A sculpture of slain gay legend Harvey Milk will be unveiled at San Francisco City Hall on May 22, which would have been his 78th birthday.
Fundraising for the sculpture began in 2003, under the auspices of The Harvey Milk City Hall Memorial Committee. A competition was launched in 2006 to select an artist and, last month, the San Francisco Arts Commission formally approved the placement of the sculpture in City Hall's Ceremonial Rotunda.
”This tribute to Harvey Milk is long overdue,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom. “It is indeed time for his legacy to be commemorated with a place of honor and distinction in San Francisco's City Hall.”
”Harvey would be very proud of the consortium of people who came together to make this dream a reality,” said Milk's close friend Daniel Nicoletta, co-chair of the memorial committee. “It [is] a great honor to help to give voice and vision to this enduring tribute to someone who gave so much to us.”
Milk settled in the Castro district in 1972 and opened a camera store. He went on to pioneer a populist gay-rights movement in the city and, in 1977, he was elected to the Board of Supervisors, the equivalent of a city council, becoming the third openly gay candidate elected in U.S. history.
He and Mayor George Moscone were shot to death inside City Hall on Nov. 27, 1978, by then recently resigned city Supervisor Dan White, who was angry that Moscone wouldn't let him un-resign and that Milk had lobbied Moscone not to reappoint White.
White's lenient sentence for the killings (seven years and eight months with parole) led to the famed White Night Riots in San Francisco on May 21, 1979.