SAN DIEGO -- Another project of interest to many in the LGBT community will go before the Uptown Planners today, March 6, at 6 pm.
The group will vote on a proposal to rename Hillcrest's Blaine Avenue as Harvey Milk Street.
Blaine Avenue runs five blocks from The Center to Cleveland Avenue, with Normal Street as an intersection. The Gay Pride Flag Project hopes to put a large rainbow flag at the intersection of Normal Street and University Avenue, so the renaming of Blaine Avenue as Harvey Milk Street would add an exclamation point for Hillcrest's large and vibrant LGBT community. The flag project has been approved by the Uptown Planners, so it next goes to the city's planning group.
San Diego LGBT Pride is coordinating the effort, along with a group of citizens and organizations, to rename the street after the civil rights hero to honor LGBT history.
In a message to supporters of project, San Diego Pride executive director Dwayne Crenshaw wrote on behalf of the "Committee to Commemorate Harvey Milk" to encourage community members to speak in favor of the project at tonight's meeting:
"We need you to come out and show your support so San Diego can have the first street in America named in honor of Harvey Milk! Bring your prideful spirit and together we can make history!"
The Uptown Planners board provides advisory recommendations to the City of San Diego regarding land use and projects in the neighborhoods within the Uptown Community Plan area. Recommendations by such community groups are recognized by the city as a step in the approval process for discretionary projects, which are those that request variances to the building code or zoning, and new development.
While the final decision on such projects is ultimately made by the City Council, input from citizens groups like the Uptown Planners is heavily weighted.
Last month, Uptown Planners voted 8-6 to recommend the installation of a flag pole at the corner of Normal Street at University Avenue. A rainbow flag will fly year round on the pole.
Also on tonight's agenda will be an election to fill seven seats on the Uptown Planners board. Nine candidates are vying for the seats:
Ernestine Bonn (University Heights)
Thomas Fox (Bankers Hill/Park West)
Beth Jaworski (University Heights)
Jim Mellos (Middletown/Mission Hills)
Joe Naskar (Middletown/Mission Hills)
Jay Newington (Bankers Hill/Park West)
Michael Seidel (Hillcrest)
Christopher Ward (University Heights)
Matt Winter (Hillcrest)
Those who wish to vote must show identification proving that they are a resident, property or business owner in the Uptown Planning Area. Acceptable identification includes a driver's license, utility bill, tax bill, business license, rent receipt, or any document that has the individual's name and street address.
The meeting begins at 6 pm and voting will open at that time, however candidates will be given the opportunity to make statements as the first agenda item.
The Harvey Milk Street item is scheduled to be heard after 7:30 pm.
The Uptown Planners board meeting will take place at the Joyce Beers Community Center on Vermont Street, north of University Avenue, in the Uptown Shopping District Plaza.
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