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This year, Juneteenth is being officially recognized in New York and New Jersey as both a federal and state holiday. The day commemorates the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas—the last Confederate state in the west—to announce that 250,000 enslaved people were free, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.…
 
Saturday is Juneteeth. It's the anniversary of the day on June 19, 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Texas, the last Confederate state in the west, to announce that 250,000 enslaved people were free. That's two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. To celebrate, our sister station WQXR is holding a 24-hour marathon of composers an…
 
As of this week, more than 70% of New Yorkers have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. The milestone has meant that the state lifted most capacity restrictions — and now many people are thinking of this summer as the beginning of post-pandemic life. But when you kick the tires on that 70% number, you see a lot of disparities in just who …
 
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday signed into law a measure that would eliminate criminal conviction questions on rental applications, a move housing advocates are hailing as the most sweeping legislation of its kind in the country. Under the law, landlords would no longer be allowed to run a criminal background check until after they’ve condit…
 
It's a challenging time for most museums. Not only were they forced to close for months during the pandemic, but activists are calling on on them to rethink everything from the diversity of their staff, to who they take large donations from, to what they put on the walls. Now a new book from the former president and executive director of the Queens…
 
The governor gave the MTA state of emergency status in 2017—when things seemed dire. Regular signal problems disrupted the subways. There were broken train cars and three derailments. By signing the state of emergency, the MTA could bypass legal and oversight requirements for the sake of signing contracts for repairs, without all the bureaucracy. T…
 
At the highest tides in May and June, horseshoe crabs throng to New York City’s beaches to mate and lay eggs. Their numbers have been in decline recently, and that's a problem: their eggs feed migrating birds and their blood is used to test vaccines. WNYC’s Amy Pearl joined a crew of volunteers at Plumb Beach in Brooklyn to count and tag the ancien…
 
Shino Tanikawa, 58, has become an impassioned advocate for school desegregation, committed to battling anti-Blackness in society. So a recent and growing narrative that many of the attacks against Asian-Americans are coming from Black assailants has deeply disturbed her. "It breaks my heart," said Tanikawa. "It really does, because as Black-indigen…
 
The nature of policing — the very essence of the job — has changed dramatically over the course of the last year. After Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd, Americans poured into the streets demanding reform, defunding, even abolition of police departments nationwide, including the NYPD. WNYC's Jami Floyd sat down with NY…
 
New York residents and businesses send over a million tons of food waste to the landfill each year. Julie Raskin, executive director of the Sanitation Foundation, the non-profit partner of New York City's Department of Sanitation, and the organizer of the Food Waste Fair, said all that waste costs the city a lot of money to process and has very ser…
 
Early voting starts today - Saturday, June 12 - in the primary election for New York City's next mayor. Also on the ballot: city comptroller, public advocate, borough presidents, city council members, judges and, in Manhattan, a new district attorney. Just as poll sites opened, WNYC politics reporter Brigid Bergin called with an update from a polli…
 
The New York State legislature has passed a law designed to shrink the prison population by reforming the state’s parole system. It’s called the “Less is More Act” and it is now sitting on Governor Cuomo’s desk. Reporter George Joseph of WNYC’s Race & Justice Unit discussed the new law with All Things Considered host Sean Carlson.…
 
The city’s discount transit ticket program, Fair Fares, is getting a boost in this year’s budget. But it may not be enough to meet the new demand. It took four years of advocacy to get Mayor de Blasio to agree to the $106 million program to provide low-income New Yorkers with half-priced MetroCards. During last year’s budget crisis, the mayor cut t…
 
More than a dozen advocate groups in New Jersey are calling on officials to investigate why several polling places in Newark opened without any voting machines during Tuesday's primary election. Advocates sent a letter to Essex County Superintendent of Elections Patty Spango on Friday calling for a "thorough investigation" into why voters showed up…
 
The film "In the Heights" is new in theaters this week. It takes place in a Dominican neighborhood in Upper Manhattan. Two years ago, the producers announced that filming would not only take place in the neighborhood, but the production wanted locals to be background actors; you may know them better as “extras.” The film cast over 500 of them. WNYC…
 
A measure that would expand the powers of monitors in the school district of East Ramapo passed the New York state legislature on Thursday, a year after a federal judge found that the school board’s election system violated the federal voting rights act. The legislation would grant monitors the ability to veto or overturn a decision by the school b…
 
The first televised debate for the New York City Comptroller candidates was held Thursday night. It offered New Yorkers a chance to consider who is best prepared to tackle the pressing financial issues facing the city post pandemic. With a heated mayoral election and virtually every other city office up for grabs this election cycle, comptroller ca…
 
Brooklyn Borough President and mayoral front-runner Eric Adams gave reporters and TV cameras an unexpected glimpse into his private life this week, when he offered up a personal tour of his Bedford-Stuyvesant home. But it wasn't a typical open house. The event came in response to a story reported by Politico that found conflicting public records on…
 
State officials say they have received more than 63,000 applications in the first week. For the first 30 days of the $2.7 billion program, applicants who earn at or below 50 percent of the area median income are given priority. After that period, the program will provide assistance on a first-come, first-served basis.…
 
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