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San Diego considers naming street for Harvey Milk

The San Diego City Planning Commission on April 12 approved a proposal to rename a street for the late gay civil rights leader Harvey Milk.

The proposal now goes to the full city council for consideration.

If approved, San Diego would become the first city in the nation to have a street named for the LGBT rights pioneer, who was stationed in San Diego while he served as a Navy diving instructor.

The proposal would rename two blocks of Hillcrests’ Blaine Avenue, the street that leads up to the San Diego LGBT Community Center.

San Diego Pride, which also is working to drape the city in rainbow flags for the month of July, proposed the renaming.

There is some cost to rename the street – city maps would need to be changed, 17 properties would need address changes and street signs would need to be replaced.

Property owners on the Blaine Avenue have been notified and did not raise objections with the planning commission.

The city council will take up the issue on May 8.

San Diego Pride wants to hold a celebration renaming the street on May 22, which is Milk’s birthday and Harvey Milk Day in California.

Last year, for Harvey Milk Day, U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., issued a statement celebrating the man, his causes and his inspiration:

“Harvey Milk Day honors the life, legacy, and achievements of a leader dedicated to the fundamental American value of equality.  It celebrates a victory for LGBT Americans and working families, the disenfranchised and the poor, seniors and workers – the men and women Harvey Milk fought for; the Americans who believed in Harvey’s message of hope and strived for the dream of justice and opportunity for all.

“In San Francisco – the birthplace of Harvey Milk’s campaign for LGBT rights – we know that this holiday is about more than the heroic life and tragic death of a great man; it is about living up to his cause – the right of LGBT Americans to participate in our society as equals; the responsibility to treat others with dignity and respect.

“The Democratic Congress acted on these values and began realizing this vision.  Together, we led the charge for an end to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’; for a fully-inclusive hate crimes law; for greater funding for HIV/AIDS care and reauthorization of the Ryan White Act.  Inspired by Harvey Milk’s example and memory, we opened the doors of progress for every American.

“Today, Harvey Milk’s work continues – through the efforts of his nephew, Stuart Milk, and the Harvey Milk Foundation; through the campaigns of activists and advocates in California and across the country; through the fight to ensure that our laws reflect and embody our deepest values.  Harvey Milk changed the course of history; now, we will create a future in which the LGBT Community and all Americans achieve true equality.”

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