First Park in America Named After Harvey Milk

  • 05/21/2012
  • Terelle Jerricks

Update May 22, 2012

Mayor Bob Foster, Councilman Robert Garcia, Stuart Milk of the Harvey Milk Foundation and the Harvey Milk Promenade Park Committee joined dozens of LGBT community members at the groundbreaking for the new Harvey Milk Promenade Park today, which is also his birthday. The new park is the first park in America to be named after civil rights leader Harvey Milk, and the first park in the City of Long Beach to be named after an LGBT person.


Photos by Diana Lejins

In addition, the park will include Equality Plaza, an area dedicated to honoring Long Beach area LGBT leaders. Garcia, who is openly gay, proposed the park name and will lead the groundbreaking ceremony.

Stuart Milk, nephew of Harvey Milk and founder and president of the Harvey Milk Foundation, will also be present. The Harvey Milk Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to continuing the work of Harvey Milk through education and activism.

The historic park will include areas to sit, a memorial to Milk, including a replica of his famous soapbox, and dedicated space to learn about Harvey and his legacy to civil rights. The groundbreaking date coincides with what would have been Milk’s 82nd birthday and, in honor of that occasion, birthday cake will also be served. The park will include Equality Plaza, and 9 members of the local LGBT community will be inducted and honored at the ground breaking, and several will be present. The honorees are:

Bob Crow – Co-Founder, Current Co-President, LB PRIDE
Ray Lowen – Founding member of The Center, activist and artist
Patty Moore – Former Chair and Asst. Director, The Center; longtime activist
Michael Noll – First openly gay Signal Hill Councilmember; 20 years on Council; The Center Board
Frank Rubio – Former President, Current Vice-President, LB PRIDE
Ellen Ward – Signal Hill Councilmember 11 years; Former Exec Director AIDSWALK

Pastor Michael Cole – Founder, Christ’s Chapel Long Beach; Founder, AIDS Food Store
Ellen “Mary” Martinez – 25 year member of LB PRIDE; Board Member, The Center
Jean Harris – Former Executive Director, CA Alliance for Pride and Equality; political leader

Details: (562) 570-6919

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