Harvey Milk Park Breaks Ground May 22; First Park in Long Beach Named for LGBT Person

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Harvey Milk Park groundbreakingMayor Bob Foster, Councilmember Garcia, Stuart Milk of the Harvey Milk Foundation, and the Harvey Milk Promenade Park Committee will join dozens of LGBT community members at the groundbreaking for the new Harvey Milk Promenade Park on Tuesday May 22 at 10:00 am, the anniversary of Harvey Milk’s Birthday. The park is located at 3rd Street and The Promenade.

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. In addition, the park will include Equality Plaza, an area dedicated to honoring Long Beach area LGBT leaders.

“Harvey Milk was a trailblazer for the LGBT community who battled against discrimination and unbelievable odds,” said Mayor Bob Foster. “I’m proud that Long Beach is the first city in the country to honor Harvey Milk by dedicating a park in his name.” 

Councilman Garcia, who is openly gay, proposed the park name and will lead the groundbreaking ceremony.

“I am so proud that we are honoring the incredible work of civil rights leader Harvey Milk,” said Councilmember Garcia. “This park will not only celebrate Harvey’s historic contributions to equality, but honor the great work of our local LGBT community.”

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 AIDS WALK

Posthumous:

  • 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

“I’m proud that we are honoring so many people who fought for equality,” said Garcia. “It’s a special day for not only Harvey’s legacy, but for Long Beach.”

For more information about the event and the park, contact the office of Councilmember Garcia at district1@longbeach.gov or by calling (562) 570-6919.

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