For Miami Beach Commissioner David Richardson, it took eight months of perseverance to get his vision and proposal adopted by the commission to name streets on each of the four sides of Pride Park after human rights activists.
On Sept. 17, the official street-naming dedication ceremony for Harvey Milk Way took place in front of Miami Beach City Hall.
“I had the great privilege of hosting the official street-naming dedication ceremony for Harvey Milk Way, which is the first street in the state of Florida named after the LGBTQ human rights activist,” Richardson said. “I want to thank my colleagues who supported my initiative. It took almost eight months, but together we got it done!”
Gregory Branch, who is running for a seat on the commission in Group 1, said “recognizing Harvey Milk as a trailblazing pioneer who gave hope and inspiration to many was long overdue.”
Throughout 10 days of events for Miami Beach Pride, Branch says he was “honored to participate in a smorgasbord of feel-good events,” including the Milk dedication.
“As a candidate [and before], I like to think I carry the baton in the fight for inclusivity in government and leadership,” Branch said. “And, of course, the Branch family is always delighted to support and commune with our friends at SAVE and PRIDE in their endeavors. A long, but fabulous day!”
Added Paul Thomas of the Miami Beach Pride Board of Directors: “It was a history-making day in Miami Beach as we named 18th Street near Pride Park ‘Harvey Milk Way’ in honor of the famous Harvey Milk, who was assassinated in San Francisco after being the first out politician in California.”
Another street around Pride Park had already been named for Muhammed Ali. The street naming was championed by Richardson.
“As the Chairman of the LGBTQ Advisory Committee for the City Of Miami Beach, I was honored to be in attendance and to meet Mr. Milks’ nephew, Stuart,” Thomas said, adding that a navy ship will also be named in Milk’s honor in October after he was dishonorably discharged for being gay.
Joe Saunders, senior political director at Equality Florida, thanked Richardson on Facebook for his commitment to the cause and for inviting him to represent Equality Florida at the unveiling of Harvey Milk Way.
“Miami Beach, my chosen home, became the FIRST city in Florida to name a street after LGBTQ trailblazer Harvey Milk. What a great way to start Miami Beach Pride Weekend,” Saunders said. “Thank you to Mayor Dan Gelber, Commissioner Micky Ross Steinberg, Commissioner Michael Góngora and Commissioner Mark Samuelian for your support and presence [at the unveiling]. It was disappointing to remember that not all members of our commission supported this project. We’ve still got work to do.”