Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics



  • Creating Career Pathways for Veterans in New York City Government

    Veterans Day at City Hall (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Democracy is an ideal that is central to who we are as Americans, but it’s an ideal that must be advanced and defended by each generation. While we are fortunate to have the freedom to choose our elected leaders and have a voice in our government, this freedom has been secured and defended by our military veterans. Their willingness to serve and sacrifice represents the highest calling in public service, and we owe these heroes an enormous debt of gratitude.  


  • A Fall To-Do List for the City Council’s Veterans Committee

    At a Veterans Day parade (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    When City Council Member Robert Holden was appointed chair of the Council’s veterans committee in January, there was optimism in the city’s military veterans advocacy community as many felt his predecessor was caretaking the committee and holding hearings that didn’t press the city’s Department of Veterans Services (DVS) for answers.  

    Yet over the past several months, veterans have been surprised at the Council Member’s seeming unwillingness,

  • New Scholarship Helps Bridge Gap for Military Veterans Studying at CUNY John Jay

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    The CUNY Office of Veterans Affairs (photo: CUNY)

    Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Thomas Donaldson pondered whether to take out a loan or pay his master’s degree tuition bill with a credit card. As a military veteran whose government benefits had run out, a husband, and a father paying his way through his education seemed impossible, even with his NYPD salary.

    In an effort to meet this need for higher education tuition help that many veterans face, the newly-created Beshar Scholars Military Service Award offers student veterans at CUNY’s John Jay College both financial and

  • Contrasting Herself with Former Boss Bill de Blasio, Loree Sutton Runs to be ‘Quality of Life’ Mayor

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    Former veterans commissioner Loree Sutton (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    Loree Sutton knows Mayor Bill de Blasio well, having been hired by him as commissioner of the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services, and she’s now running to succeed him on a platform of bringing a very different leadership style atop city government.

    “I saw things to continue to deteriorate in our city, the quality of life and all that we see around us in the city, I kept looking for who is the common-sense candidate, the passionate pragmatist, the person that

  • Veterans Stand Up for Our National Parks, Time for the Federal Government To Do So Too

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    (photo: @missioncontinue)

    The Statue of Liberty has stood as a symbol of American values for more than a century. Throughout its life in New York Harbor, the landmark has welcomed immigrants to the United States and served as a historical resource for millions.

    It embodies the values that have driven our nation from its founding and that our military veterans have dedicated their lives to protect — that of freedom, acceptance, and hard work, all in search of the American Dream.

    Since the National Parks’ founding, United States veterans have served as their

  • New York to DC: Pay Your Bill for Your Veterans

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    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photo Office)

    Each year around Veterans Day there’s a predictable pattern as politicos of all stripes march in parades and roll out proposals to thank and support our military veterans and their families. Little may come from all this activity, at least until Memorial Day, when, once again, there’s renewed focus on veterans and their survivors. It doesn’t have to be this way and it shouldn’t be this way, particularly in New York.

    A ...

  • Automatic Voter Registration is Good for Service Members, Veterans, and All New Yorkers

    vet day parade

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    When I reported to my first duty as a Junior Officer of the United States Navy, my senior officer told me: “Your job is to take care of your people. Your people will take care of the ship.” This advice holds true outside the service: take care of your people, and they will take care of their  family, their community, and their country.

    It holds especially true when it comes to New York’s more than one million eligible voters who are not registered to vote. As a member of the armed services and as a veteran I’ve faced the

  • Without Chair, Council Committee Hears Bills Aimed to Help Discharged Military Veterans

    Council Member Chaim Deutsch

    Council Member Deutsch (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)

    A bill that would require the New York City Department of Veterans Services to help veterans discharged from the military solely for their LGBTQ status to upgrade or change the narrative of their discharge status and “extend all city benefits and services” to them was introduced to the City Council’s Committee on Veterans at a hearing on Monday.

    Introduced alongside it was a bill that would require DVS to create a unit to assist veterans with discharge characterization upgrades and offer

  • What the Federal VA Leadership Change Means for New York City Veterans

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    Kristen Rouse, the author

    Many New Yorkers may be taking in the change in leadership at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as perhaps just another chapter in a uniquely tumultuous administration. For New York City’s more than 220,000 veterans, however, far more is at stake than just the latest presidential intrigue.

    As hearings begin for Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson—an accomplished Naval officer who has served as personal physician to George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump—New Yorkers should be listening in for issues directly affecting our