Media Advisory: IAVA and NYC Public Advocate Call on Mayor de Blasio to Take Bold Action for Veterans

NEW YORK (June 11, 2015) – On Wed., June 17, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) CEO and Founder, Paul Rieckhoff and New York City Public Advocate Letitia James will hold a press conference on the steps of City Hall at 11 a.m., calling upon Mayor Bill de Blasio to increase funding for the city’s veterans programs and support the creation of a new Department of Veterans Affairs.

Currently, the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs (MOVA) is staffed by five individuals and a has a budget of less than $600,000, leaving it ill equipped to support New York City’s 200,000 veteran community.

New York City is in a unique position to become a municipal leader on veterans’ issues, but it is crucial that Mayor de Blasio take real action toward the implementation of benefits and services to directly impact the lives of veterans and their families. For example, while many disabled veterans receive either service connected disability benefits or disability pensions from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, these benefits are often not enough for disabled veterans to afford market rate apartments in New York City. High rents in our city leave these disabled veterans at constant risk of being evicted and becoming homeless.

As the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the fastest growing segment of the veteran community, IAVA supports the recommendations made by Public Advocate James to create tangible support for New York City veterans.

WHO: Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA CEO and Founder
Letitia James, Public Advocate of the City of New York

WHEN: Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 11 a.m.

WHERE: New York City Hall
City Hall Park
New York, NY 10007

Note to media: Please email to RSVP.

Note to media: Email or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA leadership.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America ( is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 8,000 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.