New Book Review Board Is Subject to Brown Act, FAC and ACLU Warn

Update 11/13/2023: The city attorney replied and agreed the book review board meetings are subject to the Brown Act. See the letter here.

Today FAC and the ACLU of Southern California warned the Huntington Beach City Council that its newly created “Parent/Guardian Book Review Board” is subject to the Brown Act, despite Mayor Pro Tem Gracey Van Der Mark’s statement to the contrary.

Passed in mid-October, Resolution No. 2023-41 — which FAC and others strongly opposed — prohibits any city library from allowing anyone under 18 years of age access to “any content of a sexual nature,” without consent of a parent or guardian.

The resolution also established the review board with veto power over the city library’s acquisition of new children’s books “containing any sexual writing, sexual references, sexual images and/or other sexual content.” As the FAC and ACLU letter points out, this new board is a “legislative body” as defined by the Brown Act, so its meetings must be open and public.

See the full letter below: