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Councilmember Endorsed by the Cerritos Republican Club Wants to Ban Books

June 21, 2022

By Brian Hews

Gracey Van Der Mark, an extremely controversial Huntington Beach Councilmember who has been accused of being affiliated with white supremacists while at the same time being accused of racist social media posts – and who was invited to speak at a 2022 Cerritos Republican Club meeting attended by ACBUSD Board Members Soo Yoo and Michael Eugenio – has proposed to screen out what she views as “obscene and pornographic children’s books” from HB city libraries.


WHITE SUPREMACIST- Van De Mark at a white supremacist rally, behind Van De Mark (front) is a woman flashing a white supremacist sign.


Van Der Mark also spoke at a La Mirada Chamber meeting involving the Norwalk/La Mirada School District election, invited by Chamber Executive Director Noel Jaimes and Tammye McDuff, which outraged many at the meeting.

More than a hundred people signed up to speak at the HB meeting, and more than 600 residents emailed comments to the city council.

The controversial proposal puts Huntington Beach in the spotlight with other cities and school districts attempting book bans nationwide. Many residents said they are concerned that Van Der Mark’s proposal could lead to book bans, but Van Der Mark has maintained that “isn’t her intention.”

Van Der Mark is asking the City Council to have the city manager and city attorney draft a new law to keep the materials from being made available to children. She also asked for a process to screen new books.

The proposal passed in a 4-3 vote shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday, June 21, with the council’s conservative majority echoing Van Der Mark’s request to the city manager and attorney.

Book Bans Coming to Cerritos?

The Cerritos Republican Club has long supported Van Der Mark, with the Republican majority of Bruce Barrows, Chuong Vo, and Naresh Solanki approving Van Der Mark speaking at the Cerritos Library in September 2022.

A flyer was also 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 LCCN 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.”

Critical Race Theory is only taught in college graduate courses and not K-12; it is an alt-right talking point used to drive another wedge between American citizens.

The Cerritos City Council held a special meeting two days before Van Der Mark spoke on September 13, addressing the invitation by the Republican Club.


DID NOT STOP A RACIST FROM SPEAKING: (l-r) Cerritos Mayor pro tem Chuong Vo, Councilmen Naresh Solanki and 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.


Similar to Huntington Beach, the fireworks started at public comment with speaker after speaker taking the dais and slamming the Cerritos Republican Club – and the Councilmembers who promote the club – for inviting Van Der Mark to speak.

“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 angrily criticized the invitation of Van der Mark by the Cerritos Republican Club. Foster pointed out the relationships that she has with certain infamous alt-right members. He cited many names who were filmed at several highly controversial events, including Charlottesville and neo-nazi book burning that Van Der Mark praises.


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.”


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

Anantha Ramachadran pointed out that the council is dominated by members of the Cerritos Republican Club, endorsed by them for many years. “You need to speak out on this,” he said.

Norma Williamson expressed her concern about Van Der Mark, “her only political experience is a stint as a finance commissioner and the fact that she ran and lost for Huntington Beach City Council endorsed by Tito Ortiz, another infamous right-wing hack.”

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

He pointed out that Van de 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.

“This is perpetuating hate in the City and it is unacceptable.”

LCCN asked for comment from the City Council, only Councilman Frank Yokoyama has responded. Yokoyama told LCCN, “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 threaten safety in Cerritos. I denounce these hateful and racist people and their hateful racist acts and speech that strike fear into the hearts of our diverse communities, and I urge my fellow leaders likewise to make such denouncements. I strongly urge the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to keep Cerritos safe from racist attacks and hate crimes.”

The Cerritos Republican Club

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? Cerritos Republican Club officers, second down on 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.