Huntington Beach

City council condemns racism

HUNTINGTON BEACH City Council and staff in virtual session Monday night.

“Hate has no place in Huntington Beach,” said Mayor Kim Carr and she and the majority of the city council Monday night attempted to match words with actions by approving three items related to rebutting the reputation of the community as a hotbed of white supremacy.

The council voted in favor of:

  • a declaration to denounce all hate crimes and reaffirms the city’s commitment to safety and inclusiveness for all;
  • a declaration denouncing any movements promoting or supporting white supremacy in the community;
  • co-sponsorship of a virtual event on April 11 with Orange County Human Relations and directing staff to coordinate a “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Event” at the city’s Central Park on April 18.

The council approved the three items with six members in favor and Councilmember Erik Peterson abstaining on the first two.  He said, “I don’t like declarations that don’t do anything. I just can’t vote for this.” He did support the third.

Among the measures that the city would adopt to support efforts against racism is to list and post on the city’s website hate crime incidents in the city.

The most recent impetus for the council’s action is the announcement of a planned rally on Sunday, April 11 by a group calling itself “White Lives Matter.”

In the public comments segment at the beginning of the meeting, numerous speakers urged the council to take action to combat not only “hate crimes” but also the perception that Huntington Beach was a dangerous or racially bigoted community.

Interim police chief Julian Harvey sought to assure members of the public and the council of the police department’s intentions, saying, “We approach each of these events with equity” and “we will be prepared.”

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the city council is to be held on Monday, April 19 in the Civic Center.

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