Gov. Gavin Newsom declared May 22 as Harvey Milk Day, the Office of the Governor confirmed Saturday.
Harvey Milk was a politician and first openly gay man elected in California. He was born May 22, 1930 in New York and settled in San Francisco years later.
"Today we honor a hero for not just his own community, but for every Californian
fighting for freedom and equality," Gov. Newsom said in a statement.
Get a weekly recap of the latest San Francisco Bay Area housing news. Sign up for NBC Bay Area’s Housing Deconstructed newsletter.
Upon arrival to the Castro District in 1972, Milk found a LGBTQ+ community and took it upon himself to organize and advocate for justice. In 1977, he became the first openly gay person elected in the Golden State.
"Milk stood firm in his belief that freedom and dignity should extend to all human
beings, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, at great personal risk," Gov. Newsom said.
"Milk paid the ultimate price for his advocacy when he was struck down by an
assassin’s bullet just a year into his term on the Board of Supervisors. His legacy
lives on in laws and policies that protect the LGBTQ community and in the hearts
of generations of activists."
Gov. Newsom encourages Californians to remember Milk's words; "Hope will never be silent."
"We must carry on his fearless advocacy as we work towards a California for All," Newsom said.