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Stephon Johnson

Stories by Stephon

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Community copes with death of ‘Junior,’ violence of Trinitarios

“Justice for Junior” has become a rallying cry for a community dealing with the pitfalls of gang violence.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez highlights federal primary night

In a stunning upset, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated Congressman Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary for the 14th Congressional District, which includes parts of the Bronx and Queens.

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‘Red Flag’ bill fails in Albany; Cuomo and others criticize GOP

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo hit back at New York State Senate Republicans. The crime: not allowing a gun reform bill to make it to the Senate floor.

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Pleasure Chest employees walk out demanding better wages and treatment

Pleasure Chest workers were joined by a legislative ally in their fight for a better workplace.

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Specialized Prejudice: Protest as Mayor calls to end specialized high school test

One man, who’s on the staff of a school district in Manhattan, anonymously compared the demographics of the NBA to specialized high schools.

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Mayor: City is ahead of schedule giving money to M/WBEs

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this week that his administration is meeting his OneNYC goal earlier than expected.

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Campus workers organize as Janus decision nears

Graduate students on local college campuses continue to organize and fight for better wages and work conditions. In Washington, D.C., however, the U.S. Supreme Court is closer to making a decision that could affect union labor around the country.

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DeBlasio (finally) gives thumbs-up on safe consumption facilities

DeBlasio (finally) gives thumbs-up on safe consumption facilities

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Chancellor’s challenge: Report potentially upends usual talking points on school segregation

A common refrain one would hear from elected officials is that housing segregation begets school segregation.

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Senators introduce bill to diversify specialized high schools

Two elected officials want to increase the number of Black and Hispanic students at specialized high schools.

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Union leaders, activists applaud push to eliminate commercial bail bonds in NY

The United States and the Philippines are the only places that allow commercial bail bonds in criminal cases.

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Community groups, elected officials rally against Cuomo threats

Last week, community groups and elected officials took to Foley Square in Lower Manhattan to say they’re not going anywhere.

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Special elections give Dems majority but Felder says ‘Not so fast’

Democrats in New York State are celebrating a majority in the Senate, but the victory may be surface-level only.

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32BJ and CWA pull away from Working Families Party

32BJ and CWA pull away from Working Families Party

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New bill bans cops from having sex with detainees

New York State didn’t have a law that banned cops from having sex with those in custody.

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Port Authority’s wage resolution would increase salary to $19 an hour

This month, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey voted on a new wage resolution that would increase their workers’ base pay from minimum wage to $19 an hour by 2023. The raises would affect 40,000 workers in New York and New Jersey airports, including security officers, wheelchair agents, baggage handlers, terminal cleaners and other airport workers.

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Union members speak out against slashed pay and benefits

Last week, members of 32BJ, along with security offices, rallied outside of 1180 Sixth Ave. to protest cuts to their wages and benefits.

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Comptroller report: off-peak subway service decreases even as ridership increases

A new report from New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer shows that off-peak subway service has dropped despite a ridership increase during those hours.

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City Council approves Jerome Avenue rezoning in the Bronx

Despite the controversial nature of the plan, the Jerome Avenue rezoning plan passed with little resistance in the New York City Council this month.

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Candidate and the city: Cynthia Nixon speaks one-on-one with the AmNews

Carved into the front desk of the Bethesda Healing Center in Brownsville, Brooklyn is the phrase “We are destined to win.” Approximately 30 feet away from the desk stood actress Cynthia Nixon, of “Sex and the City” fame, hoping to make that statement a reality.

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Unions hop on the endorsement train

It’s election season, which means it’s time for labor unions to plant their flag in the camp of their preferred candidates.

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What’s first for the new chancellor? Everything

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had to choose which person he wanted to lead the city’s schools. New Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza doesn’t have a choice for what agenda to attack first.

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Activists crush NYPD over Buzzfeed report

City Hall and the New York Police Department are feeling the heat after a recent Buzzfeed report on the disciplinary action taken against abusive officers.

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What’s behind door #2: The new schools chancellor

“Houston’s loss is New York City’s gain,” said American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and Houston Federation of Teachers President Zeph Capo in a joint statement.

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Inwood residents to city and rezoning plan: Slow down

With the economically disadvantaged being priced out of Manhattan, Inwood residents are fighting to hold on to the place they’ve called home.

