John Wayne, JFK, Reagan and Bob Hope aren’t just celebrities and politicians – they’re also airports. Supporters are hoping Harvey Milk will join that roster. One city supervisor is proposing renaming San Francisco International Airport after the former supervisor and gay rights pioneer. But a recent poll suggests 61 percent of likely San Francisco voters oppose that idea. Do you think SFO should be named for Harvey Milk? What would you rename the airport?

David Campos, San Francisco supervisor for District 9
Jim Lazarus, senior vice president of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce

  • SF94116

    Don’t rename SFO. Travelers will be confused. Furthermore the reason to customize an airport name is when a city has two (.IE. JFK & La Guardia) If you must rename SFO, rename after the most talented person who died from AIDS: Freddie Mercury.

  • Leonidas

    Let us ask instead, of what is Harvey Milk symbolic? And what do we want people to contemplate when they understand the symbolism? And what conclusions do we hope they’ll reach?

    I’d argue SFO should instead be renamed Homosexuality Is Normal Airport, or perhaps Paranoid Homophobes are Often Latent Homosexuals Airport. These statements express the sort of wisdom that attaching Harvey Milk’s name to an airport would ideally cause thoughtful travelers to discover.

    While they’re at it, they should also rename Ronald Reagan Airport something like Trickle Down Stupidity, to express the concept that ignorant buffoon leaders engender in a culture a love of ignorance and buffoonery, which in turn enables criminality at the top of society e.g. Wall Street’s recent crime spree.

    • thucy

      “These statements express the sort of wisdom that attaching Harvey Milk’s name to an airport would ideally cause thoughtful travelers to discover.”
      i love it.
      but what else would you expect from a commenter whose avatar is the name of the greatest king of the Spartans, er, the Lacadaemonians, who had a rigid social structure wherein pederasty was enforced. The “Theban Band” of later antiquity was modest, compared to that.
      Seriously, though, if you’re going to rename SFO, I say rename it after an LGBT leader who wasn’t so entwined with Jim Jones. There are plenty who never get their due, while Milk has gotten more than he deserved (although he was critical to the movement.)

      • Leonidas

        Bah! These are mere mind games from an obvious Persian spy. Next, will you assault the honor of Carmen Elektra by casting doubt on the authenticity of her boobage?

        • thucy

          that’s a trick question; everybody knows it was Electra’s sister, Iphigenia, who was flat-chested. And Agammemnon was bearded because “he was too busy to shave.”

  • Bob Fry

    Every bridge abutment, highway exit, and 2×4 is being named for somebody these days. The airport in D.C. is named for TWO presidents (Reagan Washington National Airport)! Enough already!

  • Brad

    Stop the insanity; not everything needs a name! I’m a gay man and I see no value in naming the airport after anyone, gay or straight. Shenanigans like this only serve to distract the Board of Supervisors from doing what they do best: nothing!

    • thucy

      “Shenanigans like this only serve to distract the Board of Supervisors from doing what they do best: nothing!”

      What, the board of Supes is very active… particularly when it comes to groveling before developers to destroy what’s left of affordable housing in San Francisco. That takes a lot of time, man.

  • trite

    Stupid idea–identity politics at its worst.

  • Mike Anderson

    When politicians promote the renaming of public structures, it is all about boosting their profiles. I don’t have a big problem with this if it is done in a wise manner. Why not name the modern Trans-Bay Terminal after Harvey Milk. It is also a transportation hub and rebranding will not be an issue.

    • friarslantern

      The point is Harvey Milk contributed to a political movement that went world-wide and had big repercussions. He’s a San Franciscan who made a big mark on the country and the world. I, for one, don’t mind advertising that fact to national and international travelers.

  • thucy

    question for Campos:
    how did the board of Supes keep so utterly quiet as SFPD first-year salaries rose to $82,000 in 2010 (twice the first-year salary of NYPD that year!!!) and all the while public school teachers were fundraising for paper and pencils!!!!!
    That’s your problem right there – first-year cops making TWICE that of TEACHERS! Totally reactive, as opposed to thoughtful prevention of crime by investing in the future (hello, education?) of children.

  • Doug Smith

    I think we should simply rename the city of San Francisco “Milk”.

    • thucy

      Mr. Smith,
      The Board of Supes will not sleep until “Milk” is tattoo’d on the forehead of every first grader within the San Francisco Unified School District. They can then petition the dairy industry for campaign donations.

      • Doug Smith

        I’m just kidding. But the California Milk Advisory Board are serious!

