Housing activist Corey Green was remembered April 20 by her family, friends, work colleagues, and Lower East Side neighbors at a memorial service at St. Mark’s in the Bowery. Her death came after a tragically short fight with uterine cancer.
I first met Corey when she came around the office of Met Council in the mid-1990s. Corey was tall, blond, stunning, funny, straightforward, embarrassingly in-your-face, brash, and scary-smart. She started volunteering on our hotline and the Lower East Side clinic while attending graduate school and working as a waitress.
She said she needed a place to put her passion for tenants’ rights to good use. She helped organize the tenants in her building on the Lower East Side—a building that went from a slumlord (who didn’t care who lived in their buildings as long as they didn’t demand heat and hot water) to private equity companies (who were happy to provide services to tenants paying highly inflated rents and more than happy when rent-regulated tenants moved out).
Corey continued to volunteer at Met Council off and on through the years as she finished her master’s degree in public administration and went to work for the City Council and then for Assemblymember Dick Gottfried, helping tenants and those fighting to preserve neighborhoods.