SFO could be renamed for Harvey Milk

(KGO)
January 15, 2013 6:36:18 PM PST
A name change could be in the works for San Francisco International Airport. San Francisco supervisors introduced a measure Tuesday to change the airport's name to Harvey Milk San Francisco International. A majority of the supervisors would have to sign off on the measure and if they do, San Francisco voters would get a chance to weigh in, in November.

San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk was assassinated in 1978. Now 46 years later, Supervisor David Campos thinks the time is right to recognize him by adding his name to the city's airport. "He has grown to represent not only the fight for LGBT rights, but the fight for the rights of all people," he said. "His, was message of hope."

Supervisor Scott Wiener is co-sponsor of the measure. "Harvey Milk has played such a tremendous role for San Francisco in general and also for the LGBT community around the world," he said.

Campos and Wiener say there are 80 airports across the nation named for individuals, but they are concerned that none of those namesakes were openly gay people. Campos believes the time is right, now. "There are 40 million people that fly in and out of San Francisco International Airport every year, 9 million of them from other countries, and the idea that these millions of people get to learn about Harvey Milk and what he represented is something very significant," Campos said.

Before promoting his name internationally, Campos might have to start with educating younger San Francisco voters, who will be deciding on the measure. "I studied him for like two days in my English class," one young traveler said.

Maria Miranda doesn't like the idea of a name change. "No, no. It's San Francisco. I don't get why they're putting that though," she said admitting that she did not know who Harvey Milk was.

"I think it's definitely a part of the history. I'm not sure if it's the best representation. There's a lot of other, probably, historical figures that have done a lot for the city, that are part of the movements in the city," said San Francisco resident Mana Aynechi.

Campos estimates the cost would be about $50,000 and he would hope to have it paid for with private funding. San Jose says it cost them more like $900,000 to make the name change at their airport.


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