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June 28, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Some of New York’s top politicians – both past and present – have been making headlines for all the wrong reasons as of late. Tonight we’ll begin a new series called Corruption Watch, which takes you inside the most prominent public corruption cases from our area. Former federal prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers is the executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity, and she joins us with her take on the ongoing investigations of Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration. Rodgers will also tell us what a U.S. Supreme Court decision could mean for former state lawmakers Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos, who were convicted of corruption in separate cases and sentenced to federal prison last month.

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June 28, 2016 at 6:28 pm

A Frontline documentary, airing tonight at 10 p.m. on PBS, takes a look at one police department that has been asked to change their process of policing. The force in question is that of the one in Newark, New Jersey. A three-year probe found that 75% of stops by officers in that city had no legal justification. New Yorker writer, Jelani Cobb, had the chance to spend time with the force on the frontline and he joins us to discuss his provocative documentary which explores whether the police department in Newark is changing its ways amid violent crime that continues to plague their city.

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Episode
June 28, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, Newsday political editor Jack Sirica takes us inside some of the most contentious primary races in the state taking place tomorrow, and explores the impact of their outcomes for New York ahead of the November election. We also discuss the proposal by Councilman Joe Borelli for Staten Island to secede from New York City. Next, Author & Journalist Tavis Smiley joins us to address the biggest political issues facing America currently. The host of the Tavis Smiley Show on PBS discusses his Ending Poverty Initiative and his thoughts on how President Obama has handled the poverty crisis plaguing the nation. Smiley, who in the past has termed Donald Trump a ‘religious and racial arsonist’, also offers his perspective on the 2016 presidential election and how the Republican nominee has resonated with a large swath of voters across the country. Finally, Marilu Henner, best known for starring on the hit sitcom ‘Taxi,’ joins us with her husband Michael Brown to discuss how they beat Brown’s bladder and lung cancer. And get this: they did it without chemotherapy or radiation. Together, they tell the story in Henner’s new autobiography ‘Changing Normal: How I Helped My Husband Beat Cancer.’

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June 27, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Author & Journalist Tavis Smiley joins us to address the biggest political issues facing America currently. The host of the Tavis Smiley Show on PBS discusses his Ending Poverty Initiative and his thoughts on how President Obama has handled the poverty crisis plaguing the nation. Smiley, who in the past has termed Donald Trump a ‘religious and racial arsonist’, also offers his perspective on the 2016 presidential election and how the Republican nominee has resonated with a large swath of voters across the country.

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Episode
June 25, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, after events like the tragic attack in Orlando, security is often higher than normal, and in the days and weeks following what happened at Pulse nightclub, police departments, club venue owners, and event planners have been calling their level of safety into question. How does a venue hold a Pride event that celebrates and maintains the spirit of acceptance, freedom, and positivity, all while not compromising the protection of their revelers? Safety and security consultant Bill Stanton stops by to explain not only how law enforcement and private security can step up their surveillance, but also how the community can help protect Pride Week participants as they celebrate. Then, in the immediate aftermath of the Orlando attack, the faithful of the Catholic Church were among the millions who shared their prayers for the victims and their families. Still, Father James Martin, a member of the Jesuit order, took exception to the fact that of all the prayers and condolences offered by the church’s hierarchy, the phrase LGBT was in most cases absent. Father Martin shares why he thinks the omission reflects the invisibility of that community in the Catholic Church, and how the Church can be more inclusive of its LGBT members. Finally, First Person is back! The web series is purposed with the mission to light-heartedly tell the stories of LGBT community members through candid, personal narratives, and comedian Mike Kelton is set to host its second season. Little more than a week ago, First Person went live on Facebook to react to the recent shootings in Orlando. Now, Mike Kelton stops by to talk about the web show’s second season, what’s next, and how it will fit into current LGBT events.

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Episode
June 23, 2016 at 6:35 pm

A simple walk down 8th Avenue would be more than enough proof that New York City deals with homelessness on a broad scale. Shelters overflow with men, women, and children on a daily basis, and it’s to the point where the city is relying on low-budget hotels to house the homeless along with regularly paying guests. WPIX-11’s Jay Dow and Mario Diaz started reporting on New York’s homelessness crisis more than one year ago, before the subject started making major headlines. This special Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America episode of MetroFocus goes into the new reality of homelessness across our region and takes takes us into the shelters that you might have stayed in during your last stay in the city.

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June 23, 2016 at 9:50 am

Landmark case Roe v. Wade legalized abortion across the country in 1973. This case ruled that states were prohibited from making laws that would restrict a doctor’s right to decide whether or not their patient needs an abortion, barring late term pregnancies. Today, loopholes called “trap laws” have sprung up in half of the 50 states, which often times result in an abortion clinic’s closing. Filmmaker Dawn Porter visits these abortion clinics affected by trap laws in her new documentary Trapped and tells their stories as they struggle to continue providing their services. She explains the process of making this film and the changes she’s noticed since she started the project.

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Episode
June 22, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, whether you’re for it or against it, you can’t argue that firearms are a big part of America. But it’s also hard to ignore the fact that they are far too common and easy to obtain. That’s the dialogue that filmmaker Sheldon Candis is trying to start with his new documentary Who Will Survive America which follows his journey to legally purchase a gun. He talks to us about the film, its takeaway, and how he felt going through the gun-buying process. Then finally, according to statistics, 80 percent of teens and young adults have been kicked out of their homes because of their sexuality, and a staggering 60 percent of that demographic is African American. Former NFL player, Wade Davis has become an advocate for LGBT equality and acceptance after revealing he was gay after retiring from the football field. He takes us inside the struggle of being young, black, and gay, and explains how he’s helping these LGBT community members with his organization, the You Can Play Project.

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Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, the Anderson Family Fund, Judy and Josh Weston, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Rosalind P. Walter, The Dorothy Schiff Endowment for News and Public Affairs Programming, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Jody and John Arnhold, the Tiger Baron Foundation, the Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, the Metropolitan Media Fund, Laura and Jim Ross, the Dorothy Pacella Fund, in memory of Vincent Pacella and Shailaja and Umesh Nagarkatte.

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