The New Harvey Milk Plaza
 
 

Our Mission:

Hope.

It’s time to honor Harvey Milk with a place that captures what he stood for, that educates and inspires people, but most of all, a place that ensures Harvey’s mission of equality and inclusivity lives on. It’s time to build a place where Hope will live, forever.

 
 
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The Vision

On the evening of the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, activist Harry Britt stood before the crowd of mourners gathered at SF City Hall and assured them, “Something very special is going to happen in this city, and it will have Harvey Milk’s name on it.”  Now, 40 years later, that vision is now closer than ever before to being realized thanks to the efforts of a community committed to honoring Harvey Milk.

 

1995

A city’s Resolve

In response to community concerns, the SF Board of Supervisors passes a resolution that there should be a “major civic space” to honor Harvey at the intersection of Market, Castro and 17th Streets. 

 

2000

An call for ideas

A competition produces an idea of a pink cloud intended to hover over the intersection of the three streets. Later, a feasibility study finds that this idea isn’t possible, due to wind loads.

 
 

2016

A NEW possibility

SFMTA announces plans to install a new elevator in Harvey Milk Plaza. A group of community leaders restarts the effort to create a memorial for Harvey Milk at the site at the same time.

 
 

Harvey’s Legacy

It’s amazing that, 40 years after his assassination, Harvey continues to inspire not only the local LGBTQ+ community in San Francisco, but also many marginalized communities across the world. Harvey’s legacy is multifaceted, but the three components that most influenced the new design of the memorial plaza dedicated to him are Community, Action and Hope.

 

A LEGACY OF COMMUNITY

Harvey understood a community was strongest when its citizens stood together in solidarity, and with resolve. Many of the organizations Harvey created are still working to strengthen the local community, including the annual Castro Street Fair and the Castro Merchants business organization. Harvey advised, “To sit on the front steps…and to talk to our neighbors is infinitely more important than to huddle on the living-room lounger and watch a make-believe world in not-quite living color.”


A LEGACY OF ACTION

As feminist author Grace Paley pointed out, “The only recognizable feature of Hope is Action.” Harvey understood the importance of Hope, but he also recognized that Hope was not enough. A united community needs to take action–to drive change in order to create a better future–by raising their voices and demanding equality.

A LEGACY OF HOPE

Most succinctly, Harvey’s lasting legacy can be summed up in a single word–Hope. Harvey’s Jewish upbringing showed him what happens when a society is divided into “us’s” and “them’s”, but it also taught him that in times of darkness, the light of Hope burns brightest. As Harvey said, “Without hope, not only gays, but the blacks, the Asians, the disabled, the seniors, the us's. Without hope, the us's give up.”

 
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cleve jones, author and activist

Harvey understood that the LGBT community was part of something larger, and creating something special here will inspire others to carry on the global movement for peace and social justice. I commend the Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza for their transparency; I encourage everyone to help create a plaza that inspires generations to come!

 

Get Involved

The grass roots is where Harvey Milk started his campaigns for office, and it is at the grass-roots level that the movement to honor him must also be strongest. This movement depends on people like you getting involved. Your support will ensure that Harvey’s mission will live on and that the story of Hope will continue to be told. If you share this vision, please consider making a donation or joining us as a volunteer. Get involved—join the movement to honor Harvey Milk!

 
 

Volunteer opportunities

Your support is an investment in hope and action for the here and now, and for future generations. A donation of $5 or $10—or more, if you can—will go a long way to continuing Harvey’s legacy.

Make a Donation

We have opportunities to get involved in the movement to reimagine and rebuild Harvey Milk Plaza. If you are moved to do so, please sign up and someone from our committee will be in touch soon.

 
 
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