[UPDATED with Janet Nguyen M.I.A.:] Harvey Milk Day Idea Draws Crickets from OC Board of Supervisors

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Harvey_Milk.jpg
UPDATE, MAY 10, 7:11 P.M.: Activists seeking an Orange County Board of Supervisors proclamation recognizing slain gay icon and San Francisco County Supervisor Harvey Milk's May 22 birthday received slightly more than the sound of crickets we predicted earlier today.

"
It was great!" Linda May of the Harvey Milk Celebration Committee told me afterward. ". . . The supervisors were polite and attentive, for the most part."

There was one glaring exception
.

For reasons unexplained, Supervisor Janet Nguyen left the room.

janet-nguyen_107.jpg
Nguyen, M.I.A.
"That is often interpreted as an avoidance tactic, but since there was no vote taken, it is hard to imagine what she was avoiding other than hearing heartfelt discussions about lesbians, gays, and transgender people," May said.

Perhaps Nguyen feared catching the gay. Or the Glee.

Because it was not an agenda item--committee members had to wait until the public comments section near the end of the meeting--supervisors warned they could not weigh in on the proposal. But committee members have been calling and leaving messages since last month to get on the agenda so supervisors could speak on it.

Speaking of speaking, Chairman Bill Campbell would not extend a 20-minute time limit given to any one topic. Since there were 13 speakers on Harvey Milk Day, Campbell instructed the clerk to give each one 1.5 minutes instead of the usual 3 minutes each, May reports.

"
Most of the speakers were new at speaking in that forum and Supervisor Campbell was polite about that," she added. "I just wish we hadn't felt so rushed."

Fortunately for the committee, it did not lose its star speaker: openly gay Huntington Beach City Councilman Joe Shaw. There were fears he'd have to leave for a ribbon cutting in Surf City before he got to the mic.

Still, if I was Shaw and Nguyen showed up to seek Huntington Beach City Council approval of some pet project of hers, I'd extend her the same courtesy she did by walking out on her sorry ass.


ORIGINAL POST, MAY 10, 11:15 A.M.: Backers of special recognition of slain San Francisco county supervisor and gay icon Harvey Milk's May 22 birthday began contacting Orange County supervisors in April.

The response: crickets.

So, with no place on the Orange County Board of Supervisors' agenda, activists planned to
attend today's regular meeting in Santa Ana, wait until near the end of the session for the public comments period and propose before the world a local Harvey Milk Day.

Expected response: crickets.

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Bill Campbell
Ah, well, anyone who followed Milk's amazing career knows crickets never stopped him from accomplishing so much more than a day in his own honor.

Orange County's Harvey Milk Celebration Committee approached a politician of much smaller stature, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Bill Campbell, with a sample proclamation and information on the historic importance of Harvey Milk.

"I don't think he is prejudiced against gay people," organizer Minerva Figueroa says in an email.  "I think he is just afraid of what other people will think."

With or without the official blessing of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, a Harvey Milk Day celebration will he held Friday, May 20, at French Plaza in downtown Santa Ana. A pre-show begins at 5 p.m., the main event starts at 7 p.m. and birthday cake will be shared at 8:30 p.m. The committee claims 24 organizations and businesses are sponsoring the event.

Milk deserves the recognition because of his "
bravery and honesty as he championed the rights of the elderly, small businesses, ethnic communities, and a growing gay community," states the email. "His life has increasingly become an example of the importance of hope and visibility for lesbian, gay, transgender, and all who struggle for equality and human rights."

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John V. Briggs
The first openly gay person elected to office in a major American city, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated at San Francisco City Hall in 1978 by fellow Supervisor Dan White. The conservative White was later convicted of manslaughter instead of murder through what became known as "the Twinkie defense." He served five years in prison before returning to San Francisco, where he committed suicide in 1985. 

During Milk's career, he tangled with another conservative, Orange County's own John V. Briggs, who in 1978 sponsored Proposition 6, which would have prevented gays or those who supported gay rights from working in public schools.  "Most of them are in the closet," the state legislator said of gay teachers, "and frankly, that's where I think they should remain."

The voter initiative was opposed by everyone from Ronald Reagan to Jimmy Carter, has been credited for fueling the creation of the Log Cabin Republicans and ultimately went down in defeat.

