May 22nd is Harvey Milk Day, which we celebrate annually on behalf of all those who have struggled and strived for equality in America.
The first openly gay man to be elected to office in the United States, Harvey Milk was sworn in as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on January 8, 1978.
But as Milk himself would say, “All over the country, they're reading about me, and the story doesn't center on me being gay. It's just about a gay person who is doing his job.”
That was the point.
It still is today.
Although Milk only served eleven months on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors before he and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, Milk left an indelible mark on his community and the country.
Over a generation later, Milk is survived not only by his accomplishments, but by a phrase forever etched in time.
“My name is Harvey Milk and I’m here to recruit you.”
He was here to recruit us, all of us. And he was here to recruit us to a cause that had nothing to do with being gay or straight.
Milk wanted all of us to be better, to ourselves and to each other—and that extended to our politics.
And just as is it was for Harvey Milk, our movement is larger than any individual. This grassroots effort is about all of us coming together to make this country better for all Americans.
As Milk’s final campaign manager Anne Kronenberg put it, "What set Harvey apart from you or me was that he was a visionary. He imagined a righteous world inside his head and then he set about to create it for real, for all of us."
We couldn’t agree more. As Harvey famously said, “You’ve gotta give ‘em hope”. Then you have to work to make it a reality—and that’s exactly what we strive to do here in Nevada and across the country.
Harvey Milk was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously by President Obama. The award was accepted by his nephew Stewart on August 12, 2009.
Say you stand with President Obama on equality and get more on LGBT for Obama here.