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June 08, 2016 at 6:29 pm

The FBI has arrested powerful union leader Norman Seabrook, longtime president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, on corruption charges for allegedly receiving kickbacks connected to the union’s pension fund. The arrest comes just as five of the ten corrections officers on trial for the 2012 beating of Rikers Island inmate Jamal Lightfoot were found guilty of all charges after prosecutors alleged that the corrections officers had written false documents to explain the inmate’s injuries. On top of that, this comes on the heels of increased federal investigation into the NYPD and scrutiny of Mayor de Blasio’s campaign fundraising during his mayoral campaign. Tonight, we explore the implications for the city and corruption investigations.

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June 07, 2016 at 10:36 am

They’re leaders in technological and political innovation, and are expected to play a significant role in determining who’s elected to the White House come November, but millennials have yet to break through the barriers preventing them from being elected to congress themselves and influencing policy making on issues that matter most to their generation. As things stand, not one member of the House of Representatives is under the age of thirty.

One New York University graduate is looking to put an end to that trend. 25-year-old Erin Schrode is a California native and she’s running in her home district which stretches from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon Border. She’s facing an uphill climb in tomorrow’s primary election, going head-to-head with two term incumbent Jared Huffman.

“People say all the time, she doesn’t have the experience necessary,” Schrode said, speaking to MetroFocus anchor Rafael PiRoman. “Well, are decades in corporate boardrooms, law offices, or the halls of government more worthwhile than education, than activism, than boots-on-the-ground fighting for environmental and social justice issues … which is what I’ve been doing for the past eleven years?”

It’s been a quick learning curve for the activist turned politician who jumped into the race back in April. When asked whether the system is set up in a way to prevent twenty and thirty somethings from reaching office, she said, “I am not just a millennial, I am a Democrat taking on an establishment Democrat. So no party support. No elected official will meet with me on record. No organization will consider endorsing money. PACs, donors won’t even take a meeting with me.”

Despite those hurdles, Schrode’s campaign has been gathering traction through an innovative social media campaign and her boots on the ground campaign appears to be resonating with the younger voters. “We are architecting our future, we are the leaders who are harnessing that innovative spirit to revolutionize science and technology and media and communications and non-profits. We better understand what it is like to be going though and graduating from the education system, feeling the burdens of a crippling student loan and debt system. Entering a changing job landscape where industries are changing,” the former NYU student stated. “We are living this now and we must step up and answer that call to service to better serve our population and create a world that works for us and for the future.”

Schrode goes up against Representative Huffman and two other challengers in Tuesday’s California primary. The two top will then face each other in the November election. If she wins, Schrode will become the youngest women ever elected to Congress.

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Episode
June 07, 2016 at 5:51 am

We take the time to commemorate “The Greatest of All Time,” Muhammad Ali. Ali passed away this past weekend after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Friend and author of Approaching Ali, Davis Miller joins us to remember the life of this boxing legend. Then, six states are up for grabs in tomorrow’s primaries as Sanders and Clinton continue to battle it out and Trump continues his crusade for the White House. We’ll hone in on New Jersey with Professor of Political Science at Montclair State University Brigid Callahan Harrison as the Garden State prepares to head to the polls. Plus, we discuss the possibility of a Clinton-Trump match-up in November. Finally, when it comes to acting, Brian Stokes Mitchell has done it all from television, to film and Broadway. While most nominees are waiting to see if they’ve secured themselves a Tony later this month, Mitchell can rest easy knowing he will walk away with the 2016 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award honoring him for his work with The Actors Fund. We’ll discuss his involvement with that, plus his return to the stage in the ten-time Tony-nominated musical Shuffle Along or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, the diversity of Broadway today, and what is next for this famous leading man.

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June 06, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Six states are up for grabs in tomorrow’s primaries as Sanders and Clinton continue to battle it out and Trump continues his crusade for the White House. We’ll hone in on New Jersey with Professor of Political Science at Montclair State University Brigid Callahan Harrison as the Garden State prepares to head to the polls. Plus, we discuss the possibility of a Clinton-Trump match-up in November.

