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Stephon Johnson

Stories by Stephon

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Dwight School B-ball team capitalizes on new home

It’s been two years since the Dwight School opened its athletic center in East Harlem, and the investment has already paid off.

Teachers’ unions not happy with Cuomo administration’s Dream Act stance

A potential bill that would allow New York undocumented high school graduates to apply for state financial aid for college might be taken out of the governor’s budget.

McDonald’s workers refuse to get burned again

Growing weary of low pay and bad conditions, McDonald’s workers have filed 28 health and safety complaints against their employer in 19 different cities.

Blacks, Hispanics a third of New York’s low-income working families

Something that passes the eye test for many continues to have statistics backing it up.A new report published by the Working Poor Families Project reveals that out of the 584,829 working families in New York that were considered low income in 2013, 381,000 (65 percent) were ethnic minorities. Thirty-five percent (203,000) were white.

State Assembly passes Paid Family Leave Act

Last week, New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Assembly Members Cathy Nolan and Michele Titus announced the passage of the Paid Family Leave Act.

Groups, officials want Cuomo to strengthen criminal justice proposal

Some New York state senators and Assembly members have linked up with civil rights advocates and community groups.

NY teachers continue crusade against Cuomo’s reform proposals

With New York’s teachers and education activists fighting against the governor’s proposals, one group has come back with a proposal of their own.

CUNY union releases radio ad talking contract situation

In a new ad titled “Model,” CUNY’s teacher union takes aim at the governor once again regarding their contract situation.

Study: Desired criteria for specialized high schools means fewer Blacks, Latinos

The call to consider more than the Specialized High School Admissions Test as criteria for admission has reached a fever pitch in New York City. But a new report suggests that if activists get what they want, the results might not be what they expect.

Report says subways have gotten worse

If you regularly take the subway, you have heard complaints about trains seemingly getting worse, with more delays and longer waits. Now there’s evidence to back up the complaints.

New Yorkers, Cuomo make moves on ‘fair pay’

The fight for an increase in the minimum wage nationwide has heated up in New York, with the governor adding his voice.

Albert Maysles, auteur of American cinema verite, dead at 88

Albert Maysles made intense, oft-discussed and legendary films with his brother David, including “Grey Gardens” and “Gimme Shelter,” that pushed the boundaries of fantasy and reality. Last week, Albert Maysles passed away in his Manhattan home. He was 88.

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Poverty, hope, working class clash at Bronx exhibit

An exhibit called “Three Photographers from the Bronx: Jules Aarons, Morton Broffman and Joe Conzo” seeks to capture the Bronx and American societal unrest at its peak.

NELP reports benefits of raising home care industry wages

According to a new report by the National Employment Law Project, paying workers in the home care industry $15 an hour would add $6.6 billion in activity to the economy—not to mention adding $16.5 billion in the pockets of workers.

CUNY professors call on Albany to ‘keep its promise’

The City University of New York’s teachers’ union wants New York’s government to keep its promise. In a radio ad titled “Legacy,” sponsored by the Professional Staff Congress, the union and CUNY’s faculty and staff, the union calls on Albany legislators to replace the millions that CUNY would lose because of the latest budget proposal.

Families of New Yorkers slain by officers ask for special prosecutor

A group of New Yorkers who share an unfortunate bond want New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make sure justice is served in cases involving deadly use of police force.

Report says $125 million in wages were stolen from NYC workers

A new report by the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center, the Employment Law Unit at the Legal Aid Society and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice suggests that employers were able to evade labor laws even after courts ordered them to pay $25 million in stolen wages to workers.

Medical and dental residents reach tentative agreement with the city

Earlier this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City had reached a tentative contract agreement with the Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU Healthcare.

NYC, Long Island nursing home workers get union contract

New York City and Long Island nursing home workers were on the brink of striking, but they can put the picket signs down after securing a union contract.

De Blasio, Cuomo, Schneiderman team up to tackle tenant harassment

With housing remaining one of the “it” issues of the early 21st century, three elected officials have connected to combat landlord harassment of tenants.

Teachers fire back at Cuomo over testing

A new advertising campaign by the New York State United Teachers union fires verbal shots at Cuomo’s plan for education reform, labeling his suggestions a “gimmick.”

JFK baggage handlers go on strike

Airport workers continued the fight for their rights, as baggage handlers at John F. Kennedy Airport went on strike last week.

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White House reports high school graduation rates at all-time high

According to a new report from the White House, high school graduation rates are at an all-time high in America, with college enrollment increasing as well.

Malcolm Smith’s mayoral aspirations end with a conviction

Former state Sen. Malcolm Smith was found guilty of bribery, wire fraud and extortion last week in federal court in White Plains, N.Y.

Heastie starts search for new Ethics and Compliance office

Newly elected New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is attempting to live up to his promise of a cleaning up Albany.