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Report: State courts and private debt companies are hurting consumers

A report from the American Civil Liberties Union shows how private debt collection companies keep Americans living in terror.

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Labor leaders and activists angered over no immigrant deal in Senate

Like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown, the Republicans have tricked Democrats into agreeing on a bill without a deal for immigrants and Dreamers, leaving Democrats angry. Labor leaders and pro-immigration activists aren’t happy about it either.

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Labor, community activists push back against U.S. Census citizenship question

A group of local community activists, labor and legal advocacy leaders sent a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross urging him to reject a proposal from the Department of Justice that would change the U.S. Census.

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De Blasio’s Rikers announcement gets mixed results

It’s taking too long. It’s going too quickly. More facilities aren’t the answer. He’s not protecting inmates. He’s not protecting correction officers.

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Locally and nationally, immigrants are being shoved aside

Politicians from both sides claimed bipartisanship after passing a spending bill, but immigrants are wondering who’s looking out for them.

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A new law could mean a new start for New Yorkers

In 1992, John (not his real name) and his friends were stopped by police while riding around in a car.

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Report: L-Train shutdown plan isn’t enough

A Bus Rapid Transit Planning International report, commissioned by Transportation Alternatives, concluded that the MTA and City Hall’s contingency plan for the L-train shutdown doesn’t suffice.

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NYSUT: DiNapoli’s report shows need to fully fund public schools

According to New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, 26 school districts in the state are in need of financial assistance.

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Unions and activists set Working People’s Day of Action

The day honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has passed, but unions and activists will continue to honor him in February.

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Advocates want mayor to release study on safe injection facilities

With the City of Philadelphia contemplating a program that would provide intravenous drug users a medically supervised place to get high, advocates want New York to follow suit.

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Census Bureau to keep guidelines on race/ethnicity from 2010

The U.S. Census Bureau, under President Donald Trump’s administration, won’t aid requests from the Barack Obama administration to change how the government addresses race and ethnicity.

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Department of Labor report shows union growth in New York

report from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that union membership grew in New York and that New York remains one of the biggest pro-union states in the country.

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Unions, activists to post-shutdown government: You’re on notice

Monday, the U.S. Senate voted on a deal to end the government shutdown.

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‘Protect yourselves’—Firefighters talk fire safety

Thirteen people killed by a fire in the Bronx. Seventeen people hurt in a fire in Washington Heights. An elderly woman killed in a Queens fire. Six firefighters hurt in a massive fire in Crown Heights.

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NY AFL-CIO president applauds Cuomo’s anti-sexual harassment proposal

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo started off the new year with a proposal to crack down on sexual harassment.

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Labor leaders talk 2017, Trump and the future

The year 2017 was a tough year for labor unions and union advocates, but those on the front lines championed accomplishments despite what the year offered them.

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Fariña announces retirement

Last week, New York Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced her plans to retire. After her recent announcement of school closures, she used a news conference with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to reflect on her tenure.

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32BJ and others back mayor’s online voter registration plan

New legislation signed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio would make voter registration for New Yorkers easier.

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Schneiderman: We’ll sue the FCC over net neutrality repeal

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that he’s suing the Federal Communications Commission over its decision to repeal net neutrality rules last week.

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Labor leaders denounce GOP tax bill

Republicans in the House and the U.S. Senate passed sweeping, $1.5 billion tax legislation, the most significant tax reform in 30 years.

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Musical chairs: Chancellor proposes school closings

The schools lacked stability and the chancellor wants another shake up.

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More NY students with disabilities can graduate with diplomas

Monday, the New York State Board of Regents adopted new regulations for students with disabilities that allows them to graduate without passing state exams.

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DACA fate hangs in the balance for another week

With the government shutdown set to take effect at 12:01 a.m. this Saturday, Congress passed a short-term spending deal last Thursday.

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PSC-CUNY/CUNY deal restructures full-time faculty workload

A deal between the City University of New York and the union that represents CUNY’s faculty and staff would allow full-time faculty to restructure their time.

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Civilian FDNY employees file discrimination lawsuit

According to a new lawsuit, discrimination in the FDNY isn’t limited to actual firefighters.

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