'Harvey Milk Street' waits for City Council OK

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SAN DIEGO - A measure to rename a Hillcrest street after civil rights leader Harvey Milk is now awaiting city council's approval.

Milk became an icon in the gay community in the 70's after being elected as the first openly gay official in California.

LGBT leaders hope to changing the name of Blaine Street to "Harvey Milk Street" making San Diego the first city in the nation to honor him in this manner.

"He was a very influential politician in San Francisco, so if California can honor him that way that would be great. He did a lot for the gay rights movement and this is a perfect neighborhood to do it in," resident Kathryn Shaffer said.  "If we're the first city in the nation, I think that's an honor for San Diego."

"I think it's a good idea. I think it shows we can honor those who have done good for the community, good for the country really," said Mark VanOver, a resident of Blaine Avenue.

San Diego Pride leaders are hoping to rename the street by May 22, which is the Harvey Milk Day celebration.

"Not only does the street run into the LBGT center, this is where the pride parade begins, where the community gathers, where there's a new pride pole project being proposed," San Diego Pride Executive Director Dwayne Crenshaw said.

If the street name changes, the 17 properties on the street will have to change mailing addresses and local maps will have to be edited for visitors. 

"The name change will only apply to two city blocks of Blaine Street two city blocks, but will make a big change in history," Crenshaw said.

Notices and meetings have alerted the homeowners and so far no objections have come up.

The proposal for the project is expected to cost $15,000 and leaders are hoping to raise the funds before the council meeting on May 8.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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