White House to honor ten openly LGBT public officials on Harvey Milk Day

Harvey Milk Staff Reports

WASHINGTON — The White House has released a list of ten openly LGBT public officials it will honor Wednesday as “Harvey Milk Champions of Change.”

Established in 2011, the White House Champions of Change Program regularly spotlights ordinary citizens who are doing extraordinary things for to their community, their country, and their fellow citizens.

In that tradition, the White House announced last month it would honor as “Harvey Milk Champions of Change,” a small group of LGBT state and local elected and appointed officials who have demonstrated a strong commitment to both equality and public service.

The 2013 Harvey Milk Champions of Change are:

  • Simone Bell – Georgia State Representative, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Angie Buhl O’Donnell – South Dakota State Senator, Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Karen Clark – Minnesota State Representative, South Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Michael A. Gin – Mayor of Redondo Beach, Redondo Beach, Calif.
  • Kim Coco Iwamoto – Hawaii State Civil Rights Commissioner, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • John Laird – California Secretary of Natural Resources, Santa Cruz, Calif.
  • Ricardo Lara – California State Senator, Long Beach, Calif.
  • Kim Painter – Johnson Country Recorder, Iowa City, Iowa
  • Chris Seelbach – Cincinnati City Council Member, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Pat Steadman – Colorado State Senator, Denver, Colo.

“These are LGBT leaders who have demonstrated a strong commitment to both equality and public service,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund and Institute. “They are citizen legislators, executives and appointees who serve honestly, openly and proudly. We congratulate and salute each of them for this high honor.”

The event falls on May 22 — Harvey Milk Day — which commemorates the slain civil rights leader’s birthday.

The White House also announced Monday that President Barack Obama will bestow a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, to astronaut Dr. Sally Ride.

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