San Diegans celebrated influential civil rights icon Harvey Milk and two honorees at the nineth annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast Friday at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.
The honorees at the breakfast in San Diego were civil rights activists Cleve Jones and Bishop Yvette Flunder, co-founders of organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area that help HIV/AIDS victims.
"We're in uncharted territory right now for sure, and I don't think anyone knows what's going to happen next," said Jones, offering a note of caution that Harvey's work isn't over yet, in an increasingly contentious political climate.
Jones knew Harvey Milk and worked alongside him in his office as a student intern for 11 months, until Milk was assassinated in November 1978.
"I think the country is facing an extraordinary crisis right now and we need all of us to be leaders," said Jones.
“I think Harvey would be surprised and very proud of us and very pleased with the progress we’ve made.” He continued, “Harvey would want us to know that everything we’ve fought for we now have to defend.”
Assemblymember Todd Gloria (District 78) says that the breakfast is not only a chance to honor Harvey Milk’s legacy, but an opportunity for young LGBT members to understand the community’s history.
“If you don’t know your history, you don’t know where you’re going,” Gloria said.
“It’s a chance to for the community to celebrate the progress we’ve made as LGBT Americans and to continue to make progress on all issues of equality.”
San Diego City Councilmember Christopher Ward (District 3) was also at the breakfast, posing with LGBT elected and appointed officials.
“He really showed us that ordinary people can make great changes in our world,” Jones told NBC 7.
Harvey Milk won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, making him the first openly gay politician to be elected to public office in California. Milk began his activism in San Francisco’s Castro district, where he became affectionately known as, “The Mayor of Castro Street.”
The event was sponsored by the San Diego LGBT Community Center.