California City Voters Back Rightward Turn of City Council

Residents in Huntington Beach, California, have voted in favor of two conservative ballot measures. One measure permits the city to mandate voter identification for elections by an 8-point margin, while the other prohibits the display of the LGBTQ pride flag at City Hall.

The measures were introduced by four conservatives who gained control of the City Council in the November 2022 elections and have been following an agenda in line with the Republican Party politics of former President Donald Trump and his Make America Great Again movement.

The voter identification measure was passed by an 8-point margin despite California’s Democratic Attorney General Rob Bonta cautioning Huntington Beach that mandating voter ID goes against state law and may lead to legal action.

The second measure regarding LGBTQ pride flags was approved with a 16-point margin. The proposal was made following the council’s decision to remove the pride flag and restrict the display to only official government flags, armed forces, prisoners of war, and the Olympic Games, unless a unanimous council vote decides otherwise.

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While the results are still unofficial due to more mail-in ballots from Tuesday’s election that have yet to be counted, the opposition group Protect Huntington Beach accepted defeat after the latest batch of results was posted Wednesday evening.

Another proposal supported by four council members regarding the filling of City Council vacancies and the budget process was rejected by a margin of 5 points.

Ever since the four conservatives gained control, Huntington Beach has transformed into a reflection of the divided America during the Trump era, as the council majority now focuses on culture war issues rarely seen in local politics. It recently supported Texas’ border security policy.

“The votes confirmed that we are on the right track,” Mayor Gracey Van Der Mark stated, after winning the election alongside conservative colleagues Pat Burns, Casey McKeon, and Rod Strickland.

The council majority has decided to remove books considered to have sexual content from the teen section of the library, limited who can give the opening prayer before city council meetings, and reassigned the council’s three liberals from their positions on boards and commissions.

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