IAVA’s Action Plan for New York City’s Veterans

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.

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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. 

IAVA TESTIMONY

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

EVENTS

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

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

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 

MEDIA

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 

Observer, Letitia James Breaks Again With de Blasio Over NYC Department of Veterans Affairs, June 17, 2015 http://bit.ly/1SoZXYU

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

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

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

Support Veterans Today

Our country has an obligation to fulfill its promise to honor and support vets. Make a donation today to help IAVA fulfill its mission to connect, unite, and empower post-9/11 veterans.