Column: Huntington Beach’s first black woman.

Rhonda Bolton took the dice on Tuesday. The first member of the Black Council in the history of Huntington Beach..

He was appointed to this seat, A city Notorious for his white supremacy, Following the resignation of Tattoo Ortiz, mixed martial arts legend and corona virus suspect, who won a council seat in November but so far Barely half a year..

Some speakers congratulated Democrat Bolton on his new position and historic victory. But since Huntington Beach is Huntington Beach, the council meeting quickly turned into a spectacle reminiscent of a kindergarten scrum.

The ugliness began a week ago, when Bolton took the oath and shouted “Transplant!” – A bizarre insult possibly influenced by the fact that he and his family moved to the city, which is 1.4 percent blacker than Washington DC about 4 or 8 years ago.

At its first meeting, members of the audience made a fuss after a staff member from Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley presented Bolton with a certificate of identity.

After the speaker’s speech, the speaker accused Bolton with wild eyes – that a “universal ideology” facilitated his choice, that he was an “extremist” involved in “ethnic pundits” through his diversity consulting firm. , That she wants to implement a “radical agenda”. On the innocent youth of our city

Rhonda Bolton is the first black member of Huntington Beach City Council.

Rhonda Bolton is the first black member of Huntington Beach City Council.

(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

One An online article published by Bolton on July 4 last year. Despite enduring a lifetime of racism, the United States has rejected its expression of “hate, hate speech.” [and] Against White, a Mexican-American woman identified as a conservative claimed that Bolton took the council seat “from Latinos.”

And then there’s the wonderful revelation of the night: a member of the group Save Surf City announces the effort. Remember Bolton and five other council members.. The group’s logic, according to its website: Bolton’s appointment was a “disenfranchisement of Huntington Beach voters.”

According to City Clerk Robin Stanislav, there was only one problem: California law does not allow Bolton to be recalled unless he has served at least 90 days.

The council member served barely half an hour.

Bolton did not address his critics during the meeting. Asked later for comment, he replied via text, “I’m focused on continuing to work on issues that help improve the city.”

I watched the City Council proceedings online as a parade of exposure with increasing noise. Pandeyjus Going forward, they did not even bother to govern before removing Bolton and targeting him.

It is a seizure of power that I seriously doubt if they would pursue it. Gracie van der Mark, not Bolton Surf City was the latest council member. Van der Marck, who finished fourth in the November election, is of Ecuadorian descent and was replaced by Ortiz. He fears that Huntington Beach is turning into Los Angeles, no matter what it means.

Sadly, conspiracies and wholesale drive politics across the country today. But nine hours ago, at a juice bar on the outskirts of downtown HB, I got a different perspective on what is possible.

There, Bolton tried to convince me that Huntington Beach جیسا a city like mine in Orange County برس had for years been criticizing ugly, xenophobic politics that was out of touch with modern-day OCs. Is a great place for

Um, what?

“It’s a vibrant city,” said Bolton, who turned his age “over 40” when he slowly took a protein shake.

In a soft-spoken, cheerful laugh, the mother of the two companies moved to HB after heading diversification initiatives at Kia’s Irvine headquarters in the United States.

Bolton had always wanted to live in the beach town, but new colleagues warned her and her husband about Huntington Beach’s racist reputation.

“If people knew that, they would be hesitant about a place,” he said. “But it didn’t stop us. We liked what we saw, and I’m not sorry about that.”

I asked if he had ever experienced racism in Surf City. Only her children were in school, Bolton replied angrily to the explanations.

“But it happens everywhere – it’s just a fact of life for people of color.” “It’s not just Huntington Beach.”

This is HB’s Manchurian candidate. Someone whose favorite television show is “Engineering Disaster” on the Science Channel, because “I like to solve problems with any ability.” Who does not attack the haters. One that looks at the stereotypes of the past to give people and places a chance. Huntington Beach. An opportunity as a black woman

It’s all reminiscent of commotion. They? No wonder the city’s mega-crowd hates it. The methods of their scorched earth seem logical to the believers.

Bolton defeated 105 candidates to win the Ortiz seat. The appointment made him one of the handful of members of Black City Council in Orange County’s 152-year history, the only major metro area in the United States with a black population of less than 5 percent. (US Census Bureau estimates 2.1% for 2020.)

His vote means Huntington Beach – Very tender cross What is left of Republican power in Orange County now has a democratic majority.

The council member downplayed its historic role. “It shouldn’t matter, but that’s what it is,” he said. “I didn’t say I’m black at my city council’s request. But you can’t ignore it. I’m glad I’m the first, but it’s 2021. I can’t believe we still have Is the first

The daughter of a chemist and teacher, Bolton grew up in Dallas and worked in Washington for about 15 years as a congressional assistant and lawyer before entering the world of diversity consulting because “there was a dearth of people of color as far as I could go.” He never considered a career in politics until Ortiz’s resignation, when he felt it was time to stop yaping and do something.

Bolton has already participated in civic life through the Huntington Beach Human Relations Task Force. It moderates virtual forums. To cool the city after summer. Residents mocked Black Lives meter workers during city rallies..

“She was always the last person to speak, because she was listening,” said Huntington Beach Councilwoman Natalie Moser, who voted for the bowling appointment. “This is the kind of leadership we need in our council. Be open to all, not just someone who is in a hurry to make a decision.

Bolton wrote in her council’s request that, if elected, she would “enter into business with the least amount of delay or disturbance, and with a positive, cooperative attitude.”

Bilateral issues are a topic that he emphasized during our conversation.

“Hyperparties are preventing people from governing,” he said. “People in the middle, we have to stand up now. No one can win or lose 100 wins at a time. Public policy is not a game of football.

Bolton knew before her first meeting that she would be a flashpoint for our nation’s political discourse. He received “shocking” signals in his swearing-in but moved on.

“Everyone has the right to criticize government officials,” he said. “But the rule I apply is what will your mother tell you? And chances are your mother won’t tell you to go to the chambers and yell at anyone.”

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