MILBRAE, Calif. (KTVU) – A San Francisco supervisor will be introducing legislation that will name a terminal at San Francisco International Airport after Harvey Milk, the city’s first openly gay supervisor.
This comes after opposition to naming the airport itself after the slain civil rights leader. If the legislation passes, terminal one in the domestic section of SFO will be getting the new name.
Milk’s presence is prominent in the Castro, the neighborhood he represented as San Francisco supervisor. There is an elementary school named after him and his image is painted on the building where he ran his old camera shop. He also lived above the business.
“Harvey Milk was the first elected LGBT person in San Francisco, in California. This year marks 20 years since his election,” says Supervisor Jeff Sheehy who’s openly gay and now represents the Castro District.
Four years ago, there was a push to name all of San Francisco International Airport after Milk, led by then – Supervisor David Campos. But there was opposition from some who wanted the airport named after somebody else.
An advisory committee was formed to scale down the effort and instead, worked to name a terminal after Milk.
“We’re done waiting. We want this to happen. Symbolically it’s going to make a big difference,” says Supervisor Hillary Ronen.
She will be introducing the legislation Tuesday to name Terminal One after Milk. Ronen says a terminal at SFO is an ideal place to honor Milk.
“It’s a way to give people shunned by society in other cities and towns in this country hope that they’re welcomed here and they can be who they are,” says Ronen.
Supervisor Sheehy says the time to honor Milk is long overdue. He says Milk is a hero who fought for the LGBTQ community’s civil rights.
“We’ve been through a lot as a community. We fought to get basic recognition, to be able to get married, to be in the military. We lived throughout the AIDS crisis,” says Sheehy.
The Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on the measure September.
Both supervisors say they expect it to pass. If it does, the new name will be Harvey Milk Terminal One.