San Francisco Supervisor David Campos has made a proposal to rename SFO in honor of slain Supervisor and gay rights activist Harvey Milk. The proposal has been met with a great deal of opposition. Just the cost of changing the signage at the airport would be in the millions of dollars. And the supervisors are concerned that the airport brand itself would be damaged if it had to endure a name change. At least that is what the airport commission is saying in their statements to the press.
Almost 35 years ago, a man named Dan White shot and killed Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. Apparently Mr. White was angry because he wanted to be re-appointed to the Board of Supervisors (he had recently resigned this post), but the mayor refused. Harvey Milk spoke out against Dan White, and as a result, he and the mayor were both killed at City Hall.
Harvey Milk was a gay rights activist who was only on the Board of Supervisors for a short 10 months. He was the first openly-gay elected official in the United States. In that time, he learned quickly about politics and stood up for people and their right to be individuals. After his death, the city named Harvey Milk Plaza in his honor, at the intersection of Market and Castro streets. And in 2009, President Obama posthumously awarded Harvey Milk the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The San Francisco Airport Commission is most likely going to consider naming one of the SFO terminals after him or possibly establishing a museum exhibit detailing his life. When the Supervisors meet to discuss the proposal, they could ultimately make a decision or vote to place the matter on the next ballot. Only time will tell if the city decides to make a name change at SFO.