Longtime Local Activist Janet Freeman Honored with Co-Naming at Elizabeth and Kenmare

Posted on: June 23rd, 2014 at 10:03 am by
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The Janet Freeman way was grassroots activism and the endless struggle against the monumental sea change facing the neighborhood. Now the city has honored her as such with a co-named street corner near her old home. “Janet Freeman Way” – the northwest corner of Elizabeth and Kenmare Streets.

Yesterday afternoon was the official unveiling of the street sign, amidst a horde of non-caring brunchers across the way at Butcher’s Daughter and Ken & Cook. A host of politicians, local activists, and close friends spoke to Freeman’s true character. The meat of the memorial was peppered with her achievements in helping the average citizen fight for their rights. For instance, resident Elizabeth Espada who sought help following the fire in her building at 196 Elizabeth Street in 2008. She was left with nothing, virtually homeless. Freeman was there to help navigate every step of the way.

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As for electeds, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Councilmembers Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez, Borough President Gale Brewer were all in attendance. Mendez quipped in her speech that the “‘lady on the bicycle’ brought joy to our hearts and a frown to her landlord’s face.” The landlord must now see this sign every day.

Janet Freeman lived on Elizabeth for decades before her death in 2011 at the age of 60.

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