"Soft Rollout" of IDNYC's Veteran Designation - Go Get One, But Be Prepared

The good news is that NYC government has finally implemented the veteran designation we were promised last year by Mayor de Blasio, and that we’ve gotten exactly what we asked for in the Change is Essential report we released last month, plus a several additional benefits. We appreciate all the work that MOVA and many dedicated officials at City Hall and the City Council put into what we believe to be a very solid program that recognizes NYC veterans in accordance with the City Charter. This is a good thing.

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Progress, Although More to Do on Veteran Homelessness in NYC

Even as overall homelessness in NYC has risen to an all-time high under Mayor de Blasio, there has been considerable progress in reducing veteran homelessness due to robust resources from the federal government to tackle the problem nationwide. A Capital New York article this week touted NYC's successes in reducing veteran homelessness:

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Veteran ID Cards: Feds Ahead of NYC?

Veterans have long wanted an easier way to prove their veteran status than carrying around copies of their DD214s, and it looks like the federal government is on the verge of passing legislation to create official veterans ID cards, separate from Veterans Health Administration ID cards issued only to veterans that meet eligibility requirements for health care. Read this morning's news story about this here.

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Oversight of NYC Funds Going to Veterans Organizations

Last week the City Council released the list of organizations to receive discretionary funds for Fiscal Year 2016 for providing veterans services. These are critical funds, and organizations have provided valuable direct assistance and services to veterans in NYC. These funds provided by the City Council are entirely separate from the budget of the Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs (MOVA), and are not overseen in any formal way by MOVA.

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2016 Budget Increase for Veterans: Not Victory, But An Important Step Forward

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.

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Update on Veterans Equality Act: Action Still Needed

Thanks to your encouragement of NY State Assembly members, the Veterans Equality Act passed the Assembly with only one dissenting vote, and will head to Governor Cuomo for him to sign. Although the bill passed unanimously in the NY State Senate and nearly unanimously in the Assembly--we could still see a repeat of what happened last fall when Mayor de Blasio lobbied against this earned benefit for veterans and the Governor vetoed it.

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FULL REPORT: Change Is Essential

We are proud to be the leading force on NYC veterans policy since January 2015. 

On June 25, 2015, we released a report on the first-ever survey of the NYC veterans community on local veterans policy:

Change is Essential: Report on the 2015 Survey of NYC Veterans Policy Priorities

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Change is Essential: Report on the 2015 Survey of NYC Veterans Policy Priorities

The NYC Veterans Alliance is pleased to announce the release of our new report:

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Report: Executive Summary

This is a report on the 2015 Survey of NYC Veterans Policy Priorities, a survey that solicited responses to policy initiatives from NYC veterans, service members, family members, and service providers in early 2015.

 

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Report: Survey Methodology

From February 4 to March 13, 2015, the NYC Veterans Alliance and NY MetroVets invited veterans, service members, family members, service providers, and others connected to the veterans’ community in the New York Metropolitan area to take an online survey of their policy priorities for NYC government. The survey was disseminated via email and social media to as many NYC veterans and organizations as possible. In addition to NYC Veterans Alliance and NY MetroVets, organizations like Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Army Week, Women Veterans and Families Network, the Military Resilience Project, and others promoted it to their membership. Several elected officials also distributed the survey to their constituents.

 

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