the time and was accused by parents of giving the impression that the ABCUSD was endorsing the Van Der Mark and the meeting.

Parents slammed both Yoo and Eugenio on social media and at the next board meeting for attending the meeting.

ON STEEL’S SIDE-Van Der Mark (left) with ABC VP Soo Yoo and Trustee Mike Eugenio under the prohibition sign with a slash through the state’s Department of Education seal.


Education/Indoctrination; Critical Race Theory; Democrats Hurting Kids

The Steel letter, which also has the Republican National Committee seal as letterhead, used familiar right-wing talking points starting, “we need pro parent school board member candidates who will help change the culture of our public schools.”


Letter from Steel to residents, click to see document…. it is a bit blurry.


The ABCUSD is one of the state’s top school districts, winning numerous awards annually; one of its high schools, Gretchen Whitney, is a perennial top 3 high school in California, garnering number one in the state several times.

The letter continued with a now-familiar mantra, “we need school board members who emphasize education not indoctrination.”

Education-indoctrination advocates espouse the right-wing theory that classrooms have changed from teaching “I think I can” to teaching “the system is rigged.” They say, without any evidence, that children are taught that America is an awful place instead of learning that the nation was founded on the highest of ideals.

A second recruitment point stated, “we need school board members who emphasize real American history, not Critical Race Theory.”

That statement is precisely what Van Der Mark emphasized at her Cerritos Library meeting: “Critical Race Theory is being taught to our students without our consent, and we must engage together for the future of our kids.”

Critical Race Theory is only taught in graduate-level courses; when asked, most right-wingers can’t even define CRT, yet it has been used effectively to stir up parents’ emotions in K through twelve classrooms and cause change in school districts.

Steel’s letter goes on, “we need school board members who emphasize students over left-wing groups and special interests. The Republican Party will help quality candidates; parents are engaged and motivated, they understand the Democrats who control our school districts are hurting our kids.”

That statement is as offensive as it is entirely ignorant.

The ABC Board, which over the years has been called “All aBout Cerritos,” consists of four Republicans and three Democrats; Cerritos is dominated by Republican voters.

HMG-CN, in reporting on the ABC, has seen the board always operate in a bi-partisan manner over the years.

That is until Soo Yoo, a Republican, became president. 

In her time representing the ABC USD, she has called out Mexicans for wasting money holding Quinceneras, called out teachers for demanding pay raises, and attended the Van Der Mark meeting.

Just months after the Van Der Mark meeting, and after ABC VP Soo Yoo softened the beach for right-wingers to invade, Steel’s letter is sent to ABCUSD residents.

An email into Mr. Steel at [email protected] went unanswered.