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Episode
June 04, 2016 at 6:45 am

Tonight, many lead-foot drivers haven’t been able to pass through a school zone undetected in the five boroughs since the introduction of speed cameras. And depending how you look at it, that might be a good thing, since city hall claims students being hit by cars is the leading cause of injury-related deaths for children under 14. So far, there are 140 of these cameras city-wide, issuing fines at fifty dollars for each offense. Now, lawmakers are looking to add over 2,000 more with the intention to run them 24/7 in order to diminish the amount of students being hit by cars. City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer joins us to discuss why he’s pushing Albany to place these cameras in front of all city schools and to debate the criticism against these cameras. Then, legendary entertainer Michael Feinstein has been dubbed the “Ambassador of the American Songbook,” and we sit down with him to talk about how he is using his talent to further entertain and educate and preserve American music classics. He lets us in on his latest projects in music and art and how they will leave lasting impressions on their audiences.

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June 03, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Many lead-foot drivers haven’t been able to pass through a school zone undetected in the five boroughs since the introduction of speed cameras. And depending how you look at it, that might be a good thing, since city hall claims students being hit by cars is the leading cause of injury-related deaths for children under 14. So far, there are 140 of these cameras city-wide, issuing fines at fifty dollars for each offense. Now, lawmakers are looking to add over 2,000 more with the intention to run them 24/7 in order to diminish the amount of students being hit by cars. City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer joins us to discuss why he’s pushing Albany to place these cameras in front of all city schools and to debate the criticism against these cameras.

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Episode
June 03, 2016 at 6:41 am

Tonight, New York City food pantries have been running dry and that’s on top of Mayor DeBlasio proposing further funding cuts in his preliminary fiscal budget. Now, the organization Food Bank For New York City is asking the mayor to up funding from $8.2 million to $22 million in order to support the emergency food assistance program. The Vice President for Research and Public Affairs for this organization, Triada Stampas, sits down with us to explain the strain budget cuts have put on the city’s food banks and pantries and how they are working with the Mayor and city council to rectify the issue. We’re also joined by 69-year-old Myriam Rias. She’s worked her entire life but is still dependent on these pantries to feed her family. She offers us her thoughts on the impact further cuts will have on her livelihood and health. Next, he made millions building and selling tech companies and now he’s a star investor, swimming with the sharks on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank. Robert Herjavec, in his new book You Don’t Have to Be A Shark: Creating Your Own Success, draws from his life experiences to share tips on how you too can strike it rich using the skills you didn’t know you had. Then finally, you may know her as Thelma Harper in the hit ’80’s sitcom Mama’s Family but she’s also an alum of The Carol Burnett Show. Tonight, Vicki Lawrence is here reminiscing about some classic moments from The Carol Burnett Show ahead of the upcoming PBS special Carol Burnett’s Favorite Sketches where comedy legend Carol Burnett walks us through the stories behind some of her favorite scenes.

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June 02, 2016 at 8:12 pm

New York City food pantries have been running dry and that’s on top of Mayor DeBlasio proposing further funding cuts in his preliminary fiscal budget. Now, the organization Food Bank For New York City is asking the mayor to up funding from $8.2 million to $22 million in order to support the emergency food assistance program. The Vice President for Research and Public Affairs for this organization, Triada Stampas, sits down with us to explain the strain budget cuts have put on the city’s food banks and pantries and how they are working with the Mayor and city council to rectify the issue. We’re also joined by 69-year-old Myriam Rias. She’s worked her entire life but is still dependent on these pantries to feed her family. She offers us her thoughts on the impact further cuts will have on her livelihood and health.

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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, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The Dorothy Schiff Endowment for News and Public Affairs Programming, Jody and John Arnhold, Rosalind P. Walter, the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, Laura and Jim Ross, and Shailaja and Umesh Nagarkatte.

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