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Stephon Johnson

Stories by Stephon

Workers honor International Women’s Day, call out Koch brothers

In honor of International Women’s Day, hundreds of nurses, caregivers, community activists, union members and elected officials held a march and rally on the Upper East Side to tell the Koch brothers that all New Yorkers need quality health care.

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East Harlem explosion levels two buildings; four dead, 50 injured

By press time, four were dead, 50 were injured and nine remain missing after an explosion knocked down buildings 1644 and 1646 Park Ave. between East 116th and 117th streets.

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‘Ikland’ shines light on bias of historians

It’s widely understood that history is told by the winners, but few understand how much is packed into that fact.

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De Blasio goes forth with education agenda

Last week, the mayor axed plans by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg to further expand Success Academy schools into public school spaces

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Bratton and de Blasio look to change the ‘language’ of policing

According to New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton, officers will be retrained on how to talk to the public

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Universal pre-K, charter schools battle for Albany’s attention

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has hit some roadblocks when promoting his education agenda, but he’s sticking to his guns.

Blacks, Latinos benefit from Career and Technical Education schools, but is it the remedy?

If your son or daughter seems to be drifting along through high school and doesn’t seem engaged in academics, it might be the school and not the student.

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‘ Miss Anne in Harlem’ demonstrates still-existing mistrust in race relations

The Harlem Renaissance was a triumph of art, literature, music, activism and overall expression. But there were others who contributed in their own way to the movement that have been removed from history: white women.

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LICH’s fate still unknown, but activists praise new deal

Officials and activists fighting over the fate of Long Island College Hospital (LICH) have tentatively agreed to a deal

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Gov. Cuomo to preserve SNAP program, feed New Yorkers

New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced that his administration is “taking the steps” to preserve close to $457 million a year in benefits from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)

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Gov. Cuomo to create college degree program for inmates

Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a state initiative to offer college classes, degrees and programs to incarcerated individuals across the state.

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DC gives Interfaith much-needed Medicaid waiver

Will Washington end up saving New York’s struggling hospitals? Many workers and patients hope so after the recent news.

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A contract for DC 37’s newest members

Grand Central Partnership business improvement district workers have scored a victory with assistance from the biggest public employee union in New York City.

Report: Blacks strongly benefit from union jobs

According to a recent report by an independent, nonpartisan think tank, union jobs help African-Americans move up the economic ladder, boost pay and benefits and bring families out of poverty.

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De Blasio hammers home old points with State of the City

On Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio gave his first State of the City address at LaGuardia Community College in Queens.

Bipartisan farm bill satisfies the very few

A bill passed in Congress involving money and benefits and those who already have money got the most benefits out of it? In other words, it’s a day that ends with the letter “y.”

Common Core causes tug-of-war between Board of Regents and Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The implementation of Common Core Learning Standards in New York schools has brought about a plethora of dialogue and debate among parents, teachers, school administrators and local community leaders alike.

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Newark Airport workers: Still waiting for their raise

On Monday, airport workers, activists, clergymen and elected officials protested at United Airlines’ offices at Newark Liberty International Airport in support of higher wages. With workers at John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports recently celebrating a wage increase, Newark Airport’s service workers refuse to be left out of the conversation.

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One more lifeline for Interfaith

Interfaith Medical Center (IMC) has become the last house that the big bad wolf can’t blow down.

Immunization clinics closing

A couple of immunization clinics in the five boroughs—lifelines for underserved New Yorkers who need vaccinations for their children—are slated to close at the end of the month.

On de Blasio, the Bronx, the Upper East Side and snow

Not even a full month into his first term as mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio has already had to placate well-to-do New Yorkers who were slightly inconvenienced.

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Politics is in Alphonso David’s blood whether he likes it or not

Alphonso David, deputy secretary for civil rights in New York, found himself surrounded by politics at a young age. He was born in Silver Springs, Md., in 1970, and his family moved to Monrovia, Liberia, when he was only a 1-year-old.

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House passes $9B in food stamp cuts

On the day that the House would pass a $100 billion-a-year farm bill that included significant cuts to the food program, elected officials, nonprofit organizations and activists gathered at the Church of St. Francis Xavier in Chelsea to denounce the legislation and plead the Senate to deny it

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Airport workers and supporters arrested at MLK protests

They gave you fair warning in December. Beware.

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NLRB to Walmart: We’re watching you

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)wanted to remind Walmart one more time that they’re on notice.

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De Blasio adds Pierre-Louis to administration

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio continued to add a few more names to his administration last week when he announced the appointment of Rose Pierre-Louis as commissioner of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence.

