The City of Long Beach will host a dedication and opening ceremony on Tuesday, May 21 at 11am for Harvey Milk Promenade Park, the first park in America to be named after the slain civil-rights and LGBT leader. It will also be the first park in the city of Long Beach to be named after an openly gay person.
Mayor Bob Foster, members of the Harvey Milk Foundation and dozens of leaders and members of the LGBT community will celebrate the park opening one day before what would have been Harvey Milk’s 83rd birthday. The new park site is located at 3rd Street and The Promenade.
The historic park will include sitting areas, a memorial to Milk, including a replica of his famous soapbox, and dedicated space to learn about him and his legacy to civil rights.
The park will also include Equality Plaza, an area where local LGBT community members will be honored. The nine members of the local LGBT community who will be inducted and honored at the dedication are: Bob Crow, co-founder and current co-president of Long Beach Pride, Inc.; Ray Lowen, founding member of The Center, activist and artist; Patty Moore, former chair and assistant director of The Center and longtime activist; Michael Noll, the first openly gay Signal Hill Councilmember and a member of The Center’s Board; Frank Rubio, former president of Long Beach Pride, Inc.; and Ellen Ward, an openly gay Signal Hill councilmember for 12 years and former executive director of the Long Beach AIDS Walk.
Those who will be posthumously honored are: Pastor Michael Cole, founder of Christ’s Chapel Long Beach and of the AIDS Food Store; Ellen “Mary” Martinez, a 25-year member of Long Beach Pride, Inc. and a board member at The Center; and Jean Harris, former executive director of the California Alliance for Pride and Equality.
“I am so proud that we are honoring the incredible work of civil-rights leader Harvey Milk,” said Vice Mayor Robert Garcia, who represents the 1st district, where the park is located. “This park will not only celebrate Harvey’s historic contributions to equality but honor the great work of our local LGBT community. I hope you can join me on this special day for not only Harvey’s legacy, but for Long Beach.”