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Air Force Veteran Now Serves as Director of Community Outreach

 

adrienne_nyse.JPGAdrienne Brammer, a 14-year veteran of the United States Air Force, is newly promoted into the role of Director of Community Outreach for the NYC Veterans Alliance. As the first staff member to join the newly formed NYC Veterans Alliance, Adrienne has served for nearly three years building and developing the regional community calendar and information hub, OurVeterans.NYC.

Last fall, Adrienne was honored for her innovative, steadfast service to NYC veterans and families with the 2017 "Service to Veterans" award by the United War Veterans Council, presented at the New York Stock Exchange. Building upon her tremendous service and dedication, Adrienne is now taking on further programmatic development of the Alliance's digital platforms as well as building and strengthening community partnerships more broadly across the NYC veterans community as the Director of Community Outreach.

Adrienne has served on Air Force bases across the U.S., South Korea, Iceland, and Italy, as well as serving as combat videographer in Iraq and Afghanistan, often accompanying troops on convoys and foot patrols.

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Will Robert Wilkie Support ALL Veterans?

 

wilkie.jpgToday the president's nominee for the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Robert Wilkie, appears before the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, and we raise concerns about his nomination based on information about Mr. Wilkie that has come to light in the media over the past 24 hours. We hope to hear today from Mr. Wilkie that he sincerely supports ALL veterans--regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or other characteristics that are fundamental to veterans' personal identities. Veterans need to know that the VA, from the top down, is ready to provide quality, bias-free care and benefits for all those who have served our nation.

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Standing Up for Veteran Street Vendors

Today's NYC Council Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing held a hearing on three different bills proposing to restrict access of street vendors around the World Trade Center and downtown Flushing, as well as a ban on a certain type of char-broiler used by food vendors. Details of the hearing and these bills are HERE.

As part of our 2018 Action Agenda, we are continuing to speak up for veteran street vendors. We were unable to attend today's hearing, but submitted the following letter to the committee:

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Wins for Veterans & Families in FY 2019 City Budget

Today the NYC Council released the finalized Fiscal Year 2019 Budget for the City of New York, which contains important wins for veterans and families! Here are the highlights:

 

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Rep. Donovan Joins NYC Veterans Alliance, VVA Ch 72, and IAVA in Opposing Clinic Closure at Brooklyn VA

On June 1, Congressman Dan Donovan (NY-11) joined NYC Veterans Alliance, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 72, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America in opposition to further closures and reductions at the Brooklyn VA Hospital. As with last year's plan to close outpatient surgeries at the Brooklyn VA, the plan to close the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) clinic this month comes as yet another reduction of services for veterans who rely on this crucial facility. View the full video here:

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NYC Veterans Alliance Members Lead Advocacy for Voting Reform

voterday_1.jpgOn Tuesday, May 8th, NYC Veterans Alliance joined with the NYC Campaign Finance Board and more than 100 advocates with the Vote Better NY Coalition to advocate for vital reforms to bring New York State's voting laws into the 21st century.

Five of our members served as team captains, leading meetings with NYS legislators and staff on a busy day in Albany. Our member Troy Olson spoke eloquently at our press conference in the Capitol's stairway:

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NYC Veterans Alliance Efforts Lead to National Proposal

180503_crowley_medium.jpgBuilding on the progress we made last year to enshrine protections for veterans and military members in NYC law with passage of Local Law 119-2017, NYC Veterans Alliance today stood in support of a new bill being introduced by Congressman Joe Crowley (NY-14) to protect student veterans using GI Bill benefits from housing discrimination nationwide. 

We gathered for a press conference at the stunning Bronx Victory Memorial in Pelham Bay Park, which commemorates the troops from the Bronx who lost their lives in World War I. Joining Rep. Crowley was NY State Assembly Member Mike Benedetto, Assembly Member Nathalia Fernandez, Council Member Mark Gjonaj, and members of the NYC Veterans Alliance.

Dubbed the "Students LIVE (Live Irrespective of Veterans Educational Assistance) Act," Rep. Crowley's bill proposes to amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to prohibit discrimination against veterans on the basis of their VA educational benefits as their source of income. We fully support this legislation as a national extension of protections we worked to emplace here in NYC, and it advances the policy priorities set forth by our members for this year.

 

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Run for Your County Committee!

votehere.jpgThe NYC Veterans Alliance encourages members of our veterans community--veterans, family members, and civilian supporters alike--to get active as civic leaders in neighborhoods across the five boroughs. Especially if you live in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, you have a unique opportunity this year to make democracy work better in your community by running to serve as a member of your political party's County Committee.

County Committees are the basic building block for political governance in NYC and were originally created so that New Yorkers can have a real say in their political parties. But they are only as effective as the energy and enthusiasm that we, the people, put into making them work for our communities.

Members of County Committees are elected officials--their names appear on a party's primary ballot, and County Committee members must win votes in their election district. But in too many cases these seats go vacant, or the elected County Committee member is inactive--causing the County Committee to not fully deliver on its responsibilities to its constituents. 

Are you ready to make democracy work better in your neighborhood? 

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A Successful March to City Hall Week!

marchpic.jpgThanks to all who participated in making our March to City Hall Week a great success! March to City Hall Week is the premier civic leadership event of the NYC Veterans Alliance, mobilizing our membership as speakers and advocates committed to making NYC the best city in the country for veterans and their families. Members and staff advocated for our 2018 Action Agenda, a detailed list of policy solutions we are pressing our NYC Council Members, NY State delegation, and Congressional delegation to take action on.

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Our 2018 Policy Priorities

cityhall_400.jpgBased on input and feedback from our membership, as well as our founding mission and values, we are proud to announce our Policy Priorities for 2018. These priorities are the framework upon which our legislative initiatives, public testimonies, and advocacy are based. 

Our nine priorities are:

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