May 22, 1930 - November 27, 1978
Harvey Milk Plaza is named in honor of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, California's first elected official to be openly gay.
In 1975, Harvey Milk opened Castro Camera at 575 Castro Street and moved into the apartment upstairs. Harvey's store soon became a center for politcal meetings and voter registration drives. Through his involvement in neighborhood issues, he soon became known as "The Mayor of Castro Street".
As the influx of gay men and lesbians revitalized the neighborhood, Harvey assumed the leadership of the Castro Village Merchants Association. In 1974 he organized the original Castro Street Fair.
In January 1976, Mayor George Moscone appointed Harvey to the Board of Permit Appeals as San Francisco's first openly gay Commissioner. In the 1977 District Election of Supervisors, Harvey was elected to the Board from this district.
Harvey Milk was a representative of a despised minority, yet his lasting triumph is that he championed the rights of all people. In his tragically short term as Supervisor, he authored San Francisco's Gay Rights Ordinance and fought for the causes of women, the elderly, ethnic minorities, renters, environmentalists, union members and neighborhood residents. He also worked to establish district elections and improve public transit. Muni riders remember him as the first city official to use a Muni Fast Pass every day.
Harvey Milk and George Moscone were assassinated on November 27, 1978. That night 40,000 San Franciscans gathered at this site and proceeded to City Hall in a candlelight march. Harvey Milk Plaza was dedicated on September 15, 1985 by Mayor Dianne Feinstein, Board of Supervisors John L. Molinari and Harvey's successor, Supervisor Harry Britt.
"I am all of us!"
- Harvey Milk