Gotham Gazette

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Adams 2021: In-depth - Honor Our Heroes

Honor Our Heroes

As we remember and pay tribute to all of the fallen servicemen and women who we have lost, we recommit to honor their sacrifice and the sacrifices of the veterans and military families who are so fortunately part of our communities. These heroes deserve a city that honors them as they have honored us, going above and beyond to connect them to the services they need to lead healthy, prosperous lives.

According to 2019 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are about 138,000 veterans living in the New York City area, ranging from those who served in World War II to those who enlisted after 9/11. As a former chair of the Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs Committee during my time in the State Senate, I have had a unique perspective into the sacrifices and struggles of our service members and their families — all incredible New Yorkers who give so much to our communities. As mayor, I am dedicated to supporting the critical work of our Department of Veterans Services (DVS), and our great nonprofit community, to expand on the shared mission to connect, mobilize, and empower our veteran community. That’s the spirit behind my “Honor Our Heroes” agenda.

To "Honor Our Heroes," We Will:

  • Expand access to veterans’ services with on-the-ground outreach coordinators, and hiring  veterans to provide peer-to-peer support; 
  • Establish new neighborhood support networks for military families, strengthening civic  bonds and helping identify possible need for supportive City services; 
  • Complete accessibility renovations on the Brooklyn War Memorial (a project funded largely  through Brooklyn Borough Hall support) to reopen building to the public, and conduct a  citywide audit of all City infrastructure and properties to determine where accessibility  needs are not being made and enact a capital plan for necessary improvements — New  York City veterans are twice as likely to be living with disabilities as the general population; 
  • Provide universal free access to meditation and mindfulness programming for veterans,  through digital platforms and in-person classes, to supplement efforts to combat  post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health needs; 
  • Increase resources to the New York City Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) to battle all  forms of discrimination against veterans on housing, employment, and public  accomodations. 

Additionally, I pledge to fully fund the mission of DVS and veteran-serving nonprofits, to  build on existing initiatives to end veteran homelessness, connect veterans to  good-paying jobs, and provide City contracting opportunities to veteran-owned  businesses, as well as to enact our People’s Plan to provide hundreds of thousands of New  Yorkers — including veterans — with automatic monthly cash assistance, free or subsidized  childcare, housing vouchers that actually pay the rent, and more efficient delivery of City  assistance through a single application on the MyCity platform.

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