San Francisco - Yesterday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined civic leaders in unveiling a bust of the late Supervisor Harvey Milk at the Treasure Island Job Corps Center. Tomorrow, November 27, 2008 marks the 30th anniversary of Supervisor Milk's assassination. Below are the Speaker's remarks from yesterday:
'Thank you, Stuart Milk, for your kind words and for following in the footsteps of your uncle in making our diversity our strength and our celebration. It's so appropriate that we are here at Treasure Island, at a place where the Job Corps provides opportunity for these young people when Harvey Milk was all about opportunity - opportunity for everyone. Sure, he made life better in what he did for the LGBT community, but he also made it better for everyone.
'Thirty years ago when we were all at his funeral, we were standing there, with the weather similar to today, in total and complete disbelief. Just stunned to see these two men being eulogized on the steps of City Hall. And now here we are, fast forward 30 years later. I'm really grateful for you, Stuart and others, for making all of this possible, because I kept on thinking of Harvey on that day. On the day that we eulogized him and now you have us thinking of him so much more.
'This is an incredible occasion. It is so beautiful that this administration building is named for Harvey and that Harvey's bust will be here. That there are movies made and on top of that there are award-winning documentaries and the list goes on…the tributes and the acknowledgments of his leadership. As great as they all are, none of them can match this very special and unique person.
'I was talking to some people about Harvey, when we were all volunteering with the Democratic Party. He came to everything - every cause - he came to everything because all of it was important to him. No matter who you talked to, anyone who knew him always said the same thing, 'What a great guy.' He was a great guy, he led a wonderful life, and he was comfortable in his own skin and he wanted everyone else to be so as well.
'To the young people who are here, when I first became a Member of the Appropriations Committee, Job Corps was emerging and we wanted to make sure we had the money and we protected against all assaults to the money. So one day when they said they were going to add some Job Corps centers, I called the Mayor and said, 'Mr. Mayor, this is going to be a team effort.' We wanted it in a place, not in San Francisco, but in a place that all of the Bay Area could call its own. To see these young people and just thinking of the wonderful life that Harvey led…to see how that translates into your lives, the opportunity. You are our future. It is about how proud we are of you and how proud we are of everyone who makes Job Corps possible.
'This coming together, the unveiling of the bust of Harvey Milk, in front of an administration building on Treasure Island and all that it implies is a lot of history, a lot of progress and about the future. So, Stuart, you are keeping the flame alive, but you are getting lots of help. How proud you must be, Audrey, to be part of this wonderful family.
“I always say to my Members of Congress and to my constituents fighting against Prop 8, 'I won't say anything in my district that I wouldn't say on the floor of the House of Representatives about how proud we are.' Some Members say to me, 'It's easy for you coming from the San Francisco area - they are all so tolerant.' I say, 'You really have it all wrong. It's not about being tolerant; it's about taking pride.' We take pride, we learn from, we are better because of the LGBT community. We take pride in them. We are ahead of the rest of the country.
'We know how blessed we were to have Harvey Milk among us. What a wonderful person, what a wonderful life. What a wonderful day for us all to be here to remember each in our own way the cavalcade of impressions of this one man. For some of you it is history, for some of us it was our youth, for all of us it is a cause of celebration.'