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Stephon Johnson

Stories by Stephon

Kenroy Watson wears many hats, all with the same passion

Kenroy Watson embodies the New York cliché that everyone here is from somewhere else. His journey started in the Caribbean. He made his way to Canada and ended in America, where he now owns a plumbing business and is the pastor of a church.

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Workers United SEIU affiliate endorses Espaillat for Congress

An affiliate of Workers United SEIU has endorsed Adriano Espaillat for Congress.

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TWU Local 100, MTA agree on tentative deal

A two-year contract dispute between TWU Local 100 and the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has ended, thanks to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Building workers, allies march on High Line for better conditions

Demands for affordable housing and better wages have become a rallying cry for many Americans, and last Thursday was no different. Hundreds of union apartment building workers and nonunion building employees joined with elected officials, affordable housing advocates and local residents on the High Line to call for better conditions in West Chelsea.

Coalition launched to protect construction workers and defend scaffold law

A diverse collection of workers, organizations and advocates have formed a new coalition designed to defend New York’s Scaffold Safety Law and push for increased enforcement of New York’s construction safety standards.

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Obama talks action

Obama spoke before an audience of 16,000 that treated him like rock star at the Sheraton Times Square Hotel. Before Obama took the stage, the Rev. Al Sharpton praised him for working to help America’s most vulnerable citizens.

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‘Partners’ may keep LICH from closing

Patrons of Long Island College Hospital (LICH) rooted for the State University of New York to keep the facility fully functioning; they may have gotten their wish.

NYCHA residents unveil plans to strengthen public housing post-Sandy

Recently, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents, community leaders and elected officials gathered on the steps of City Hall to announce a new report addressing how badly some NYCHA locations have recovered since Hurricane Sandy.

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Dr. Graham: The personification of hard work, good luck and perseverance

“This is a journey that if I had probably mapped it out, I probably would not have believed it would manifest itself in this way,” said Dr. John L. Graham on Wednesday, as he sat in his office overlooking Harlem.

Officials stand up for fired UPS workers

United Parcel Service workers are fighting back over the loss of their jobs.

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Airport workers march in honor of MLK’s ‘dream’

New York City area airport workers continued their fight for better wages last Friday while honoring a civil rights legend.

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Cat's out of the bag: Sharpton outed as FBI informant

With President Barack Obama scheduled to speak Friday at the National Action Network’s annual convention, the website the Smoking Gun felt it was an opportune time to dig up some old dirt to smear the Rev. Al Sharpton and, by extension, tarnish the president.

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Court victory reinstates disabled city employees

Disabled city workers laid off by the Bloomberg administration are now able to return to work after a court decision.

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School bus drivers want protection

Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1181 wants New York City’s school busing contracts to include employee protection provisions (EPPs).

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School Apartheid: Report finds NY schools are most segregated in the country

A new study released by UCLA’s Civil Rights found that public school students in New York are the most severely segregated in the country. Reviewing the historical context of segregation in New York schools from 1989-2010, the study found that segregation was a perpetual pattern among city schools in particular.

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Potential buys of LICH campus unveiled

SUNY Downstate revealed the nine requests for proposals that met the minimum requirements for bidding.

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Fast-food workers get louder with protests

fast-food workers filled a class-action lawsuits against McDonald’s in several states and joined a 30-day protest against the company.

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Espaillat and Rangel rack up endorsements for congressional showdown

Rep. Charles Rangel is dead set on achieving a 23rd consecutive term in office, but New York state Sen. Adriano Espaillat might have something to say about that.

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Restoring the Black Pearl: The fall and (hopeful) revival of Atlantic Beach

Sandwiched between Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, is a small part of Black history: Grand Strand

Dream Act becomes nightmare in Albany

Many felt it wasn’t the right time, but New York state Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein thought it was. He was wrong.

St. Joe’s runs away with A-10 championship

St. Joseph’s University showed up to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on the NCAA Tournament bubble. They left Brooklyn Atlantic 10 champions with a ticket to the big dance.

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Wage theft accusations dominate suit against McDonald’s

Looks like the spotlight on McDonald’s and its pay practices will be a little bit brighter in 2014.

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CUNY professors announce support for ‘universal pre-K’

While New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio remains in a dogfight with Albany over universal pre-K, he’s still gaining support for the venture in the process.

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Activists want Cuomo to hear them on education

Education activists and civil rights organizations want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to devote just as much aid to public schools as he devotes to charter schools.

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Fallout from the explosion: recovering and responsibility

Topics that New Yorkers have talked about, but never this loudly, are rearing its head again in the aftermath of the East Harlem building explosion

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It’s not just education: Bill de Blasio and housing

Whether it’s affordable housing or homelessness, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s legacy isn’t just tied to charter schools and universal pre-K. A group of activists and supporters of the mayor gathered outside of City Hall last week to call for more affordable housing, stating that his current policy goals don’t go far enough.

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City workers hold Fair Pay Forum

While education is getting all of the coverage, the unions and the new city budget look to be the central story of not only this year, but the current administration’s legacy.

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