The Blinker in NYC

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Have Unions Been Controlling New York’s Income Inequality?

A study and analysis published in the American Sociological Review in 2011 suggests that a large part of the national growth in inequality, up to a third of it even, can be attributed to the national decline in organized labor. That decline may not be as noticeable in New York where almost a quarter of the workforce are members of unions and over a quarter are represented by a union. Nationally though, private-sector union membership between 1973 to 2007 dropped from 34% to 8% for Men and from 16 to 6% for Women. That’s clear in North Carolina, which with a 3% membership rate is the State with the least unionization….

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Why Don’t Black People Trust The Police?

Tragedies often rocket racial issues to the front stage for national debate, allowing them to be casually picked apart by folks who are not consistently aware of the poor quality of daily police interactions with Black residents. And no wonder those interactions are so poor and White residents are so unaware of them: police officers, and arguably our society at large, are vulnerable to giving White suspects more benefit of the doubt than we give to Black suspects….

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Mayor de Blasio’s Overlooked Push For Non-NYPD Crime Prevention

When he won the November election de Blasio didn’t hesitate to declare his belief in Broken Windows policing and soon appointed one of the philosophy’s proponents, Bill Bratton, as NYPD Commissioner. That appointment was added to the mound of long-term criticisms of the NYPD and its culture after Eric Garner was killed during a police arrest for illegal cigarette sales. Officers had been video taped executing a prohibited choke hold on Garner, and critics questioned the necessity of enforcing such small crimes especially after no cigarettes were found on Garner’s body.

The infusion of over 12 million dollars into Operation SNUG, a non-police violence prevention program, could be an attempt at finding a new balance to crime fighting after many in the City have all but lost faith in the NYPD.

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3 Powerful Harlem Renaissance Women You Didn’t Hear About

Many women participated both behind the scenes and well in front, but their triumphs and necessary work were often overshadowed by a male-centric historic retelling of the Harlem’s Renaissance era. Despite that, no one can deny that several women – especially the few noted below – made major contributions to this artistic pivotal movement….

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Can The Mayor Of One Big Apple Fight A Nation’s Tale Of Two Cities?

A recent report finds that cities like ours are experiencing wider income disparities than their surrounding metro areas, reinforcing another report on income disparities from the US Conference of Mayors, headed by our Mayor de Blasio. While it can only really be said that inequality is more likely than not causing social stagnation, it’s all but a fact that inequality is growing in NYC. But are the drivers of that inequality addressable by individual urban centers…?

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Growing Culture of Violence In Staten Island’s 120th Precinct Evident For Years

At least one outlet has made the case that the 120th precinct, where Eric Garner died after being put in a chokehold during an arrest, might be the NYPD’s “Siberia” for trouble officers. Seven of the City’s top 10 most sued officers are assigned to a narcotics unit operating primarily in the 120th precinct. Additionally, according to the city records cited by the Daily News, “the precinct is tied for 11th place in substantiated complaints that occurred between 2009 and 2013, even though it ranks 33rd in population citywide….”

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Bratton’s Coded Language: What He Doesn’t Want You To Know About These Subway Performers

Although the de Blasio Administration chose to highlight subway acrobats and dancers, mostly active young men of color, it’s clear that many people of several backgrounds are affected by this arguably illicit crackdown. Musical and silent performers too have been victimized. Talented people, some of whom have given decades of their lives to their arts and others who are all but entrepreneurs in their field, have been lumped into the newest version of the age old “angry, physically built negro who’s quick to violence” trope. Which is why Bratton will never willingly mention anyone but the subway acrobats in his descriptions, or offer a negotiated way to protect performers in the subway system. That would stretch beyond the simple image of swinging monkeys causing chaos that he wants in your head….

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When Harlem Rioted And The Feds Had To Listen

Similar to the events surrounding the murder of Michael Brown, NYPD Lieutenant Gilligan’s shooting of Bronx 9th grader James Powell in Harlem on July 16th of 1964 sparked 6 days of protests including intermittent rioting.

But what was so noteworthy, but probably most overlooked about the Harlem riots was the aftermath. A year after rioting Harlem got Project Uplift, the largest short-term anti-poverty program, in terms of target population and funding, of the emerging War on Poverty….

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5 Facts You May Not Know About The Most Militarized Unit Of The NYPD

According to the NY Times New York City received four armored vehicles since 2006 through the Defense Department’s free military transfer program. Most likely those vehicles went into the hands of the NYPD’s elite Emergency Service Unit, a souped-up version of SWAT with post-WWI origins.

As the ESU is asked to take on more routine activities, the latest of which was to simply patrol through neighborhoods with stubborn crime rates with flashing lights running, one may feel the urge to ask how much is the line blurring between high-risk emergencies and everyday procedures? Are New Yorkers being exposed more than before to a police presence reminiscent of a military occupation, and at what risk…?

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Proof That The NYPD Victimizes New Yorkers In Black and Latino Neighborhoods?

It seems that the areas where claims of NYPD-caused personal injuries top 6 or more per 100 crimes reported are also predominantly Black or Latino.

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