By Gracey Van Der Mark

September 21, 2018


As a Latina from a Mexican and Ecuadorian background I am deeply disturbed by the unfair and unfounded accusation that I would ever associate myself with an ideology that hates who I am, who my seven children are and who my husband is as a biracial African American man. 


I am a mother who is running for school board to fight for better schools in our community. Because I want to be accountable to the parents of the Ocean View School Board, I want to respond in the clearest terms possible to these false attacks on my character so we can move forward to addressing the issues facing our school district.


I am a former Democrat who attended a training event on “white privilege” in Santa Monica. I disagreed with the contents of the training and felt it belittled me as a minority woman. On social media I described the meeting as it was explained to me by one of the organizers. Those were her words and not mine. I posted those comments to expose how we, as minorities, were viewed by those organizing the event. I regret not being clearer in my posting.


The second false accusation about me focuses on a YouTube video, which was sent to me and I saved to watch later. I did not view the material. Never did I support or promote it. As a parent in 2018, I know the Internet is filled with dangerous materials available to our children. When material is presented to me that is contrary to my values, I review it and when necessary discuss with my children in context of our values as a family. As a school board member I won’t run from dangerous messages online, I will work with parents to address them head on.


I am aware these false attacks are not about me. They are about preserving the status quo on the Ocean View School Board. They are about dragging me into a Congressional race in an attempt to harm Congressman Rohrabacher and they are about damaging the perception of the Republican Party weeks before the midterm elections. In the next 46 days, I will continue to speak with every parent of the Ocean View School District about the real issues that face our schools. I hope to earn their trust and their votes. I am not who my political opponents say I am. I am a mother who wants to make a positive difference for our students and plan to work as hard as I can to do so.


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