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Stephon Johnson

Stories by Stephon

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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.

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Derailment highlights a bad year for Metro-North

Derailment of a Metro-North train near Spuyten Duyvil Station in the Bronx

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NLRB: Walmart violated workers’ rights nationwide

the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a decision that didn’t surprise Walmart employees: The company had violated workers’ rights around the country

Electronic stop-and-frisk?

A council hearing centered on Int. No. 1177, an amendment to the administrative code of the city of New York that would require businesses to keep electronic records of the names, addresses and items of sale or purchase.

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Harlem center feeds community’s needs for Thanksgiving

The Association to Benefit Children (ABC), an organization that traffics in serving the economically disadvantaged, held its annual “Turkey Day” at its East Harlem location

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Working Families Party makes a breakthrough on election night

After 12 years of treating New York City like an unattainable luxury item, many progressive New Yorkers are looking forward to the end of Michael Bloomberg’s reign.

MTA fare hikes lower than expected, TWU wonders ‘where’s our money?’

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) recently announced that it overestimated the proposed fare hikes for 2015 and 2017, and New Yorkers won’t feel the pinch as much as expected. “MTA cost-cutting measures have been more effective than anticipated,” read an MTA statement. “As outlined in the Final Proposed 2014 Budget and Four-Year Financial Plan, the growth of agency expenses in 2014 will be limited to 1.96 percent, which is in line with the rate of inflation.”

UFT fighting battles on both ends

The United Federation of Teachers might have to watch the movie “300” for inspiration, because they’re feeling pressure from all sides. While fighting against the rushed implementation of a policy, the union is meeting a new battle creeping up behind them.

Worldwide child porn operation busted in Toronto

An operation involving dozens of police departments from around the globe has resulted in mass arrests in a worldwide child pornography ring. Last Thursday, Toronto police said that 348 people had been arrested as part of a three-year pornography investigation and at least 386 sexually abused children had been rescued globally as well.

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NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman calls Stop-and-Frisk futile

A recent report from New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office suggests that the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practices are ultimately futile.

Working Families Party makes a breakthrough on Election Night

The Working Families Party scored 3 major citywide victories with de Blasio election triumph, Letitia James’ Public Advocate victory, and Scott Stringer’s Comptroller win

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LICH resumes ambulance service

The ups and downs with the fight to keep Long Island College Hospital (LICH) continued last Friday. The hospital resumed ambulance service this afternoon but would only accept noncritical patients. SUNY Downstate, which runs the hospital, told reporters that it would bring in doctors from other institutions to help with services and claimed that it’s making every effort to maintain the current status quo.

Questions rise as Kelly and Bloomberg to take security protection out of office

While Mayor Michael Bloomberg and possibly Police Commissioner Ray Kelly are heading out of office, residents might still have to pay once they’re gone.

Sandra Guzman gets ‘OK’ to pursue case against New York Post

Four years after former New York Post Editor Sandra Guzman filed a sexual harassment and unlawful termination lawsuit against her former employer, she’ll see them in court.

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Ken Burns: De Blasio will settle ‘Central Park Five’ case

According to documentarian Ken Burns, New York City Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio plans on settling the “Central Park Five” civil suit once and for all.