IAVA Applauds Establishment of New York City Department of Veterans’ Services
New York-based vets group calls on department to be fully funded
NEW YORK (April 8, 2016) – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) — the only national veterans organization headquartered in New York City – released the following statement in response to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement that New York City has officially established the Department of Veterans’ Services:
“We are proud that our advocacy over the last two years has led to the creation of this historic department,” said Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA Founder and CEO. “This is long overdue. IAVA is proud to have led the fight to establish this office back in 2014. However, this is just the first step and will be meaningless if the city does not properly fund the department. IAVA will continue to press Mayor de Blasio for a commitment of $100 million for the new department. In a city with a budget of over $73 billion, this is an insignificant amount of money to properly serve New York City’s 230,000 veterans. The veterans community is grateful for the leadership of individuals like Council Member Eric Ulrich, Chair of the Committee on Veterans, and Public Advocate Letitia James who fought to get us to this point.”
IAVA, which led the fight for passage of the law to establish the new department, previously called for it to be funded at $100 million annually, and again calls on the mayor to allocate this level of funding appropriate to serve the city’s veterans.
For more information about IAVA’s work on behalf of New York City area veterans see iava.org/nycvets.