With more than 230,000 veterans living in the city, New York is in a unique position to become a municipal leader on veterans’ issues. On December 10, 2015, after a two-year battle with Mayor Bill de Blasio, the future for veterans in New York City changed forever with the signing of bill 314-A into law, establishing a permanent city Department of Veteran Services. The creation of this department was first presented to Mayor de Blasio by IAVA in October 2014 as part of a comprehensive set of policy recommendations for New York City’s veterans.
Over the past two years – and in spite of continued opposition from the Mayor and NYC Veterans Affairs Commissioner Loree Sutton – IAVA remained committed to ensuring NYC veterans received the care and support they earned and deserve.
The establishment of a NYC Department of Veteran Services was a great first step and now we will continue the fight to create a model support system for every city around the nation to follow. This includes:
Increasing the budget for veterans’ programs in every city
- NYC’s Department of Veteran Services must be appropriately funded annually at $100 million to support the city’s 230,000 veterans and their families. The veterans community fought long and hard for a permanent department that would forever be a resource for veterans in need.
Presenting a holistic plan for NYC’s veterans
- The de Blasio Administration has yet to present a comprehensive plan for our veterans. The piecemeal approach currently in place to address vital veteran needs like unemployment, homelessness and mental health care doesn’t work and isn’t effective.
- The Mayor needs to champion a plan that: helps combat veteran suicide and support mental health initiatives; strengthens the city’s government for today’s veterans; defends military and veteran education benefits; better employs the New Greatest Generation of veterans; and increases support for veterans and their families.
- A good starting point for all of these issues is IAVA’s policy recommendations for New York City veterans.
Want to help fight for NYC’s veterans? Join IAVA at iava.org/#join. Membership is free and open to all veterans and civilian supporters.
New York City Council Committee on Veterans, PTSD Awareness Hearing, June 16, 2015 http://bit.ly/1Cbk6rT
New York City Council Committee on Veterans, Hearing on the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs (MOVA), May 6, 2015 http://bit.ly/1bxYaQi
Statement by IAVA Founder and CEO to NYC Mayor at Veterans Unity Event, April 17, 2015 http://bit.ly/1dIRr7y
Press Releases and Blogs
Post-9/11 Veterans Claim Victory with Mayor de Blasio Bill Signing, December 10, 2015 http://bit.ly/1Qy4xEi
IAVA Hails Historic Victory for New York City Veterans, November 4, 2015 http://bit.ly/1XQZcdI
IAVA to General Sutton: Mayor de Blasio Again Ignores NYC Veterans Requests for Help, October 30, 2015 http://bit.ly/1NaMHSL
New York City Advocate Letitia James Joins Fight for Veteran Community, June 17, 2015 http://bit.ly/1d0NqLe
IAVA Testifies in Support of NYC Department of Veteran Affairs Bill, May 6, 2015 http://bit.ly/1P0Br1O
NYC Vets Unite at City Hall to Demand Action from Mayor de Blasio, April 16, 2015 http://bit.ly/1czkfz7
de Blasio Proves Tone Deaf in Veterans Advisory Board Appointments, April 9, 2015 http://bit.ly/1GOBYO4
New York Daily News, NYC to launch new Department of Veterans Services to help city vets find housing, jobs, and medical care, November 10, 2015 http://nydn.us/1QtoVa4
Newsday, NYC Council votes to create veterans agency, November 10, 2015 http://nwsdy.li/1Q42jOB
Capitol New York, Council sways de Blasio on veterans department bill, November 4, 2015 http://politi.co/1HrNAd4
Observer, Letitia James Breaks Again With de Blasio Over NYC Department of Veterans Affairs, June 17, 2015 http://bit.ly/1SoZXYU
NY1, Critics Discuss de Blasio Administration’s Attention to Veterans’ Issues, May 26, 2015 http://bit.ly/1FOEYu0NY
Daily News, Advocates say flag blunder shows Bill de Blasio is neglecting veterans, May 20, 2015 http://nydn.us/1doSslP
The Daily Beast, De Blasio’s New Plan To Combat Inequality Stiffs Vets, May 14, 2015 http://thebea.st/1EMIXU2
NY Daily News, Paul Rieckhoff op-ed: Why is de Blasio AWOL when it comes to NYC’s veterans? April 22, 2015 http://nydn.us/1GqmX44
NY Daily News, Veterans, advocates protest at City Hall, claiming de Blasio is not helping them, April 17, 2015 http://nydn.us/1CWsRoD
Capital New York, After delays, city veterans commissioner promises movement, April 17, 2015 http://bit.ly/1DQ9Adu
New York Observer, As Veterans Groups Knock de Blasio, Commissioner Welcomes the ‘Energy,’ April 16, 2015 http://bit.ly/1Ik7ti4
NY 1, New York Tonight – de Blasio Veterans Advisory Board, April 10, 2015 http://bit.ly/1cwPUBe
NY Daily News, Advocate slams de Blasio’s Vets Advisory Board appointees, April 9, 2015 http://nydn.us/1ycSHsX