The West Hollywood City Council acknowledged LGBT rights activist Harvey Milk yesterday with an event at the City Council Chamber that included a screening of video shorts, an interactive photo wall and an informal reception before the Council meeting.
The city, like others around the world, acknowledges Milk’s accomplishments as a leader of the LGBT rights movement on an annual day of remembrance. Milk was the first openly gay person to hold elected office in the United States. He served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 1977 to 1978 and was assassinated while in office. In October 2009, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger designated May 22, Milk’s birthday, as Harvey Milk Day.
The Council also issued a proclamation to recognize Harvey Milk Day and a commendation to International Court System for leading the successful campaign for the United States Postal Service to issue its Harvey Milk postage stamp featuring the iconic black-and-white image of Milk in front of his camera shop in the 1970s. The stamp’s official first-day-of-issue ceremony will take place on Thursday at the White House.
One Thursday, Milk’s birthday, the city will kick off its annual One City One Pride LGBTQ arts festival. The festival will run 40 days from May 22 through June 30, to celebrate Pride month. The One City One Pride kickoff event, “Love is Love: The Five-Year Road to Marriage” is a special exhibition reception featuring photographs by photographer David McCoy largely centered around “No on Proposition 8” rallies across Southern California. The event will be held Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. at West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. south of Santa Monica. Representatives from the U.S. Postal Service will be on-site selling the new Harvey Milk commemorative postage stamp.
West Hollywood also is inviting community members to celebrate the legacy of Harvey Milk by volunteering at a local organization during May and June. The city has assembled a list of several volunteer service organizations that can use a helping hand. More information about them is available online.