Memorial Day / June 2017 Newsletter

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As we celebrate this Memorial Day, we should consider some of the important issues facing our service members.

On a national level, an extension of the Veterans Choice Program -- a new, temporary benefit that allows eligible Veterans to receive health care in their communities rather than waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility -- has resulted in budget cuts to VA benefits, as a tradeoff. While the merits of proposed tradeoff is certainly debatable, many veteran groups, especially the older VA groups, such as American Legion and Vietnam Veterans of America, have been critical of the proposed cuts because it adversely impacts the older veterans the most.

On a local level, the following initiatives have been introduced to the NYC Council:

1. Int. 1259-2016 to Add Veteran and Military Status to the NYC Human Rights Law.

2. Int. 1304-2016 to Implement the Alternative (School Tax) Exemption for Veterans.

3. Res. 1196-2016 to Support Complete Passage of “Fairness for Veterans Act” Provisions.

4. Int. 1303-2016 to Provide Appropriate Protections for Veteran Street Vendors in “Street Vending Modernization Act.”


Looking ahead, next month’s calendar offers a chock-full of interesting events, including:

June 8th: “The Future of the U.S.-Iran Relations," a Panel Discussion at the Asia Society. It's FREE to attend, but there are very limited seats. The RSVP window opens tomorrow, May 30th at 9 a.m.

June 10th: Monthly Current Affairs Discussion (Topics TBD) -- we'll discuss the most compelling stories and events unfolding in our City, the Nation, and around the World. As always, there's plenty to discuss! The RSVP window opens on Friday, June 2nd at 9 a.m.

June 21st: Motion Debate -- this month's topic will be on "healthcare," although the exact language of the Motion hasn't been finalized yet. If you're interested in participating as a debater, please contact me directly.

June 29th: Law & Politics: A Discussion of the Recent U.S. Supreme Court Decisions -- we'll continue our annual tradition of discussing a handful of important decisions, as the Supreme Court's term ends in the final week of June.

Finally, kudos to the debaters from this month's Motion Debate on "Political Correctness." The debate was informative and enjoyable, due to each debater's diligence in preparing for an outstanding debate performance. We hope to have many more fun and informative debates such as this one in the months to come!