Harvey Milk Terminal at SFO moves toward reality

Harvey Milk Terminal at SFO moves toward reality”

The Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee will vote on the name change today. The legislation was introduced by Supervisor Hillary Ronen, and is co-sponsored by Supervisor Jeff Sheehy.

The now-impending christening of San Francisco International Airport Terminal 1 in the honor of the first openly gay supervisor attracted such a scene after the legislation was held up in local government for months. "The amount of violence and harassment against this [queer] community is outrageous and increasing".

Former Supervisor David Campos had spearheaded in 2013 the idea to rename the entire airport after Milk but the Airport Commission opposed the idea along with some of the public.

"In my own naive way, I didn't fully understand the politics behind naming a landmark like an airport", Campos told the committee Thursday. "One of the things that made Harvey Milk unique was the fact that he challenged the status quo and numerous people who were challenged in that status quo when he was here are still around".

An advisory panel was formed called the Airport Facilities Naming Advisory Committee by the Board of Supervisors, which voted previous year to rename the terminal after Milk.

The estimated cost to rename Terminal One is $357,000, which includes $22,000 to replace signage and $335,000 to put up a new sign for the terminal, according the budget and legislative analyst report. After the proposal proved surprisingly provocative, lawmakers eventually settled for putting Milk's moniker on just Terminal 1.

Campos added he fears that "in San Francisco there's a complacency" about LGBT issues and warned that the ire around the airport argument indicates that "the reality is there's still a lot of challenges".

"I want the city to move from tolerance to acceptance", said Nick Large, a University of San Francisco Student, to the committee. It's the gateway to San Francisco, and so recognizing Harvey and making that connection to our community is appropriate.

The legislation requires the director of the airport to report to the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor by December 1 "describing the steps the Airport has taken and plans to take" to name the terminal after Milk and publicize it.

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