A little more on Harvey Milk

mei and sweeneyHappy Harvey Milk Day. My fellow Long Islander would have turned 80 today.

Last night at Ishan Shah’s fundraiser I spoke to school board members Larry Sweeney and Lily Mei about their hesitancy to back a school board resolution honoring Milk. The board will reconsider a resolution on Wednesday. Both Sweeney and Mei wouldn’t commit to supporting it this time around either.

I mostly talked to Sweeney about it. He said he wasn’t thrilled with the language in the resolution. He said it made it seem like Milk was killed because he was defending gay rights. He also doesn’t understand why the board would be honoring the first openly gay person to hold elected office in California, but not the first woman, etc.

I asked him why they didn’t just approve it last week, since no one would have cared. It’s not like there would have been a recall petition. He said people did care, and that unlike the city council, the school board doesn’t like to delve into politics.

My sense after talking to him is that the board on Wednesday will pass a re-worded and somewhat watered-down version of the original resolution. We’ll see.

Matt Artz


  1. OK,

    This horse is dead now. Even SF is not making a big deal over it.

  2. FR: You mean SF is not commemorating Harvey Milk? I don’t agree. They just put up a plaque in front of his old camera shop, and high school students were visiting to check it off on a history scavenger hunt. This was reported on NPR on Friday.

    I think the board should approve a resolution, watered down or not… My parents didn’t know Milk, but we had friends who did. It was a really big deal here in the Bay Area when he and Moscone were killed.

    Milk did not rise to the stature of a national leader, but it was a milestone when he was elected. He also helped lead the fight to defeat Prop 6, which would have required school boards to root out and fire gay teachers. To me that is worthy of commemoration, even though the guy did not live to do more.

    And if the board wants to commemorate the first woman elected, bring it on 🙂

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