New York, NY – Today, leading mayoral candidate Eric Adams unveiled his “Honor Our Heroes” agenda to support veterans and military families, in advance of marching in the 102nd annual Staten Island Memorial Day Parade on Forest Avenue. According to 2019 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are about 138,000 veterans living in the New York City area. Adams, the former chair of the Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs Committee during his service in the State Senate, stood with State Senator Diane Savino and retired Chief Master Sergeant Schloeman, and spoke about the debt of gratitude that New Yorkers owe to the women and men who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for American freedom, as well as our duty to care for our heroes and their families during and after their service.“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,” said Eric Adams. “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. As mayor, I am dedicated to supporting the critical work of our Department of Veterans Services [DVS] and expanding on their mission to connect, mobilize, and empower our veteran community.”
· Expanding access to veterans’ services with on-the-ground outreach coordinators, and hiring veterans to provide peer-to-peer support;
· Establishing new neighborhood support networks for military families, strengthening civic bonds and help identify possible need for supportive City services;
· Completing accessibility renovations on the Brooklyn War Memorial (a project funded largely through Brooklyn Borough Hall support) to reopen the building to the public, and conducting 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;
· Providing 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;
· Increasing resources to the New York City Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) to battle all forms of discrimination against veterans on housing, employment, and public accommodations.