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Announcing Harvey Milk Champions of Change

In August 2009, President Obama honored Harvey Milk posthumously with America’s highest civilian medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, with the following citation:

Harvey Bernard Milk dedicated his life to shattering boundaries and challenging assumptions. As one of the first openly gay elected officials in this country, he changed the landscape of opportunity for the nation's gay community. Throughout his life, he fought discrimination with visionary courage and conviction. Before his tragic death in 1978, he wisely noted, "Hope will never be silent," and called upon Americans to stay true to the guiding principles of equality and justice for all. Harvey Milk's voice will forever echo in the hearts of all those who carry forward his timeless message.

To honor Harvey Milk’s legacy, the White House will recognize a group of outstanding openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) state and local elected and appointed officials as “Harvey Milk Champions of Change.”  Established in 2011, the White House Champions of Change Program regularly spotlights ordinary citizens who are doing extraordinary things for to their community, their country, and their fellow citizens.  In that tradition, we will honor as Harvey Milk Champions of Change a small group of LGBT state and local elected and appointed officials who have demonstrated a strong commitment to both equality and public service.

If that sounds like you or someone you know, then we want to hear from you!

Members of the public are invited to nominate candidates for consideration.  Nominees should be LGBT individuals who have been elected or appointed to state or local office, and who have demonstrated a strong commitment to public service.  Please keep in mind that, in the spirit of the Champions of Change program, we are looking for unsung heroes – individuals whose contributions have gone unrecognized.

Click here to nominate a Harvey Milk Champion of Change before Friday, April 19, 2013 (Note: Under “Theme of Service” please choose “Harvey Milk Champions of Change”). 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact LGBT@who.eop.gov.  For the latest news on efforts by the Obama Administration on behalf of the LGBT community, please sign up for updates.