In a testament to Milk (and Briggs, actually), the two became friends before the San Francisco County supervisor was taken from us. So there you go, OC Board of Stoops, a local hook!

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28 comments
johnncruse
johnncruse

happy Birthday ! to Milk. It is a nice informative post. It is a good idea to celebrating Milk's birthday. He is a genius person. I am happy with enjoyable idea. 

rensilstayen
rensilstayen

Call, President Bill Campbell will be given a topic 20 minutes. Harvey Milk 13 days due to the intervention, Campbell requested the Secretary that every minute one of 1.5, instead of the usual three minutes, each report .

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Pedrozabot
Pedrozabot

Is this the same Sean Mill who was appointed to the Santa Ana Planning Commission by Clowncilman Sal Tinajero? Why would Sal Tinajero appoint a homophobe and gay basher like Sean Mill who once wrote a letter to the LA Times in which he said "Homosexuals have the right to do as they wish in their bathhouses and bedrooms. Now, they want to desensitize the moral standards of our community. This will be damaging to our children, families and country."

http://articles.latimes.com/19...

Code Blue
Code Blue

Harvey Milk accomplished very little and is at most a figurehead.

Matthew T. Coker
Matthew T. Coker

Good catch, BKB!

What a sexist comment, OC Mom. You sit through a meeting almost to the bitter end and when it finally gets to the point where constituents who have politely sat through the entire proceedings so they can address you, their elected representative, you choose then to take care of your infant. If you can't do the job, honey, do us all a favor and resign.

BKBlogger
BKBlogger

It's MOSCONE Coker! And there's talk that Sal Tinajero will be recruited to run against Nguyen in 2012 because he supported an effort to make a Harvey Milk Day in Santa Ana despite appointing a commissioner with a track record for making homophobic comments

OC Mom
OC Mom

What a sexist update! Did the author overlook that Supervisor Janet Nguyen is the mother to an infant son? Did he ask her if she was feeding her child while listening to the public comments as the meeting is broadcast throughout the building and online? Nguyen is one of only a few elected officials to give birth while in office and she's handled it with grace.

http://www.ocregister.com/news...

Chrystle Summers
Chrystle Summers

Who Cares about Harvey Milk in the OC except the Gay community? Let them pay for and sponser any events to commemorate him. In all actuality he was no different than any other elected official of his day other than the fact he was gay. Instead lets have a county supervisor day and honor all our (not some out of towner) county supervisors for their contributions to the commuinity. and a asemblyman day, a congressman day, a senator day, a governer day on and on till we get every government official commemorated and spend as much of the city and county budgets as we can.

katahdin
katahdin

He had the guts to be who he was when his identity was unpopular, and even hated. Few people can say that.

BKBlogger
BKBlogger

Coker, you are on to something. The Santa Ana city council routinely has "side meetings" and members leave the dais during public comments. In Costa Mesa, members of the city council are on their iPhones texting or playing games during public comments from pro-union speakers. In Tustin, Mayor Amante will clear the room if you act out of line unless you are singing praises to him. There is a lot of arrogance from elected officials all over the county; why single out Nguyen?

AnotherOCMom
AnotherOCMom

I am a mom who works and I manage to get my work done. These meetings are her job.

I get the need to care for your kid. But if that gets in the way of her doing her job, maybe she should rethink her job.

Also, I saw the Register article on her taking her kid to work and staff meetings. It made me wonder if other women (maybe not as high profile) in the Supervisors office get the same option to bring their infants to work.

Rdm24
Rdm24

We care because minds like yours are just waiting to be opened!

MayhemInTheHood
MayhemInTheHood

Sounds like they are already planning, and paying for, a celebration(along with 24 other local businesses). No city or county budget necessary. They were just requesting the day be recognized.

Also: "In all actuality he was no different than any other elected official of his day other than the fact he was gay." Ummm, that's pretty much what made him notable. That's like saying "Jackie Robinson was no different than any other baseball player of his day, other than the fact he was black."

Matthew T. Coker
Matthew T. Coker

You're right, Chris: in a post about Harvey Milk Day and the Board of Stupes, I should have mentioned the Tustin, Santa Ana and Costa Mesa city councils. How lame of me.

