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Kudos to Huntington Beach, California

Kudos to Huntington Beach, California

(L-R) Pat Burns, Casey McKeon, City Attorney Michael Gates, Grace Van Der Mark, and Tony Strickland at a campaign rally at the Pier Plaza in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Oct. 27, 2022. (Courtesy of Joe Katchka)

Christian Milord

Christian Milord

12/27/2023

Updated: 12/27/2023

Commentary
Congratulations to the Huntington Beach City Council! In a majority vote, the city council in Orange County, California decided to phase out special days or weeks that focus on identity politics. It would instead focus in the future on themes that are more unifying and appeal to a wider audience.
The city council will consider other celebratory themes in the years ahead, such as the heritage of Huntington Beach as it relates to the region and state. Mayor Gracey Van Der Mark and councilmen Casey McKeon and Pat Burns emphasized in their proposal that celebrations “would be intended to be free of any identity politics and political agendas.”
Councilmembers Dan Kalmick, Rhonda Bolton, and Natalie Moser opposed the new proposal, because they believed that the council should focus on more relevant issues and not on topics that students learn in school. Councilmember Tony Strickland thought the overall proposal was based on honorable intentions.
The city council also intends to create a committee of seven to nine residents that would meet with the Historic Resources Board to shape innovative programs for future themes. Huntington Beach is a charter city with an interesting history that many residents and outsiders may be unaware of.
Casey McKeon noted that the city proposal is “designed to honor the rich, historic heritage of not only Huntington Beach, but the United States and California as well. That’s the rich, historic heritage that we all share,” according to the Orange County Register.
Since that first announcement, the council has dialed back from the original proposal and still intends to put forth overarching themes wherein topics such as black history and women’s history months are included in larger programs. In that way, favoritism for specific groups is reduced in favor of a more balanced approach to diverse cultures that make up the city.
Long ago, the Gabrielino tribe resided in the area of Huntington Beach. In the late 1800s it was named Shell Beach which was replaced with Pacific City in the early 20th century. Its current name became permanent in 1909 and was named after Henry Huntington, who was a railroad tycoon. Oil was soon discovered in the city and the oil boom lasted until the 1950s.
Following the oil boom, the city evolved into a surf city (its motto) and a destination for tourists and the aerospace industry, with Boeing as a large employer. Each year, the U.S. Surfing Championships are held in the summer, while the Pacific Airshow arrives each fall and attracts huge crowds over three days. The city is also famous for its excellent hotels, the Huntington Beach Pier, and the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.
It is laudable that some cities are moving away from identity politics that places too much emphasis on color, gender, and race. Earlier this year, the Orange County Board of Supervisors decided to fly the American and California flags at its public buildings and not allow special interest flags to be raised. This ought to be the norm in all cities and counties in the state.
Obviously, city government leaders are concerned with taxpayer-funded issues such as the physical infrastructure, building inspections, green areas, public safety, school quality, etc. Most cities help to organize major events such as Veterans Day, Christmas ceremonies, Memorial Day, and July 4th ceremonies and traditional parades.
Focusing too much on special interest days or months can invite divisive culture wars that hurt the community, because it can cause the majority of residents to feel left out. The quality of life in any city can be adversely impacted if city officials play favorites or cater to shrill minorities that demand attention or extra rights.
By proposing more unifying topics in its monthly themes, Huntington Beach is trending in a better direction to discard woke influences and return to common sense. While it is fine to be proud of one’s ethnicity, it’s another thing to seek special rights over others because of one’s color, creed, gender, or race. The principle of equal rights should apply in the spheres of college admissions and employment opportunities, as well as all other human endeavors.
Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, but wouldn’t it be amazing if several other cities and counties in California began to dismantle coercive woke influences that are a drain on taxpayers and erode American traditions? Even better, reducing the influence of the woke industrial complex in academia, business, and all the governmental levels would restore more common sense to America in 2024.
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Christian Milord

Christian Milord

Author

Christian Milord is an Orange County, California-based educator, mentor, USCG veteran, and writer. He earned his M.S. degree from California State University, Fullerton, where he mentors student groups and is involved with literacy programs. His interests include culture, economics, education, domestic and foreign policy, and military issues. He can be reached at cnvmilord@sbcglobal.net

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