We Did It! Preserving Lifesaving PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Program for Veterans in New York State!

 

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3/31/19 UPDATE: Thanks to you taking action these last few days, today the New York State legislature put forward an appropriations bill that FULLY FUNDS the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Services Peer-to-Peer program, avoiding deep cuts that seemed imminent only hours ago. This means veterans at risk for suicide in counties across New York State will continue to benefit from the support of peer mentors and their community. We further urge state legislators to continue investing in and expanding this young, successful program in the months and years to come.

Special thanks to each and every one of our community members who reached out to Governor Cuomo and NYS legislators--and thanks also to backup from our community partners at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America who had our backs on this! We are also grateful for the legislators and advocates across the state who spoke up to protect this vital program, including NYC-based Assembly Members Felix Ortiz and Nicole Malliotakis. 

 

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Opposing Budget Cuts for NYC Veterans' Services

190314.jpgOn Thursday, March 14, 2019, we presented testimony before the NYC Council's Committee on Veterans regarding oversight of the Fiscal Year 2020 budget for the NYC Department of Veterans' Services. Our testimony featured opposition to Mayor de Blasio's proposal to cut $63k from the budget, as well as concerns about staffing, accountability, and support from the Council. 

Below is the testimony presented:

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Improving ThriveNYC for Veterans & Families

190227_MolikThriveNYC_400.jpgOn February 27, 2019, Director of Policy and Legislative Advocacy Sam Molik testified before the NYC Council's Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities & Addiction in an oversight hearing on the first three years of the ThriveNYC program addressing mental health for New Yorkers:

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Addressing Veteran Suicide in NYC

190226_molikhearing_400.jpgOn February 26th, 2019, Samuel Molik, Director of Policy and Legislative Advocacy, testified before the NYC Council's Joint Committees on Veterans and Mental Health, Disabilities & Addiction in an oversight hearing on veteran suicide and mental health:

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2019 Public Advocate Special Election Voter Guide

rallypic.jpgOn Tuesday, February 26th, 2019, New York City will elect the next Public Advocate. The office of Public Advocate is one of three citywide elected officials, and is the first in line to succeed the Mayor. It is the role of the Public Advocate to champion the public and ensure government is responsive to its needs. In recent years, the office has included a veterans’ liaison and taken on key roles and legislation to improve the lives of NYC veterans and families.

The NYC Veterans Alliance presents this Voter Guide for informational purposes to our community. We contacted candidates eligible to stand in the Special Election scheduled for February 26, 2019, and solicited their responses on key questions of concern to our membership. This Guide makes no endorsement; candidates are listed in the order in which they responded.

View this Voter Guide as a PDF by clicking HERE.

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Update: Pay Our Defenders!

coastguard.jpgIf you serve in four branches of our nation's uniformed services--the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Air Force--you are receiving pay during the current federal shutdown. But if you're serving in uniform in the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Public Health Service, and NOAA to defend New York Harbor and other areas of our nation and national interests across the globe--you aren't receiving pay during the shutdown. In NYC especially, that's a severe hardship for you and your family. Our defenders shouldn't be forced to suffer because of political turmoil in Washington, DC.

Last Monday, we called on on Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, and the NYC Congressional delegation to immediately pass legislation to pay all of our nation's uniformed service members, to include those who defend our own city and our harbor.

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2018 Champion Advocate: Rep. Dan Donovan

 

20180601_103825.jpgAt our Holiday Mixer on December 17, 2018, we honored Congressman Dan Donovan as our 2018 Champion Advocate. As Representative of New York's 11th Congressional District, Congressman Donovan has held regular roundtables with veterans of his district and has also been quick to respond when veterans have raised concerns about the NY VA Harbor Healthcare System's Brooklyn Campus located in his district. 

 

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2018 Champion Sustainer: Craig Newmark

 

craig.jpgAt our Holiday Mixer on December 17, 2018, we honored Craigslist founder and philanthropist Craig Newmark as our 2018 Champion Sustainer. This year, Craig renewed his support for the NYC Veterans Alliance with a landmark sustaining gift of $150,000, which has made a profound impact as we grow into our fourth year of connecting our community and advancing veterans and families as civic leaders in NYC and beyond. 

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Ensuring the Right Support for Veterans with 'Bad Paper'

 

On November 26th, 2018, our Director of Policy & Legislative Advocacy, Sam Molik, testified before the NYC Council Committees on Veterans in a hearing on Introductions 1218 and 479, which propose to create a discharge upgrade assistance unit at the Department of Veterans’ Services and offer discharge upgrade assistance and extending city veteran benefits to service members who were discharged because of their LGBTQ status.

Below is his testimony:

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Inclusion of Aging Veterans in City Mental Health Services

 

181119_testimony_2.jpgOn November 19th, 2018, our Director of Policy & Legislative Advocacy, Sam Molik, testified before the NYC Council Committees on Aging and Mental Health, Disabilities and Addiction in an oversight hearing on mental wellness in older adults.

The hearing also considered Introduction 1180, which would require caseworkers providing services at senior centers to complete the mental health first aid training course for older adults offered by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and to complete a refresher training course at least once every three years.

Below is his testimony:

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