BREAKING!! Governor Cuomo has at last signed the Veterans Equality Act into law, rectifying NY State's pension system for veterans who have honorably served our nation in recent decades and across the globe. This comes after two vetoes and his office's lobbying against it. Our voices were heard, and we're proud to have been key players in this year's drive toward passing this legislation!
by Kristen L. Rouse
I wanted to express my personal thanks to you for your continued support of the NYC Veterans Alliance as a grassroots startup, working to connect, advocate for, inform, and empower our community in ways that complement and enhance the work being done by so many here in NYC and beyond.
Last June our working group issued the first-ever policy paper on NYC veterans policy, the product of more than a dozen veterans and service providers. We held our first public event last July with the Forum on NYC Veterans Policy, featuring amazing veterans and advocates, and introduced by John Oliver. In August, we launched our Community Calendar, and since then have maintained continuous postings of nearly 500 events for veterans, service members, and their families across the NY Metro area as a free service to our community.
Since last year, we have brought our community together to source policy solutions. We’ve consistently spoken up and testified on issues important to our community, and received coverage in the news. We’ve collaborated with a number of different veterans organizations in NYC, and we continue to seek ways to empower and engage our community.
We’ve significantly influenced five local laws and policies that have been implemented, to include passage of landmark legislation creating the NYC Department of Veterans Services. We’ve sent veterans to Washington, D.C., for training and support to become more engaged as civic leaders and to run for elected office. We have ongoing dialogue with public officials on legislative initiatives and policy. And we’re actively working with leaders and innovators in civic tech to integrate new ideas and solutions to improve the lives of veterans, military members, and their families.Read more
The weekend of March 18-22 was the official launch of our Get Ready to Run initiative, which took four NYC veterans on a four-day trip to Washington, D.C. The program will involve follow-on support and training for these four veterans, as well as future cohorts that we select, train, and support.
Watch and listen to what our four future candidates have to say about their Get Ready to Run experience during their visit to the Newseum:
Another proud day for the NYC Veterans Alliance: we received our second bill-signing pen!
This morning, Mayor de Blasio signed yet another bill we've supported into law. This is the FIFTH local law that the NYC Veterans Alliance helped to push through since we started last year, and we were the only organization in the room who actively advocated for its passage.Read more
On Thursday, December 10, veteran leaders and advocates from across NYC were invited to attend a ceremony aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, where Mayor Bill de Blasio at last signed into law the bill creating a NYC Department of Veterans Services (DVS).Read more
Today First Lady Chirlane McCray is announcing the details of her Thrive NYC Roadmap for NYC mental health services. This was anticipated earlier this year, but at last comes with a number of initiatives—and among them, veteran-specific initiatives that are promising steps forward for NYC veterans, service members, and their families. We are pleased that the NYC Veterans Alliance had input in this important set of initiatives, and that some of our recommendations from earlier this year will at last be implemented.Read more
by Kristen L. Rouse
Over the last few months, the NYC Veterans Alliance has been busy making a difference for veterans, service members, and their families in the New York Metro area. We're incorporated and filing as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, and we're building steam as a grassroots organization that is member-driven and takes concrete actions on behalf of our community. Here's some of what we've been doing:Read more
Thanks to everyone who came to our first event, the Forum on NYC Veterans Policy. Your attendance, support, and participation made it a tremendous success. If you couldn't make it, be sure to view the photos and audio clips below to share in this informative, insightful, and community-building event. We hope to see you next time.
There are many issues we've brought up and discussed about NYC veterans, but it's always a great day when we can celebrate a win, connect with City officials, and also visit with great organizations and veterans who are active with our community.
Our report last month, Change is Essential, showed that veteran designation on IDNYC cards is important to our community, and we recommended that the IDNYC define veterans according to the inclusive definition of the City Charter. Although veteran designation on IDNYC cards has been in the works for some months, our survey and recommendation helped to push this program to its final implementation as a high-quality, inclusive program for NYC's veterans.Read more
Following pressure from the NYC Veterans Alliance, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and veterans and advocates across NYC, our city government has responded by including more funding for veterans and veterans services in the 2016 budget. This is truly an important step forward, and we appreciate the many City Council members who pushed for the funding increase, and we appreciate that Mayor de Blasio has, at long last, finally supported these additions to the budget. But we must be clear: NYC still has a long way yet to go before we can declare victory.Read more