Volume 22, Number 51 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | April 30 - May 6, 2010
The photo of himself that Harry Wieder posted on his Facebook page.
Harry Wieder, C.B. 3 member, is killed by cab after board meeting
By Albert Amateau
Harry Wieder, a member of Community Board 3 and an activist in groups advocating for gay rights and the disabled, was killed on Tuesday night April 27 when he was hit by a taxi while crossing the street as he was leaving the community board’s monthly meeting.
Police said the cab going north on Essex St. struck Wieder as he was crossing the street midblock between Stanton and East Houston Sts. around 9:45 p.m.
The driver apparently did not see Wieder, who was about 4 feet tall and walked with the aid of forearm crutches. Police said the cab stopped and there was no criminality involved, but they were still investigating the accident on Wednesday. Wieder was reportedly crossing the street to get to his car.
An Emergency Medical Services unit took Wieder, 57, to Bellevue Hospital where he was declared dead after doctors were unable to revive him. Wieder’s mother arrived at the hospital via Hatzolah Ambulance Service from her home in Queens but she was not in time to see him alive.
“How terrible that someone who worked to improve transportation for all was struck by a taxi,” said Dominic Pisciotta, C.B. 3 chairperson, who was still inside P.S. 20 after the meeting when Wieder was killed.
“He leaves behind a huge void in the communities he served,” Pisciotta said. “I will miss Harry terribly. He contributed so much to the board, and you could always count on him to be at nearly every meeting. He loved serving the community and, most of all, fighting for it. We can honor his life by continuing to fight for safer roads and furthering his legacy of equality and access for all.”
“I met him when I moved into the neighborhood,” said City Councilmember Rosie Mendez. “He was a dear friend and a consistent voice for affordable housing and disability rights. I’m going to miss him,” Mendez said.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer issued a statement honoring Wieder.
Wieder got on Community Board 3 — which covers the East Village and Lower East Side — in 1999 when he was appointed by then-Councilmember Margarita Lopez. He was a member of the board’s Transportation Committee and also its committees on Human Services, Health, Disability and Seniors / Youth and Education.
Wieder was a member of 504 Democrats and Disabled in Action, groups composed of and advocating for the disabled. He was also active in Coalition for a District Alternative, or CoDA, a progressive Lower East Side Democratic organization.
His mother, a Holocaust survivor, is believed to be his only living relative.
A funeral service will be held on Friday at noon in Forest Hills, Queens, at Schwartz Brothers-Jeffer Memorial Chapels, 114-03 Queens Boulevard (corner of 76th Road). For directions and contact information, go to http://www.sbjmc.com/chapelloc.asp .