by Kristen L. Rouse
On January 12, 2017, Kristen Rouse, Founding Director of the NYC Veterans Alliance, was invited to give keynote remarks at a business breakfast hosted by Community Training & Employment Resources (CTER) and NYC-Society for Human Resources Management (NYC-SHRM) at the TD Bank at 2 Wall Street in Manhattan. Below is a written adaptation of Kristen's spoken remarks.
I joined the Army Reserve back in 1994, as a 21-year old who wanted to serve my country, make a better life for myself, and have an experience—wherever that might take me—that I could be truly proud of. I feel very fortunate to be able to report that these almost 23 years later, this has definitely come true. My military service has become an important part of who I am, as well as providing me with essential leadership, team-building skills, and job training that have served me well in my civilian career path.
But I am here to also tell you that it hasn’t always been easy. I’ve faced some truly difficult challenges during the course of my military service, but some of my hardest times over the years haven’t come directly from my military experience—some of my toughest challenges have been as a citizen-soldier trying to navigate civilian housing and employment when they seemed at odds with my service as a military reservist.Read more
Today we were proud to stand with Public Advocate Tish James, Council Member Jumaane Williams, Commissioner Loree Sutton, and Commissioner Carmelyn Malalis to mark the introduction of the bill we drafted and proposed last spring to amend NYC's human rights laws to include protections for veterans and military members. The bill's language has been updated to summarize this as "uniformed service," and express the most inclusive definition possible. We approved this change within the last few weeks, and we are proud to be part of moving this legislation forward. Below is the statement of Founding Director Kristen Rouse at today's press conference at City Hall:Read more
Thanks to everyone who has already responded to our 2016 NYC Veterans Surveys! We hope that more veterans and spouses/partners in NYC, Long Island, Westchester, North Jersey, and Hudson Valley will take our surveys to better inform us (and our partner organizations) about what they’re experiencing. Our survey data will go directly toward improving policies and making resources more accessible for veterans, military members, and their families in the NYC area.Read more
The NYC Veterans Alliance, in partnership with Pathfinder, is pleased to release an important set of surveys that will help to assess the needs of the NYC veterans community. If you’re a veteran or military member, student veteran, or spouse or domestic partner of a veteran or military member in NYC or the NY Metro area, we hope you'll provide critical input on specific issue areas.Read more
On Monday, members of the NYC Veterans Alliance convened at Civic Hall to workshop and discuss policy issues and solutions. We were joined by Commissioner Loree Sutton of the Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs and members of the Civic Hall community.
Below is a letter from Samuel Innocent, Director of Policy, to the members of the NYC veteran alliance breaking down the magic that occurred Monday night and to share the results:Read more
In December 2015, we asked the NYC veterans community to take our 2016 Policy Agenda Survey to help us assess the priorities we should focus on as we develop our 2016 Policy Agenda. The topics listed were based on the issues raised during our First Policy Agenda Meeting in September. The survey had 82 respondents, and they identified as follows:Read more
Yesterday was the 51st Annual Queens County Council Legislative Breakfast hosted by the Queens County Council of the VFW. Ryan Graham, Commander of the Queens County Council, coordinated the event and made sure veterans citywide were invited to attend. Special thanks to Ryan for inviting NYC Veterans Alliance leaders and members.Read more
While it offers credits for veterans in civil service applications, NYC government does not currently have a comprehensive veterans hiring preference for employment that applies to all agency positions. A total of 87.08% of respondents indicated that they view this as either essential or very important.Read more