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Two hospitals, one fate

Interfaith Medical Center (IMC) and Long Island College Hospital (LICH) are both operating with one figurative leg as management looks to cut off what’s left

Legislators push for immediate minimum wage reform

With the state of California having recently increased its minimum wage to $10 an hour and New Jersey voters having approved a measure to increase its state’s wage and index future increases to inflation, it was high time for New York to adjust recent legislation on the fly.

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Workers put pressure on Port Authority over MLK Day

Airport workers gave the Port Authority a warning, and now elected officials have fired verbal warning shots on the workers’ behalf as well.

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Politicians demand apology from Chris Christie

Chris Christie remained in hot water over emails that revealed his top aides constructed a traffic jam on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge

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Unemployment numbers troubling as many drop out of labor force completely

Last week’s jobs report unveiled that the United States only added 74,000 jobs in December, which is the weakest showing since the start of 2011 and a significant dip from the average of the previous three months (250,000).

Push for universal pre-K begins

Bill de Blasio’s first week as mayor has been busy, and he wants to make sure state legislators are busy as well. Standing with union leaders during a news conference at the Union Johnson Early Learning Center on Monday morning, the new mayor urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature to pass de Blasio’s plan to tax the wealthiest New Yorkers a little more and use the money to pay for universal pre-K for all New York children.

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State of the State champions Cuomo’s accomplishments and plans new ones

On Wednesday in Albany, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out state wide plans for tax cuts, universal pre-K, airports, and juvenile justice

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Union leaders hope for change under de Blasio

Currently, all public unions are working without contracts and are looking to negotiate raises and back pay as soon as possible. The projected budget shortfall for this fiscal year, however, makes the unions’ desire seem more like wishful thinking. Nevertheless, union leaders were happy to see de Blasio sworn in, and they have high hopes for at least the next four years.

Port Authority workers want MLK Day off

Hundreds of contracted area airport workers delivered a present to the headquarters of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Park Avenue South: a list of demands for better wages, benefits and paid sick days and holidays.

DC schools give false teacher evaluations

On Monday, during holiday break, school officials revealed that bad calculations of the value that DCPS teachers added to student achievement last school year resulted in errors in performance evaluations for 44 teachers.

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Lorinda Moore shows it’s never too late to learn

If anyone had lived the life that Touro College Administrative Assistant Lorinda Moore’s lived up to this point, they might not survive.

New year, new mayor, same issues

The City Council passes the Community Safety Act, lead by Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams.

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Target security breach leaves millions open to credit fraud

A security breach at Target stores around the country might leave millions of Americans at the mercy of credit card fraud.

Michigan ‘rape insurance’ measure passes

Last week, both chambers of the Michigan Legislature passed a measure that banned coverage for abortion in private health insurance plans for women unless they purchased a separate rider and it doesn’t include victims of rape.

Washington Heights Dominos Employees get Jobs Back

Last week, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the signing of an agreement that reinstated 25 Dominos Pizza employees in Washington Heights.

Union leaders honor Nelson Mandela

Mandela’s history as a freedom fighter and anti-apartheid activist is something not lost on many American unions.

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Journalists no longer have access to NYPD precinct crime logs

Getting information from the New York Police Department about crimes just got harder.

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South Bronx activists take Fresh Direct to court

South Bronx Unite challenges an allegedly inadequate environmental review for the proposed state and city relocation of Fresh Direct’s headquarters

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Report: Shift to digital phones could hurt communities of color

immediate shift to digital phone networks could leave certain communities without basic standards

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Mandela remembered by entertainers

It takes a special individual to bring together musicians from different genres and artists from all walks of life.

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Fast-food workers hope management gets the picture during protest

Last Thursday, fast-food workers reminded New York City and the country at large that minimum wage isn’t going to cut it.

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Fasters for immigration reform meet with the Obamas

Sacrificing nourishment in favor of justice, participants of the “Fast for Families” campaign continued their demonstrations stressing the moral impact of the House of Representatives’ inaction on immigration reform. Their actions granted them a meeting with President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.

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Arizona named NIT preseason champs

“I need to get experience against good guys,” said Duke’s star forward Jabari Parker after the Blue Devils lost to Arizona 66-72 at the NIT Season Tip-Off final. Up until Thanksgiving weekend, the freshman phenom had lived a charmed basketball life during the season’s infancy. Parker faced an Arizona front line that went 6 feet 9 inches, 6 feet 8 inches and 7 feet.

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Fast-food strikes: Coming to your city this week

An ongoing movement sparked by a demand for a living wage and better benefits will hit the American public with another dose of worker solidarity this Thursday, one year after the first mass strike around the country. Fast-food workers in 100 cities were expected to walk off their jobs in support of better wages ($15 an hour) and benefits from the $200 billion industry and the right to form a union without interference from management.