WE DID IT! Intro. 1259 is our FIRST BILL to originate with our membership--and it was passed today by NYC Council! 1259 was developed by our team, brought to introduction, pushed by our membership, opened to hearing, and finally voted to passage today thanks to the hard work of our members and team. We give our hearty thanks and congratulations to all of our members who gave input, took action, and supported our efforts with your dues and donations. This would not have been possible without you!Read more
by Kristen L. Rouse
On January 12, 2017, Kristen Rouse, Founding Director of the NYC Veterans Alliance, was invited to give keynote remarks at a business breakfast hosted by Community Training & Employment Resources (CTER) and NYC-Society for Human Resources Management (NYC-SHRM) at the TD Bank at 2 Wall Street in Manhattan. Below is a written adaptation of Kristen's spoken remarks.
I joined the Army Reserve back in 1994, as a 21-year old who wanted to serve my country, make a better life for myself, and have an experience—wherever that might take me—that I could be truly proud of. I feel very fortunate to be able to report that these almost 23 years later, this has definitely come true. My military service has become an important part of who I am, as well as providing me with essential leadership, team-building skills, and job training that have served me well in my civilian career path.
But I am here to also tell you that it hasn’t always been easy. I’ve faced some truly difficult challenges during the course of my military service, but some of my hardest times over the years haven’t come directly from my military experience—some of my toughest challenges have been as a citizen-soldier trying to navigate civilian housing and employment when they seemed at odds with my service as a military reservist.Read more
Today we were proud to stand with Public Advocate Tish James, Council Member Jumaane Williams, Commissioner Loree Sutton, and Commissioner Carmelyn Malalis to mark the introduction of the bill we drafted and proposed last spring to amend NYC's human rights laws to include protections for veterans and military members. The bill's language has been updated to summarize this as "uniformed service," and express the most inclusive definition possible. We approved this change within the last few weeks, and we are proud to be part of moving this legislation forward. Below is the statement of Founding Director Kristen Rouse at today's press conference at City Hall:Read more
BREAKING!! Governor Cuomo has at last signed the Veterans Equality Act into law, rectifying NY State's pension system for veterans who have honorably served our nation in recent decades and across the globe. This comes after two vetoes and his office's lobbying against it. Our voices were heard, and we're proud to have been key players in this year's drive toward passing this legislation!
On Monday, members of the NYC Veterans Alliance convened at Civic Hall to workshop and discuss policy issues and solutions. We were joined by Commissioner Loree Sutton of the Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs and members of the Civic Hall community.
Below is a letter from Samuel Innocent, Director of Policy, to the members of the NYC veteran alliance breaking down the magic that occurred Monday night and to share the results:Read more
Last night was the first NYC Veterans Advisory Board meeting ever open to the public. We applaud the important reforms that led to this meeting, and to the appointment of new VAB members. Previous members of the VAB were present, as well as new members. The meeting was chaired by the Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs (MOVA), Loree Sutton.Read more