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Stephon Johnson

Stories by Stephon

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Mayor’s housing plan earns tacit praise

On Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled an 10-year affordable housing plan

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Councilman Ruben Wills arrested on

A Queens-based New York City councilman was arrested on Wednesday in connection to a corruption investigation.

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Brooklyn Health Partners jilted by LICH

Just when you thought the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) was nearing its conclusion, the winning bidder has met a road block.

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Hip-hop pioneer DJ E-Z Rock dead at 46

Rodney “Skip” Brice passed away this weekend at the age of 46.

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Leroy Comrie announces state Senate run

Former Queens Councilman Leroy Comrie announced on Monday that he’s running for New York state Senate

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DC 37, Bill Clinton endorse Rangel for Congress

DC 37, Bill Clinton endorse Rangel for Congress By STEPHON JOHNSON Amsterdam News Staff To some, the tide of support for Rep. Charlie Rangel in his latest congressional run seemed to be turning away from him. Enter District Council 37 (DC 37) with their latest endorsement. The largest public union in the city endorsed Rangel in his congressional run against state Sen. Adriano Espaillat and the Rev. Michael Walrond. Lillian Roberts, DC 37’s executive director, felt that Rangel’s presence is still needed in Washington. “Our members know that Congressman Charles Rangel is an experienced legislator who’s savvy and passionate championship of issues important to workers both here and around the country has won him a 95 percent approval rating with the 1.6 million-member American Federation of State, Country and Municipal Employees, our international union,” said Roberts in a statement. “Throughout his 23 terms in office, Congressman Rangel has always aided our struggles to protect the jobs of public employees and the safety net services they provide. Going forward, we know that with him on our side, we can go a long way in our fight against income inequality and our fight for workers’ rights, affordable housing, decent wages, public education, immigration reform and more.”  Rangel received some good news in the form of an endorsement from former President Bill Clinton as well. “Charlie has been a champion of more good jobs, successful small businesses and strong families for more than 40 years,” said Clinton in a statement. “That’s what his district and our country need now.”  Rangel appreciated the endorsement. “President Clinton’s bold leadership created an era of real economic growth and positive change in the lives of New Yorkers and all Americans,” said Rangel in a statement. “We share a progressive vision of creating a New York that’s more affordable and equitable for everyone. I look forward to returning to Washington so I can continue making this vision a reality by fighting for better jobs, affordable housing and real reforms to our immigration laws.” Espaillat wasn’t happy with Clinton’s endorsement, and during an appearance in WABC radio, he said that the former president and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were not on the “side of change.” “The kind of support I’m seeing from voters is unprecedented,” said Espaillat. “This is going to be a slam dunk. This is going to be a big victory. As Muhammad Ali once said, it’s going to shake up the world.” Espaillat recently received endorsements from New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Transit Workers Union Local 100.

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Port Authority passes resolution to improve airport worker wages

Port Authority board members voted unanimously to raise the wages of all contract employees at Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports

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Blake announces Assembly run

Michael Blake is back home and he wants to contribute to the neighborhood ... with the help of your vote.

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City Hall: Time to overhaul Sandy recovery effort

It may have been forgotten about in many circles, but some New Yorkers are still feeling the pain from Superstorm Sandy, and the city plans on alleviating that pain as soon as possible.

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.