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Harvey Milk name to live on at SFO Terminal 1

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Former Assemblyman Tom Ammiano speaks about renaming SFO's Terminal 1 after Harvey Milk at City Hall in San Francisco, Calif., on April 16, 2018.

San Francisco International Airport Terminal 1 will officially be renamed after the former Supervisor and gay rights activist Harvey Milk.

Mayor Mark Farrell on Monday signed legislation to rename the terminal in front of city officials who helped pave the way to rename the terminal.

Farrell said Milk was a compassionate, kind and thoughtful person who fought for equal rights for everyone:

“He had a vision of the world where everyone was equal, a vision that we share and embrace in San Francisco where everyone is treated with respect and dignity regards of their color of their skin, their religion, economic status or their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Farrell added that San Francisco is known as a city of strong activism and that Milk was the “epitome” of those efforts:

“We are ensuring his name will last forever and be synonymous to the city of San Francisco.”

Former Supervisor David Campos first introduced the idea of the renaming the entire airport after Milk. The proposal was met with opposition from the public and some city officials.

Instead, Campos suggested forming a committee to rename Terminal 1 after Milk, which it did last year. Supervisor Hillary Ronen then began the process of renaming the terminal by introducing legislation.

Campos said Monday:

“I think it’s only fitting in the midst of so much violence and hatred that we in San Francisco are sending a very clear message of hope which is what Harvey talked about.”

He added:

“We’re going to make it the coolest and gayest terminal it can possibly be.”

Former Supervisor and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano spoke of the significance for renaming the terminal after Milk:

“San Francisco is a singular city. We have singular heroes. We don’t name airports after John Wayne or Ronald Reagan. We name airports or a terminal after someone who made a considerable contribution to San Francisco.”

Stuart Milk, nephew of the former supervisor and co-founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation, said this was a important message to the world:

“For the people around the world who have the opportunity to fly into the great airport that SFO is and to transit through the Harvey Milk Terminal, I think it really does send that message that this community honors those who have not only led but who paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

Milk was the first openly gay elected official for a major city in 1977. He and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Supervisor Dan White in 1978.

The estimated cost to rename Terminal 1 is $357,000, which includes new and replacement signage at the terminal. The cost will be part of the budget to renovate the terminal. Renovations are expected to be completed by 2022.

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