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SUPPORTING OUR SERVICE MEMBERS

Our veterans deserve a great level of care from our government, and should be a focus of outreach and support. We must ensure that they receive all the services and benefits available and that our efforts in service to them live up to their example.

 

To that end, I will fight to:

 

  • Obtain an accurate number of veterans, along with active duty, reserve and National Guard members living in NYC to better understand the resources needed to support the community.
     

  • Continue proper funding for the Department of Veterans Services based on its mission, needs and programs; including rapid rehousing, the processing of VA Claims and legal grants for bad conduct discharge upgrades.
     

  • Hold DVS accountable to work with other city agencies, including HRA, DHS and Aging to make sure housing, city services and benefits are being promoted to the community, utilized and distributed quickly and efficiently.  Make sure funding is included to enhance outreach.

  • Work to create legislation that would make property tax exemption available to all veterans who own a home in NYC. Note: It's currently only available to wartime veterans (WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War) - missing other conflicts including peacetime and Cold War.
     

  • Work to create legislation that would expand the NYC Veterans Advisory Board from 11 to 13 members. (Would include either a spouse, Gold Star wife/parent or caregiver of a veteran as defined by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. This would make it 7 appointed by Mayor, 6 appointed by Speaker.
     

  • Expand budget to make sure DVS and DOHMH cultivate an integrative health model to ensure the physical and mental well-being of veterans and their families.  Continue Mental Health First Aid training for veterans and those interested.
     

  • Work to continue the Interagency Mental Health Task Force the de Blasio administration created with local, state, and federal partners through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  
     

  • Work with the Speaker and Council to add Veteran Owned Businesses to the MWBE program for New York City.  Provide training/resources for Veteran or Veteran disabled owned businesses who are interested in contracting with the City.
     

  • Continue to make sure the Council's Veterans Initiative is funded to support non-profits who are providing essential programs for veterans and their families.
     

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