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Legislation on Harvey Milk signage at SFO sent back to committee

Legislation dictating the size of signs honoring slain LGBT leader Harvey Milk at San Francisco International Airport was sent back to committee Tuesday for a hearing on its financial impact after airport officials said it would cost around $1.6 million to implement.

A vote on the legislation scheduled for Tuesday was postponed after The City’s budget analyst determined amendments made last week made the hearing necessary.

A year after the the board called for the naming of Terminal 1 after Milk, Supervisor Hillary Ronen is pushing legislation to require the former supervisor’s name is displayed prominently.

Ronen introduced the legislation because she felt airport officials have “continuously undermined the intent” of the board for the past year, in part by proposing a design for signage that featured Harvey Milk’s name in smaller letters than the label ‘Terminal 1.’

But after the legislation was amended last week to require that no Terminal 1 sign could stand alone without the Milk name, it was determined by the budget analyst that it would have to go before the board’s Budget and Finance Committee

“Additionally, wherever signage identifying ‘Terminal 1’ appears on the interior or exterior of the terminal or airport, the words ‘Harvey Milk’ shall appear in equal or greater height,” the legislation states.

“We advised the Budget Analyst Office that the initial estimate to incorporate the proposed amendment language throughout the airport is approximately $1.6M and would entail making changes to more than 120 signs; including Terminal directional signs, directories, all AirTrain platform and car signs and garage signage,” SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel said in an email to the San Francisco Examiner.

The legislation also requires at the outside entrance of the terminal “Harvey Milk Terminal” will have to appear in capital letters at least four feet high and below “Terminal 1” in letters about 75 percent of the height of the Milk sign.

“We’ve had to fight tooth and nail every step of the way,” Ronen said, promising the board would vote on the proposal in the coming weeks.

In 1977, Milk was elected to the Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay elected official in San Francisco and California. He was gunned down at City Hall in 1978 along with Mayor George Moscone by former Supervisor Dan White.

In other business Tuesday, the board unanimously approved an agreement introduced by Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Matt Haney with the nonprofit La Cocina to open on an interim basis a food hall at the shuttered former US Postal Service office at 101 Hyde St.

La Cocina, which trains women of color to advance in the food industry, is expected to hold a grand opening at the site in January 2020. When the lease with La Cocina ends in December 2025, The City is expected to move forward with a promised affordable housing development on the site.

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