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Stephon Johnson

Stories by Stephon

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Lillian Roberts to step down from DC 37

After 60 years of service to the labor movement and having served as president of the largest public union in New York City, District Council 37 President Lillian Roberts has announced her resignation.

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Local officials and advocates take police union to task over stop-and-frisk case

Elected officials and advocates have a simple message for the police union: Stop with the nonsense.

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Bronx unemployment rate dips to single digits

The only borough on the mainland has defended itself from criticism from Sen. Ted Cruz, and now the Bronx has some other good news to share.

State attorney general settles minimum wage dispute with JFK airport contractor

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a settlement last week with an airport contractor that was paying workers at an hourly rate below the minimum wage.

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Rangel’s letter: More minority inclusion in LaGuardia project

In a letter to the New York Congressional Delegation, Rep. Charles Rangel discussed why more minorities need to be included in the LaGuardia Central Terminal Project.

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U.S. Census: In New York, poverty still a problem

A recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau showed that poverty is still a major problem in the tristate area.

Union leaders will be honored at fourth annual labor breakfast

Local and national labor leaders and union advocates will be honored yet again at the New York Amsterdam News’ fourth annual labor breakfast.

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Fast-food workers rally in New York City and around the nation

Last Thursday, fast-food workers around New York City and the country staged rallies in favor of a $15 minimum wage and the right to form a union.

Stringer Shows Concern about Pre-K Numbers, de Blasio Shrugs

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer revealed that he had only received 141 of more than 500 contracts for universal pre-K service providers.

SEIU endorses John Liu in New York Senate race

Former New York City Comptroller and mayoral candidate John Liu’s run at a state Senate seat might need a bandwagon.

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Fast-food worker movement makes waves in California

With the fast-food worker labor movement in full force nationally, every victory for the organizers can be considered a major one. Last week was no different.

Espaillat receives endorsement of UFT and DiNapoli

New York state Sen. Adriano Espaillat is back on the campaign trail for re-election and has gathered significant endorsements along the way.

Introducing NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia

Sitting in the Starbucks on 145th Street & Bradhurst Ave., National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia's enthusiasm takes over the quiet space.

Social media lets the world know about Ferguson

The exchange of information on social media of the Michael Brown story showcased the good, the bad and the ugly of modern-day journalism.

UFT, de Blasio & Fariña talk test results

The results are in for both the New York statewide and New York citywide exams in math and English, and despite some uptick, there’s still much improvement to be made.

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Multiple unions and officials endorse Rubain Dorancy for state Senate

New York State senatorial candidate Rubain Dorancy achieved a significant victory last week when he received endorsements from multiple unions and elected officials.

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Theodore Wafer guilty in Renisha McBride murder

Renisha McBride’s family rests content with the knowledge that her killer will spend a long time behind bars.

Blake fights residency status, receives endorsement of progressive-minded coalition

Michael Blake, a candidate for New York’s 79th Assembly District seat, was stuck in a battle with other candidates in court to prove his residency.

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DC 37 officially ratifies new agreement

The largest public employee union in New York City voted “yes” to a new contract.

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Multiple unions endorse Bichotte for Assembly

Several prominent unions have endorsed Rodneyse Bichotte for New York Assembly in the 42nd District.

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Mayor de Blasio signs ‘Avonte’s Law’

Sometimes, it takes a tragedy for something to get done.

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Anonymous makes its presence felt in Ferguson

While residents in Ferguson, Mo., continue to protest against the police shooting of Michael Brown by taking to the streets, the most well-known online hacker group is working to lift the veil on local law enforcement from afar.

Court denies police union’s late attempt to join stop- and-frisk case

Last week, a federal judge rejected the latest attempt by several police unions to intervene in a landmark stop-and-frisk lawsuit.

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Advocates say Walmart continues to discriminate against pregnant workers

Despite a change in its policy, advocates say that Walmart continues to discriminate against pregnant workers.

NLRB to McDonald’s: You are responsible for your franchisees

A recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board claims that McDonald’s had the ability to control employment decisions at franchised restaurants. For fast-food workers fighting for better wages, this is positive news.

Report: Nearly one half of entire low-wage workforce women of color

A new report released last week by the National Women’s Law Center concludes that almost half of America’s low-wage workforce consists of women of color.

Stringer takes NYCHA to task in new audit

Because of alleged shady bookkeeping and a lazy attitude toward oversight, the New York City Housing Authority did not live up to its promise to help its own. Section 3 of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Act mandates that NYCHA set aside a certain percentage of jobs for public housing residents and low-income New Yorkers when the cost of a project exceeds $100,000. According to New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, NYCHA did not hold up its end of the bargain.

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1199SEIU launches new health care program with Montefiore

Last week, 1199SEIU announced the launch of a program that will coordinate care for close to 15,000 union members and their families, who already receive much of their care from Montefiore-affiliated programs.

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Met Opera workers fight for a fair contract to stay out of poverty

Fast-food workers aren’t the only ones fighting for a fair wage. Last Thursday evening, hundreds of Met Opera workers and community members held a rally to protest a contract proposal they claim would set them on the path to poverty.

