Longtime Resident and Advocate Kathleen Harmon Honored with a Street Name Designation by City Council

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Long-time community resident and advocate Kathleen Harmon was honored over the weekend by receiving the City of San Diego’s first-ever honorary street name designation.

You can now drive down Kathleen E. Harmon Way on the 300 block of Welling Way between Madrone and La Sena Avenues in Skyline Hills.

The designation comes after decades of commitment and work for the Southeastern San Diego community. An advocate for education as well as social and economic justice, Ms. Harmon has been in the political arena for over 40 years, working with elected officials, administrators, and department officials to ensure that our communities prosper. She did this all while also raising seven children, leading the PTA, working a 10-hour shift at the Southeast Welfare Department, volunteering on various boards and committees, and completing her higher education, including a Masters in Social Work from San Diego State University at age 54. She also started the San Diego Peace Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to serving families who have lost a loved one to violence. Losing her granddaughter, Chaleta Atina Robertson, to violence led her to create this coalition as way to bring hope and solace to others who’ve experienced this kind of after tragedy, and to advocate for peace in the community.

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Ms. Harmon is the epitome of drive, hard work, and dedication to bettering self and community.

As San Diego City Council President Myrtle Cole said in her newsletter, “I cannot think of any other person more deserving than Kathleen Harmon to receive this designation.” The Council President spearheaded the designation.

Here is a video (courtesy of JoAnn Fields via Facebook) taken at the street designation of Ms. Harmon giving her remarks and thanks.

 

The Jacobs Center held a special surprise reception for Ms. Harmon to celebrate this huge honor and her legacy with her friends, family, and others she has positively impacted over the years. It was filled with beautiful words about Ms. Harmon’s work and the strength of her character.

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At the event, Jacobs Center president and CEO Reginald Jones spoke on Ms. Harmon’s indelible mark on the community.

“While I have only been in San Diego a short period, I recognize that Mrs. Harmon has been a long-time contributor to advance community voice on behalf of Southeastern San Diego residents,” he says. “Her impact for community benefit has extended into the region.”

For Ms. Harmon’s daughter, Karen Cole, the street name designation comes after 86 years of her mother’s impressive and inspiring work.

“It’s a blessing to be my mother’s daughter because my mother has been in the community over 60 years, and I got to watch her become the woman she is today,” says Cole.

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“I’m happy for her to be alive to see it and be rejoiced that all her labor has not gone unnoticed. All my siblings are happy about it. My older brother passed, and I know he’s jumping for joy knowing that all my mom’s hard work paid off. I just wish he was here in the flesh to enjoy it with us.”

Dr. Rudy Johnson, CEO/President Neighborhood Housing Association, has known Ms. Harmon his entire adult life and considers himself a product of this community.

“Anyone who’s lived in this community has felt advocacy, support, or influence of Kathleen Harmon, and I’m one of those individuals,” he says.

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For Dr. Johnson, driving passed Kathleen Harmon Way won’t just remind him of her incredible legacy in Southeastern San Diego through her work. It will also remind him of the caring and giving person she is.

“The fact that she is a volunteer that is taking this responsibility to be an advocate for others speaks volumes of her character,” he says. “It’s a huge honor and a great tip of the cap to her work.”

We thank and honor Ms. Kathleen Harmon for all she has done for Southeastern San Diego!