‘Miriam Friedlander Way’ is Dedicated on East 6th Street for the Former Councilwoman and Activist

Posted on: October 20th, 2014 at 10:03 am by
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For eighteen years, Miriam Friedlander represented Council District 2 and was a fierce advocate for the community. She served as Councilmember from 1974 to 1991, tenaciously fighting for the rights of women, tenants and the LGBT community. In fact, it was under her tenure that City Council adopted the unisex “Councilmember” moniker.

And now her legacy of public service is a permanent fixture of the East Village streetscape. Indeed, yesterday afternoon, the southeast corner of Second Avenue and East Sixth Street was co-named “Miriam Friedlander Way.”

A neverending cavalcade of speakers paid tribute to the late Councilwoman, who died in 2009 at the age of 95. Everyone from fellow activists to Manhattan BP Gale Brewer, former Councilwoman Margarita Lopez, and CB3 District Manager Susan Stetzer spoke to Friedlander’s accomplishments. Even her former yoga instructor gave two cents about her “downward facing dog.” Rosie Mendez acted as emcee and had plenty of humorous remarks, including some observations about Friedlander possibly meeting her nemesis Ed Koch in heaven. Most apparent during the ceremony was the love and adoration she commanded from the neighborhood. You got the sense that they just don’t make ’em like that anymore.

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Philip VanAver and Miriam Friedlander, Photo: Bob Arihood

As the handouts noted: “Miriam’s legacy is one of leftist progressive politics that is embedded in the fabric of the Lower East Side/East Village and she is part of that legacy.”

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