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Author showcases Trojan horse of World Cup, Olympics

It’s no secret that humans want to put their “best foot forward” when guests and new people are around. You clean your house, you put on makeup and you dress in your best clothes. However, countries that host the World Cup and the Olympics have taken that concept to its illogical extreme.

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Lillian Roberts honored by AFSCME tribute at international convention

The president of New York City’s largest municipal employee union was honored via a tribute video in Chicago last week.

Strike averted: LIRR workers reach deal with MTA

It’s all over. No need to form carpool plans. The Long Island Railroad will stay on the tracks. With the 12:01 a.m. July 21 deadline looming, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and representatives of LIRR workers agreed on a tentative deal that will help avoid a workers strike. Both sides settled their four-year contract dispute at the Manhattan offices of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

1199SEIU announces endorsements

The executive council of the largest union in New York, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, officially made a series of endorsements in the September primaries and November general election for state legislators.

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De Blasio appoints new head of CCRB

During a news conference at City Hall last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio introduced Richard Emery as the new chair of the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

Cuomo to address re-entry and reintegration of formerly incarcerated

Formerly incarcerated New Yorkers have a hard time upon re-entry into society. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is looking to tackle that problem head-on. Last week, Cuomo announced the formation of the New York State Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration. The council will address obstacles that formerly incarcerated people face when they re-enter society and collaborate with state, local and private agencies and community groups to address issues newly freed people face after serving time, including housing, employment, health care, education, behavior change and veterans’ services.

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Tipped workers fight for higher wages

Last week, a new coalition of food delivery workers, low-wage tipped workers and women’s rights leaders across New York called for an end to subminimum wages for tipped workers.

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MTA: On track to nowhere

The Metropolitan Transit Authority started running ads on nine different radio stations this week to promote their side of the negotiations with Long Island Rail Road workers for a new contract.

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Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin sentenced to 10 years

The former mayor of New Orleans might spend the next decade behind bars. Wednesday, C. Ray Nagin was sentenced to 10 years in prison on federal corruption charges.

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DC 37, de Blasio agree to tentative deal

Union Matters

The new seven-year, four-month wage pact provides a total of 10.41 percent in wage hikes, plus a $1,000 ratification bonus and back pay. The new agreement also includes access to additional resources to address union-specific issues. The deal covers March 3, 2010, to July 2, 2017.

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ATU Local 1181, 32BJ SEIU endorse Jackson, Klein

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 announced last week their endorsement of former New York City Council Member Robert Jackson for state Senate District 31, which covers the northern tip of Manhattan and parts of the borough’s west side. Representing more than 12,000 bus drivers, escorts and mechanics and 1,900 retired active members, the union cited Jackson’s “courage, perseverance and integrity” as reasons for their endorsement.

Ron Kirk talks America and nuclear energy

On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency officially called for requiring the country's existing power plans to cut greenhouse gas pollution by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. The effort would help President Barack Obama address climate change, a priority of the administration in lip service but not in actual practice yet.

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Airport workers rally for new contract

Airport workers continued to fight for their rights last week during a rally at LaGuardia Airport.

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Supreme Court limits rights of home care workers to unionize

A Supreme Court case that didn’t involve Hobby Lobby made it under the radar on Monday despite its importance to union and public sector employees.

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Supreme Court deals blow to Obamacare with Hobby Lobby ruling

Corporations are not only people, they are people who can practice a religious faith. On Monday, the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby concluded that chief executive officers of major corporations can deny health insurance coverage for birth control based on their own personal beliefs.

Dallas County accidentally backs reparations

During a meeting of the Dallas County Commissioners Court last Tuesday, officials voted on an item called the “Juneteenth Resolution,” in reference to the annual commemoration of the day U.S. soldiers arrived in Texas to free slaves after the end of the Civil War (June 19, 1865). The only Black commissioner, John Wiley Price, submitted the resolution. The resolution eventually came up for a voice vote and was passed unanimously.

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The architects of the Central Park Five debacle: Where are they now?

Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Kharey Wise have seen justice in the form of a $40 million settlement with the city of New York over their wrongful convictions in the “Central Park Jogger” case from two decades ago. However, the young men haven’t seen justice in the sense of getting their normal lives back.

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Nurses, caregivers hold protest for better jobs, care

It was a hot day in late spring, but health care workers were turning up the heat on their bosses last Wednesday.

No fuss: De Blasio reveals city budget without ‘song and dance’

Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed the city’s $75 billion budget, which represented a slight turn from the highly publicized tug-of-war it had become during Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure.

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The Lion Roars: Charlie Rangle wins re-election

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Rep. Charlie Rangel looked to have won re-election in New York’s 13th Congressional District.

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CWA Local 1180 endorses Liu for state Senate

Former New York City Comptroller and Council Member John Liu has shored up an endorsement from one of the largest public sector locals of the Communications Workers of America. Citing his track record as a “tireless fighter for working families and the middle class in New York City,” CWA Local 1180 endorsed Liu’s campaign for the Senate seat in New York’s 11th congressional district.

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