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MTA, Straphangers Campaign urge patience

With the upcoming increase in fares, many commuters are unhappy with the service provided by public transportation.

Local Union 137 wants sheet metal apprentices

If you live in New York City and are looking for work, the Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local Union 137 is currently conducting recruitments every Monday until Feb. 8, 2016, for sign hanger and rigger apprentices.

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De Blasio presents $77.7 billion budget

Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that budgets “are by definition a statement of values.” According to the budget he presented this week, progressive values are alive and well for the most part.

Attention: Roofer apprentices wanted

If you’re out there looking for a job, the Roofer JATC of the Capital District, Local Union 241 might have one for you.

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‘Who We Be’ connects dots in multiculturalism wars

Jeff Chang, author of the incredible hip-hop culture history book “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop,” decided to introduce a conversation starter around these issues with 2014’s “Who We Be: The Colorization of America,” one of the must-read books of the past year.

Unions, activists praise de Blasio on housing, wage goals

Some activists appreciated Mayor Bill de Blasio's focus on his goal of increasing the city’s minimum wage and creating more affordable housing while maintaining already affordable units during his State of the City address Tuesday morning.

UFT goes on the offensive against Cuomo, charter schools

In Cuomo’s State of the State address last month, the governor advocated raising the cap on charter schools, basing half of teacher evaluations on student test scores, putting struggling schools into receivership and extending a teacher’s probationary period from three to five years.

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Black McDonald’s workers file civil suit

McDonald’s workers fired last year at three stores in Virginia filed a civil suit against the company, alleging that a pattern of racial and sexual discrimination flourished at the franchise locations.

Caregivers at for-profit NYC, Long Island nursing homes vote to strike

Caregivers at more than three dozen for-profit Long Island and New York City nursing homes have voted to strike, with the desire to improve continuity of resident care and secure living wages and benefits for nursing home workers.

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Cuomo gets cheers and jeers over fracking ban

Last Wednesday, members of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration announced that he would ban hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in the state, citing potential health risks. The praise, as well as the condemnation was quick to appear.

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PBA fights de Blasio

NYPD officers turning their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio, booing him at a graduation ceremony and charging that he is complicit in the shooting deaths of two city cops make Gotham look bad. But the animosity has much to do with union contracts and the re-election of the police union president.

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Cops again accused of planting evidence, lying about informants

In 2011, while caught up in a corruption scandal, former NYPD Detective Stephen Anderson testified in court that fabricating drug charges on innocent victims to meet quotas was common practice.

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Horse Carriage workers rally against de Blasio legislation

This past month has seen horse carriage workers and their supporters go on the offensive after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio introduced legislation to eliminate their profession.

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UFT and Cuomo at odds over teacher evaluations

New York State Gov. Cuomo has decided to renege on an agreement to prevent student test scores from dragging down teacher ratings during the evaluation process. He said he won’t shield teachers from the consequences of a controversial rollout of the new Common Core standards.

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Shaneka Thompson: the forgotten victim

With the senseless murders of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu dominating the headlines, many in mainstream media have forgotten about Ismaaiyl Brinsley’s first victim: Shaneka Thompson.

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Construction workers rally against dangerous working conditions

Up to 1,000 construction workers dealt with the bitter cold to protest working conditions at JDS Development Group’s project on West 57th Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues.

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Specialized high school alums rally in favor of exam

The New York City Specialized High Schools Admissions Test debate heated up when alums of several schools rallied in front of City Hall last Thursday.

Fast-food workers continue ‘Fight for $15’ joined by dollar store workers

After snatching up support from airport workers, fast-food employees fighting for a living wage have gathered support from workers in another industry.

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Tamir Rice, carrying a pellet gun, shot by officers in Cleveland

Trayvon Martin. Akai Gurley. Michael Brown. Now add Tamir Rice to the list.

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Brooklyn DA vacates McCallum’s sentence

David McCallum is a free man, courtesy of Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson.

Healthcare workers celebrate Obama’s executive orders on immigration

With many healthcare workers in America being immigrants or the children of immigrants, an executive order from the president on immigration is good news.

City announces contract agreement between school custodians and public school cleaners and handypersons

School custodians and public school cleaners and handypersons have a new agreement, according to the mayor’s office.

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McDonald’s workers’ global tour begins

McDonald’s workers from major cities in the United States have begun their eight-country, three-continent tour in support of the global labor movement.

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New Harlem beer didn't come out of the 'Blue'

Sitting with Harlem Blue Founder and President Julian Riley, you get the impression that while he's a novice in the beer game, he might already have a better grip on it than some of his peers.

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Anxieties run high as Ferguson residents await grand jury decision

Missouri and the country at large are waiting anxiously for a grand jury decision that will decide the fate of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

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