  • 1PeterDuMont2STARALLIANCE8

    How about SFO Good Will International Airport?
    (Or SFO International Good Will Airport.)

  • Guest

    I bet this would be a much more popular idea if they appealed to the dairy industry instead. I’m thinking: “Got Harvey Milk? International Airport or “Happy Cows International Airport.”

  • Jason

    The world must be ok if this is a topic on forum

    • thucy

      believe me, you, the world ain’t never going to be okay. which is fine, I guess

  • friarslantern

    Wow, even San Francisco’s gay community has become true believers in its suburbanization! How quickly we forget those who gave us the foundation of being a progressive, gay-friendly city in favor of false harmony with the City powers-that-be. The ACT-UP era is officially over; the Settle-Down era has arrived. Hooray for David Campos for standing up to the Bay Area Reporter.

    • thucy

      I too am saddened by the suburbanization of the LGBT community. And while I miss the passion and righteousness of ACT-UP, I’m so glad that people have stopped dying of AIDS here in the numbers that spurred ACT-UP in the first place.
      But may I suggest that Harvey Milk is overpraised as too many other LGBT heroes are overlooked? And that Campos has more urgent civil rights matters to attend to?
      Moscone was as much a pioneer as Milk – but no one is interested in getting Sean Penn to play him. And the Milk-Jim Jones connection should not be overlooked. Milk was not exactly heroic in the face of Jones’ terror.

      • friarslantern

        I agree that George Moscone needs recognition as well, and would be strongly of favor of naming SFO after him *or* after Harvey Milk. I’ve thought in the past, why not rename Civic Center Plaza to Moscone Plaza? Moscone also had unfortunate connections to Jim Jones.
        And of *course* I’m glad people have stopped dying of AIDS, and I certainly don’t blame people who may (still) be burned out by that fight for not being more active. I used that more for dramatic flair than anything, thucy! Long before AIDS, San Francisco was a bastion of progressive causes, living side-by-side with very establishment or elite powers.
        I dispute your contention that Harvey Milk has been overpraised, at least in the realm of public monuments dedicated to him. Harvey Milk Plaza is not even a plaza. It really should be Harvey Milk Memorial Underground Railway Exit. He’s been dead for a while and there’s nothing wrong with naming public facilities after notable local characters. The backlash against renaming SFO after Harvey, at least on the part of the self-identified queers calling/writing in, is really just the voice of the residents in the soon-to-be sleepy town of McFriscoville, who *so* want to believe that the era of struggling (for anything, really) is over, so we can *move on* and go back to planning the next dinner party. Struggle hasn’t quite gone out of fashion — but it’s close, and some people are trying to push it that last few inches — the same people that have benefited so much from the struggles of the past.

    • RandySF

      More nudity…less strollers! More pink hair….less strollers! More artists….less strollers! Less North Face! Less grocery-getting SUVs! Less housing habitrails! Less Whole Foods!

  • Rename it Harvey Milk, San Francisco International. Then it could honor Harvey Milk, but still keep the SFO abbreviation that has so much inertia behind it.

  • RandySF

    I couldn’t care less either way. What disturbed me the most about this broadcast is the caller “Lauren” and her ignorant remarks. She’s a woman who’s supposedly “a great supporter of gay and lesbian rights” but I found her tone when remarking about how “ah, over used” Harvey Milk’s name is to be very condescending. And when she thinks about Harvey Milk, she thinks about sexuality? Really? That is the most homophobic statement I’ve ever heard from a “great supporter of gay and lesbian rights” to date. Go back to the mid-west or the south or where ever you came from before your husband got his high-paying tech job here in The Bay Area, Lauren. Oh wait……did I just Stereotype someone? Ooops!

    • thucy

      i actually cringed when I heard that. I didn’t interpret it so much as homophobic as did you, but I didn’t rule it out.
      To me, It sounded more like a lot of my women friends with young children who are obsessed with what is appropriate for their children to see/hear. Since I think the best part of my upbringing was alternately 1) shopping for fancy coffee and gourmet stuff on Castro in the 1970’s, where I was surrounded by semi-nude gay men, and 2) going to holiday dinners with my f-bomb-dropping, totally un-pc ethnic uncles and their trashy wives, I really think my friends’ kids are going to be basket cases when they hit their teens. Which, really, is deliciously ironic.

      • RandySF

        I could not agree more! And I bet they’ll have a lot of LGBT, Black, Asian, and Latino “friends” too….just like I bet Miss Lauren does!

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