Grassroot Push Underway to Rename SFO Harvey Milk Int’l: Website/Petition Launched, Rally Friday at City Hall

Image by JR Church

Image by JR Church

As the Biscuit’s posted Sup. David Campos wants to rename SFO for slain, civil rights leader, LGBT legend and Castro resident/business man, Harvey Milk.

Resistance to the plan has been vocal and from a variety of SF political corners hoping to quash the proposal.

Friday, Supervisor Campos and supporters in favor of amending the City Charter allowing the name change to occur, are holding a rally at City Hall.

The goal: bring the cause to the people. Let a Harvey Milk styled, grassroots, multi-community, populace based movement drive the campaign so the  dream of many becomes a reality.

According to the newly launched support blog, HarveyMilkSFO, organizations and political individuals of all walks of life have endorsed the name change. Groups like NoH8 Campaign, EQCA, and the National Lesbian Gay Task Force have been enlisted. To date twenty local, state and national groups have signed on and the list grows daily.

Some heavy hitters from the political world have added fame, name and historical klout as well: Dolores Huerta, co-founder of United Farm Workers, Cleve Jones, Names Project Founder, Troy Perry founder of Metropolitan Community Churches. Additionally most current SF Supervisors including Dist. 8′s Scott Wiener, former Supes, CA politico powerhouses, Carol Migden and Tom Ammiano and a string of who’s who amongst the City’s movers and shakers.

The Harvey Milk Foundation helmed by Stuart Milk, Harvey’s nephew, and Anne Kronenberg, Milk’s campaign manager from his world changing, successful bid to become the country’s first out politician elected to major office are also enthusiastic supporters.

“My uncle gave everything to the cause of civil rights. Now he needs your help.” Stuart Milk  was quoted as saying in regard to Friday’s rally and the grassroot effort currently underway.

The Rally’s event page on Facebook further fleshes out the reasoning behind the name change:

80 airports in the United States are named after individuals; not one is named after a LGBT leader. Airport naming is a common honor, and has been used extensively to identify values and leaders important to a region. Yet the LGBT community is currently excluded.


Harvey Milk is the most important figure in San Francisco’s LGBT history and deserves an honor of this magnitude. He was the first Gay man to win elective office in San Francisco, an authentic political hero, and world-renowned leader for civil rights. Adding Harvey’s name to the airport is a fitting honor. It will forward the civil rights cause for which he lived and died.


Being Gay is illegal in 77 countries, and Gay youth continue to be bullied, discriminated against and excluded. Adding Harvey Milk’s name to SFO will send a national and international message about the struggle for equality. With Gay rights on the national agenda and before the Supreme Court, this is the right time and place to educate the 40 million passengers a year who fly through SFO.

The rally is set for Friday, February 22nd at noon on the Polk Street side steps of City Hall.

Interested parties may also sign the petition thats been drafted by Stuart Milk in favor of the name change. At post time the petition had garnered nearly 20K signatures.

You can also keep abreast of the campaign as events unfold by following Sup. Campos’ Twitter feed or adding your ‘like’ on his Facebook page.

Waiyde Palmer

Waiyde Palmer loves San Francisco, social activism and punk rock(ers). His work has appeared in Handbook Magazine. SF Bay Times, The Advocate, Diseased Pariah News and American Music Press . He also has an extensive and repeatedly redacted FBI file.

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3 Responses

  1. Paul Klees says:

    Of course, like anyone here, I’m a proponent. However, and with ALL due respect, I would like to suggest a different poster or image. I saw the posting on FB when the artist put it up and I think it’s very well done and inspirational, My only wish is that we could create something unique for Harvey Milk since he created something unique for us. Neither Obama nor Shepard Fairey are attached to this movement and so I don’t see the point in the homage. Perhaps the awesome artist who created this could revisit the idea and come up with something truly unique, the way Gilbert did with our flag and the way Harvey did with our rights. When I look at this picture I see Harvey, Obama and Shepard Fairey and I don’t think I’m the only person who does, perhaps one of the few to say so, who knows? I just hope we can do something less derivative for our dear friend and I am confident that if the artist can do this, he can create something special for this important movement.

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    • Waiyde says:

      Thanks Paul.

      This image isn’t the official poster, but, one created by an admirer/supporter using the Obama/Fairey formating and posted to the event page. I lifted it from there. I think that’s a great idea to have a unique and completely Milk-centric image to promote the renaming movement. I’m sure everyone involved would appreciate it. Perhaps this comment/post will serve as the opening salvo to a call to all artists, designers and graphic artists to help out and create a unique and fitting image?

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  2. Eli Harris says:

    There are many more pressing needs in San Francisco than renaming SFO for anyone.

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