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Friday, May 13, 2011

Why I didn't co-sponsor naming a plaza after Harvey Milk

At the risk of losing my "gay card," I will explain why I turned down the offer to co-sponsor a council item to name Third and Promenade in honor of "Harvey Milk" the first out elected official from San Francisco who was killed along with George Moscone by Dan White.

First District Councilman Robert Garcia's staff asked my staff if I would co-sponsor the naming and I responded with: "I would prefer that we name the area 'Unity Plaza' or 'Human Rights Plaza' so that it could be more inclusive of all those who have fought for civil and human rights." My suggestion was rebuffed.

I know the Gay Pride Festival is coming in a week and that Harvey Milk's birthday is May 22, but for those folks out there,  you youngin's -- Harvey wasn't the first out elected official -- it was Elaine Noble who in 1975 was out and elected to the Massachusetts State Legislature. I know because I was 25 at the time and was amazed that anyone who was gay could get elected to office.

More importantly, why not honor a Long Beach person who worked so very hard to get the Gay Pride Festival and Parade in Long Beach. Judith Doyle and two others were the founders and had to fight the City of Long Beach every step of the way to get the parade. As a result, the event is the City's number two event in terms of sales tax and visitors! (Actually the Chamber of Commerce should honor all three!)

Save Station 18

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