Huntington Beach City Council passes resolution denouncing hate

Huntington Beach Mayor Tony Strickland speaks during the Mayor's Breakfast at the Senior Center in March.
Huntington Beach Mayor Tony Strickland, shown speaking during the Mayor’s Breakfast at the Senior Center in March, introduced a substitute resolution at Tuesday night’s meeting.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)
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All hate matters.

That was what the Huntington Beach City Council decided late Tuesday night, as it discussed adopting a resolution denouncing hate in the city.

Councilman Dan Kalmick and Councilwomen Natalie Moser and Rhonda Bolton put an item on the agenda after fliers that were antisemetic and anti-LGTBQ+ were found in front of residents’ homes near Edison High on June 14. Some conservatives have been critical of the school recently, after a cellphone video of a student-produced Pride video that was shown in classrooms went viral.

The item by the three Democrats on the council specifically sought to denounce antisemitism, white supremacy and anti-LGBTQ+ hate.


“This is a simple statement to address the content of those fliers,” Kalmick said.

But Mayor Tony Strickland made a substitute motion to vastly expand the item to include hate against Catholics, Christians, Black people, Latinos, Asians, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, Indians, Persians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Mormons and white people.

Someone in the crowd yelled out “women.”

“Please add women to this,” Strickland said.

“I want to make it clear that there’s more hate out there,” he added. “Huntington Beach welcomes everybody ... We are doing what you asked for, and more.”

Strickland’s substitute motion passed 5-0-2, with Mayor Pro Tem Gracey Van Der Mark, Casey McKeon, Pat Burns and Moser also voting yes. Kalmick and Bolton both sustained from voting, with Bolton accusing the mayor of playing games.

“What we were asking for was a specific response for a specific incident that happened last week,” Bolton said. “If we’re going to do it by group contribution, it’s just a game. You know, it’s just a game.”

Kalmick, who is Jewish, exited the dais as soon as Strickland made his substitute motion.

“They ‘all lives mattered’ it, and that’s why I got up and left the room,” he said in an interview Thursday. “It defeated the purpose of what I was trying to do. I wasn’t going to participate in the farce. I wasn’t going to ‘all lives matter’ that item.”

The Huntington Beach City Council has passed resolutions condemning specific hateful acts in recent years. In April 2021, Kalmick and former Councilwoman Kim Carr introduced an item condemning acts of white supremacy after Ku Klux Klan fliers were found in the downtown area.

The fliers found last week had the words “The LGBTQ+ movement is Jewish” in rainbow-colored font. They also featured a pentagram and a star of David.

On Saturday, Huntington Beach police officers stopped a Norwalk man driving a pickup truck following a vehicle code violation. The man admitted to distributing the fliers.

Strickland issued a statement on the same day the fliers were found, condemning them and all hate in the Huntington Beach community.