EAST VILLAGE — The stretch of East Sixth Street between First and Second Avenues will soon be named “Miriam Friedman Way,” in honor of the late city councilwoman who was known for her progressive politics and advocacy of underprivileged groups in the East Village and Lower East Side.
Local leaders will celebrate the street co-naming in a ceremony on the southeast corner of East Sixth Street and Second Avenue at noon on Sunday.
“For all that she did for NYC and District 2, we get to do this one thing for her — co-name the street she lived on as Miriam Friedlander Way,” said Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, who worked with her and now represents her district.
Friedlander, who passed away in 2009 at 95 years old, represented the neighborhood from 1974 to 1991. She often clashed with the various mayoral administrations and quickly became known for her leftist politics.
Friedlander was also one of the few women in City Council when she first came into office after she narrowly beat current Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for the seat.
"She didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer and she was a very strong woman,” said Community Board 3 District Manager Susan Stetzer, who worked with Friedlander and was also her friend.
Friedlander, she added, “never betrayed her own values.” She fought for LGBT and women's rights and supported progressive causes, Stetzer said.
After she left office, Friedlander continued to be an active presence in the neighborhood, Stetzer said. Friedlander campaigned for local politicians into her 80s and hung out on the corner of East Sixth Street and Second Avenue.
“She was always out until she couldn’t go out anymore. You’d run into her on Second Avenue,” Stetzer said.
She called Friedlander “an inspiration for those of us who care about working in the community.”
“If there’s anyone in the world that should have a street co-named after them in the neighborhood, it’s Miriam,” Stetzer said.