Dkmfan
Dkmfan

BK BLOGGER is Chris Prevatt, OCEA union Steward, Thrice admonished for blogging on TAX PAYER TIME.

He is also a well known AIDS activist, who while devoted to his cause, is blind to the plight of anyone who questions his motives and banter.

Chris, stick to the IRVINE BLOG.

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

Mr. Coker chose to single out Nguyen because she's an elected official who dared to give birth while in office. No one ever questions how MEN can balance work and family. A man who takes time off work (or spends time during work) to care for his children is praised as a "devoted father" but a woman who does this is criticized for being an "unreliable" person who needs to "reconsider her priorities". But what can we expect from Coker who thinks it's appropriate to refer to a grown woman as "honey"?

Guest
Guest

What did Milk accomplish accept facilitating one of the worst epidemics in US history?

909Jeff
909Jeff

Dianne Feinstien was there when Milk was shot and she was a woman... AND when Moscone was Killed she became the first FEMALE mayor of San Fran... So do we have a Feinstien day?

I mean based on your logic having a vagina is what made her notable?

Dan Chmielewski
Dan Chmielewski

Actually DKMFAN, Chris has never been admonished for bblogging on taxpayer time because the two times his computer was reviewed by the county IT department (the last time at the urging of Sean Mill), the PC came back clean. Some people don't seem to understand you can schedule posts to appear at a designated time on WordPress; unlike blog comments left by a certain title employee who is on a perpetual break. The bigger question is what doe the BK stand for? Burger King?

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

Mitch...Why don't you just admit you're a homophobe and get it over with? Trying to blame the AIDS epidemic on gays? Reprehensible!

Guest
Guest

Remember a few months ago there was panic because some porn 'actor' in LA popped positive for HIV? No surprise he had been 'bottoming' in gay porn in Florida a few months previously. The mechanics of what I take to be a hugely popular act amongst 'gay' men

Ronnie
Ronnie

You can't blame Milk for the uptick in the transmission of sexual diseases anymore than you can blame Ken Kesey for the sexual revolution of the sixties. People do what they do. He was there fighting for equality, not for the wanton disregard of health. Don't you think that it may be because of an eternity of repression that people acted out in such a careless manner? Just look at kids who grow up in homes where they're kept under lock and key until they're eighteen....what do they do? They go out into the real world and rebel against that which they've been raised on. Their own personal Rumspringa. They do drugs, they sleep around.......things that kids raised in open enviroments of freedom and tolerance tend not to do.

These "excesses" that you argue are curtailed by traditional American morality towards homosexuality would never happen if there wasn't massive repression of homosexuality (and all sexuality, for that matter) in the first place. And last time I checked, non-homosexuals are just as guilty of the same "excesses" and spread STDs to one another at the same clip as gays.

Guest
Guest

You are right on the grammar-- in a hurry.

I don't think that Milk (or MLK) deserved to be shot. I do think that both have been idealized beyond what they deserve, and the negatives of their 'accomplishments' have been swept under the rug.

In Milk's case, the fact is that discrete (i.e. 'in the closet') homosexuality was tolerated in American society before the 'gay' rights movement. -- e.g. Truman Capote to Charles Nelson Reilly. Milk and other 'out and proud' homosexuals created the climate of 1970s San Francisco, Miami, and other places, where their were a lot of young men engaging in anal sex with a lot of other young men. The results were entirely predictable -- even before the AIDS epidemic the incidence of STDs among male homosexuals was off the charts. That remains the case today.

Fact is, traditional American morality on homosexuality -- well mind our business unless you openly flaunt it -- saved lives by discouraging the excesses of the 'gay' community. These excesses which still go on btw, and which still have consequences in terms of public health.

Ronnie
Ronnie

What? "Accept"? Dear I do believe you mean "except".

And can you please explain what you mean? The man was a crusader for civil rights and for all his efforts he was shot to death in his own office. I'm sure you think that MLK was just another uppity negro who got what he deserved too, right?

MayhemInTheHood
MayhemInTheHood

Feinstein Day? Sure, why not? Again, you and I aren't even paying for it(or Harvey Milk Day), so whats the big deal?

Oh yeah. You're a homophobe. I forgot.

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