Earlier this week, the White House honored ten openly LGBT elected or appointed officials as “Harvey Milk Champions of Change.” The event took place on May 22nd – Harvey Milk's birthday – and was intended to pay tribute to Harvey Milk’s life, leadership, and legacy.
Established in 2011, the White House Champions of Change program regularly spotlights Americans who are doing extraordinary things for their community, their country, and their fellow citizens. The ten LGBT officials honored as Harvey Milk Champions were chosen for their strong commitment to both equality and public service.
In the words of Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, “When President Obama posthumously awarded Harvey Milk the Medal of Freedom in 2009, he praised his leadership and courage in running for office. Today, we honor Harvey Milk’s legacy in these ten outstanding public servants, who will surely inspire the next generation of public servants.”
The following individuals were honored as Harvey Milk Champions of Change:
- Simone Bell, Georgia State Representative (Atlanta, GA)
- Angie Buhl O'Donnell, South Dakota State Senator (Sioux Falls, SD)
- Karen Clark, Minnesota State Representative (South Minneapolis, MN)
- Michael Gin, Mayor of Redondo Beach (Redondo Beach, CA)
- Kim Coco Iwamoto, Hawaii State Civil Rights Commissioner (Honolulu, HI)
- John Laird, California Secretary of Natural Resources (Santa Cruz, CA)
- Ricardo Lara, California State Senator (Long Beach, CA)
- Kim Painter, Johnson Country Recorder (Iowa City, IA)
- Chris Seelbach, Cincinnati City Council Member (Cincinnati, OH)
- Pat Steadman, Colorado State Senator (Denver, CO)