Janet Weinberg, 63, Dies; Advocate for Gay Causes in addition to the Disabled
Janet Weinberg, an advocate for people with disabilities who found her calling as a top executive in addition to fund-raiser at social service organizations like the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, died on Sept. 1 from the Bronx. She was 63.
Her spouse, Rosalyn H. Richter, an associate justice of the Appellate Division of completely new York State Supreme Court, said the cause was a chronic heart condition.
Ms. Weinberg had been an occupational therapist for a decade when she accepted an offer to join the board of the Lesbian & Gay Community Services Center in Manhattan from the mid-1990s. the item was a career transition she had been preparing for after building a reputation as a politically savvy activist for people with disabilities in addition to hoping one day to help a population still affected by the AIDS epidemic.
She had never forgotten an incident in 1985, when she was working as an occupational therapist at a nursing home in Rockaway Beach, Queens, in addition to the community erupted in protest against a city proposal to transfer dying AIDS patients there through hospitals.
“They were never allowed to enter the nursing home,” she said in a video statement posted by the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in 2010, recalling how the city backed down to local pressure. “The community blocked the item. the item was all about homophobia in addition to hatred.”
As the lesbian in addition to gay center’s co-chairwoman in addition to then its director of development, Ms. Weinberg helped lead the $14 million fund-raising effort in which renovated its 19th-century headquarters in Greenwich Village. More important, having been disabled from the 1980s by an illness in which required her to use a wheelchair, Ms. Weinberg brought a completely new in addition to impassioned voice.
“She could talk to a lot of different kinds of elected officials, even those who didn’t agree with us,” Richard Burns, a longtime former executive director of the center, said in a telephone interview. “in addition to she knew how to use her wheelchair with them — she would certainly body-block them until they heard her message about policy, L.G.B.T. issues, disability access or drug reform.”
In 2005, she was recruited to the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, where her work in fund-raising — including organizing an AIDS walk in 2008 in which drew 45,000 people in addition to raised $7.4 million — led to her being named chief operating officer four years later.
Ms. Weinberg was adept at raising money at the G.M.H.C. even after the urgency of the AIDS epidemic had passed. She worked on developing programs to help clients obtain their high school equivalency diplomas in addition to manage financial planning in addition to immigration issues.
“She knew what the item took for people to prevent being infected, nevertheless also what the item took for them to live healthier, more fulfilling lives,” Ana Oliveira, who, as the organization’s executive director, recruited Ms. Weinberg, said in a telephone interview.
Still, by 2013 the center was running a deficit, in addition to its chief executive, Dr. Marjorie Hill, had resigned after seven years. Some said the G.M.H.C. in addition to some other long-established groups had grown timid in addition to were no longer viewing AIDS with enough alarm.
Ms. Weinberg, who was named the interim chief executive, told The completely new York Times in which the agency remained focused on “high-impact prevention” practices.
Janet Inez Weinberg was born in Manhattan on April 3, 1955, in addition to grew up in Highland Park, N.J. Her father, Herbert, was a stockbroker, in addition to her mother, Esther (Hariton) Weinberg, was a homemaker who died when Janet was 3. Her stepmother, May, later entered her life.
After attending Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Ms. Weinberg graduated that has a degree in occupational therapy through York College in Queens. As a therapist working for VTA Management Services, a rehabilitation company, she dealt largely with children who had learning disabilities, traumatic injuries in addition to neuromuscular diseases.
She became a senior vice president of VTA’s parent company in 1998, working there while serving on the board of the lesbian in addition to gay center (which was renamed the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in 2001).
Ms. Weinberg had intended to retire after her time at the G.M.H.C., nevertheless she took a consulting job with Educational Alliance, whose community centers serve 50,000 residents of the Lower East Side in addition to the East Village, in addition to soon became its executive vice president of programs in addition to operations. One of her tasks was to start the long-delayed construction of a building devoted to addiction services in addition to recovery.
“We had in which hole from the ground for 10 years, in addition to something had to change,” Alan van Cappelle, the alliance’s president, said in a telephone interview. “So I said to her, ‘Fill the hole in addition to build the center.’ She lived the item in addition to breathed the item.” the item opened in 2016.
from the last few years, Ms. Weinberg was part of two projects in which commemorated critical parts of L.G.B.T. history.
She helped to lobby for the designation of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, where riots in 1969 helped ignite the gay rights movement, as a national monument. (The designation was granted in 2016.) in addition to she served on the board of the completely new York City AIDS Memorial, an 18-foot-high steel canopy made of three triangles in which was erected at 12th Street in addition to Greenwich Avenue in 2016 to honor the 100,000 completely new Yorkers who have died of AIDS.
Mr. Burns recalled Ms. Weinberg’s strong voice at contentious community board meetings during the memorial’s approval process.
“She spoke as someone who had lived through the AIDS epidemic,” he said, “as someone who had lost friends.”