Portland Pride will take off this weekend, and it couldn’t come at a better time, as the city has announced it will celebrate an important gay activist by naming a major street after him.
As the Oregon Live reports, Southwest Stark will be renamed to Harvey Milk Street.
The street is already a well known hub for queer nightlife and culture, making it a fitting choice.
The Portland City Council voted unanimously on Thursday to rename the 13-block stretch after the openly gay civil rights icon and politician, who was assassinated in 1978.
Portland mayor Ted Wheeler called him “one of the country’s most inspirational heroes.”
Milk was born in Woodmere, New York, and moved to San Francisco in 1972. He was elected to the city’s Board of Supervisors in 1977, where he served until his death.
Thursday’s vote was fast-tracked to coincide with Pride Month and Portland’s Pride Parade, which will take place on June 17.
“It sends a signal that we are an open and a welcoming and an inclusive community,” Wheeler said, prior to the vote. “It signals that these are values that we hold deeply.”
“Street names matter,” said Nancy Haque, co-executive director of Basic Rights Oregon, who grew up in a Virginia town with a main street named after Confederate general Robert E. Lee. “They can make us feel welcome, or definitely not welcome.”
San Diego and Salt Lake City have also renamed streets after Milk, and earlier this year, San Francisco voted to name a terminal in his honor.