Reduction of Critical Services at Brooklyn VA Medical Center?
An alarming business plan to reduce critical services for veterans at the Brooklyn VA Medical Center (VAMC) is being circulated amongst the NYC veterans community this week, and we urge our community and elected officials to take note and voice concern.
In the business plan, the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System proposes to change its Brooklyn campus surgery office from “Complex” to “Ambulatory Advanced,” stating that the current Brooklyn inpatient surgical cases can be accommodated at the Manhattan VAMC without affecting access to care or wait times. This effectively ends surgical services at the Brooklyn VAMC. The business plan is signed by NYHHS Director Martina Parauda, with an implementation date of July 1, 2017. It is unclear how much of the plan has been implemented to date.
Recent contraction of VA services in Brooklyn has already been very concerning. In 2015, the Brooklyn VAMC closed a 25-bed inpatient wing because it was too expensive to staff and keep open, despite outcry from Staten Island and Brooklyn veterans who rely on the Brooklyn VAMC. Last year, the Harbor Healthcare System closed an outpatient facility on Chapel Street in Downtown Brooklyn, which many underserved veterans relied on for a sense of community as well as meals and ongoing healthcare. Patients were assured that there would be regular shuttle bus service to bring them to Manhattan, but we’ve heard anecdotally that those shuttle buses were not adequate to provide Brooklyn patients with access to the Manhattan VAMC.Read more
Supporting Tax Relief for Disabled and Senior Citizen Homeowners
On August 8, 2017, the NYC Council Committee on Finance held a hearing on raising of the eligible income threshold for disabled and senior citizen homeowners qualifying for property tax exemption under the city's Disabled Homeowners Exemption and Senior Citizen Homeowners Exemption programs, of which many veterans take part.
Below is the testimony offered by our Director of Operations:Read more
Supporting Transgender Veterans & Troops
When we founded the NYC Veterans Alliance just two years ago, we committed to the inclusion of ALL veterans--we leave no veterans behind. We've stood in defense of veterans with bad paper. We've stood up for lesbian, gay, and bisexual veterans who were unjustly discharged. And last week we stood up for the transgender troops who are serving honorably across the world, as well as the countless numbers of transgender veterans who deserve recognition and respect for their service to our nation.Read more
Celebrating Passage of Anti-Discrimination Bill
On June 26, 2017, we held a press conference with Public Advocate Tish James and officials from the NYC Commission on Civil Rights and NYC Department of Veterans' Services celebrating the unanimous passage of Intro. 1259, which will protect veterans and servicemembers from discrimination in housing, employment, and other facets of life in NYC. Our members took the stage to talk about their personal experiences with pervasive discrimination, and why this law will make a tremendous difference in their lives:Read more
We Did It! Historic Bill Passed by NYC Council!
WE DID IT! Intro. 1259 is our FIRST BILL to originate with our membership--and it was passed today by NYC Council! 1259 was developed by our team, brought to introduction, pushed by our membership, opened to hearing, and finally voted to passage today thanks to the hard work of our members and team. We give our hearty thanks and congratulations to all of our members who gave input, took action, and supported our efforts with your dues and donations. This would not have been possible without you!Read more
Supporting Veterans' Access to Services
On June 20, 2017, the NYC Council Committee on General Welfare held a hearing on Int. 855-A, which proposes to automate access to services for the most vulnerable New Yorkers.
Below is the testimony of our Director of Operations:Read more
Supporting Veterans in Small Business
On June 20, 2017, the NYC Council held a hearing in consideration of the needs of veterans in small business. Below is the testimony of our Founding Director:
NYC’s 2018 Budget – What’s In It For Veterans?
After negotiation with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, the NYC Council announced today that the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget is now finalized.
Earlier this year we set a Spring Agenda that included protecting and increasing NYC's budget for veterans, and adoption of a needed exemption from rising school taxes for veteran homeowners. We're both proud and grateful to our members and allies who helped us achieve results for our community.
Take a look at what's in the new budget for veterans, which will take effect on July 1, 2017:Read more
A Win on the Veterans Alternative Tax Exemption!
A key piece of our Spring Policy Agenda was inclusion of the Alternative (School Tax) Exemption for Veterans in the city's budget for Fiscal Year 2018--and we're proud to announce that this was included in the final $85 billion budget deal reached by the Mayor and NYC Council last Friday evening!
Thanks to our member, Vietnam veteran, longtime advocate, and proud Staten Islander Lee Covino for leading the charge on this. Thanks to everyone who lobbied with us this spring, who rallied with us at the "Love Our Veterans" Rally on Valentine's Day, who testified and rallied and supported this legislative effort last December, who called and wrote letters to their representatives last fall, and who initially met with us at our stakeholder meeting on this important issue last July.
Special thanks to Council Member Steven Matteo for leading on this in NYC Council and his continuous advocacy for the more than 58,000 veteran homeowners who will now be entitled to long overdue tax relief.Read more
A Successful NYC Veteran Candidate Workshop!
On April 29-30, we hosted more than 30 veterans and spouses at the first-ever NYC Veteran Candidate Workshop at Civic Hall, an intensive training event that included guest speakers, panels, and interactive conversations and activities with political and communications professionals and current and former elected officials.Read more