White House Looks to Identify Harvey Milk Champions of Change

Three-and-a-half years after President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Harvey Milk, the slain San Francisco city supervisor and gay rights activist, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian award, the White House is looking to spotlight a group of outstanding LGBT elected and appointed officials to be honored as Harvey Milk Champions of Change.

The Obama administration established the Champions of Change program in 2011 to recognize the contributions of “ordinary citizens who are doing extraordinary things for to their community, their country, and their fellow citizens.” Even though the White House is limiting its search to elected and appointed officials, the announcement stated that “in the spirit of the Champions of Change program, we are looking for unsung heroes — individuals whose contributions have gone unrecognized.”

Nominations, which are due by April 19, can be made at whitehouse.gov/champions/nominate.

Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were gunned down in City Hall by Dan White, a disgruntled former supervisor, in November 1978, just weeks after Milk led the successful effort to defeat a voter initiative that would have required California public schools to fire all gay and lesbian teachers.