Photo from 2017 by James Maher for EVG
Merle Ratner, a longtime East Village resident and passionate advocate, died last night. She was 67.
Police identified Ratner as the victim in the collision on 10th Street and Avenue C. As previously reported, a commercial tow truck struck Ratner as she crossed the east side of 10th Street. A Fourth Street resident, she was said to be going to a friend's house for dinner.
ABC 7 reported that the Collision Investigation Squad questioned the driver and conducted a field sobriety test. He has reportedly not been charged while the investigation continues.
Ratner grew up in the Bronx and lived in the East Village starting in the 1980s. She was a co-coordinator of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign. She also worked as a labor rights organizer at the International Commission for Labor Rights ... and served on the board at the Laundry Workers Center, which organizes low-wage immigrant laundry and food service workers.
Here's more from Ratner in an EVG interview with James Maher in 2017:
My family has a history — my grandmother, when she came from Odessa, was the first woman business agent at the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, and my mother was a member of Local 1707 Day Care Workers. I have a picture in my house of my grandmother; it must have been in the 1920s, with a long skirt with a bustle, the very traditional thing that women wore, holding a picket sign with her friend that said, 'Don’t be a scab.'"
Ngô Thanh Nhàn talked with The Village Sun about his wife of 40 years.
"She loved life and was always thinking about ways to build a society that supports people, not profit," he said.