At the time of Harvey's election, seeing an openly gay man win political office was mind-bending, unthinkable. He won his seat on his third try for office, after consciously building bridges to unions and the city's various racial and ethnic communities. In office he used the platform his election gave him to urge young gays to come out. He knew he had become a target, recording a typically theatrical will that included the message: "If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door."
Since he was in office only briefly, his legislative record was not overwhelming. According to Time Magazine:
The "pooper scooper" law was in its own way a ground-breaking initiative; at the time, many urban dog owners considered city streets convenient canine toilets. In honor of Harvey's birthday, here are a few signs of what his innovation has wrought.
Straightforward, San Francisco
Carefully correct, San Francisco
Suitable for tourists, Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Municipal and authoritative New York City
Personal and plaintive, San Francisco
Explanatory and emphatic, Austin, TX
Private and cooperative, Upper West Side, New York City