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OUR PRIORITIES   |  VETERANS

VETERANS

Recognizing the contributions of our military service members and the sacrifices made by our Gold Star families is essential to appreciating the great opportunities available to the residents of our city. We are able to enjoy the benefits of a diverse community, educational enrichment, and the privilege to seek out a variety of careers due to the commitment, dedication, and drive of our military personnel. John understands that we are obligated to remember the service and sacrifice of our veterans by supporting them in whatever ways we can.

 

John’s record:

  • As Chief of Economic Development, John ensured Veteran-owned businesses had selection priority for City contracts and procurement to support economic opportunity within the City of Boston.

  • Respecting the diversity of the Veteran population and that every experience in service to the country is different, John supported the Veterans’ Town Hall initiative through the annual Veteran’s Day event as well as the African-American Veterans Appreciation Brunch and LGBT Veterans Town Hall series. 

  • Through the expansion of the City’s Hero Square effort, John supported the placement of biographical plaques under the names of fallen service members in our community to highlight the stories of our service members and their connections to Boston. Each plaque was outfitted with a QR code taking viewers to a dedicated section of the City of Boston website, sharing more information on that servicemember, allowing us to provide the most current and updated information on our fallen service members, and create a connection between them and the community. 

  • John supported a Veteran service project to Cabo Verde in 2019 to honor Boston native United States Army Sergeant Alberto Montrond. Eight Boston Veterans traveled to Cabo Verde to take part in a hospital renovation project with two Boston nonprofits, and dedicated the space in honor of Alberto with his family. 

  • John helped guide the development of the Brook Ave Cooperative, 36-units of new construction of limited equity cooperative homes in Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative that housed veterans and their families. 


 

As Mayor, John will:

 

Support

  • By fully implementing and adopting the BRAVE ACT, which provides additional support to Veterans, Gold Star Families, and members of the National Guard and Reserve. The Brave Act enhances employment benefits and protections to our City’s Citizen Soldiers. Full adoption will also offer tax relief and survivor benefits to Gold Star Families.

  • By investing in low-income and middle-income Veterans housing and using all of the tools the City has, including Community Preservation Act and city-owned assets, to ensure that Veterans can continue to live in and raise families in the city.

  • By forging public/private partnerships to explore creating affordable and middle-income Veteran housing using buildings and land owned by Veteran’s organizations. John will work with developers to renovate and build new Veterans posts and other spaces that provide Veterans services and social space alongside new Veterans housing.

  • By re-engaging the City of Boston with our local partners and service organizations to (include members of the Greater Boston Veterans Collaborative, who) provide our military and Veteran community with educational resources, financial aid, legal assistance, adaptive housing, business networking, and employment opportunities.

  • By providing and investing in transition courses to Veterans and families separating from active service, including career workshops, resume writing skills, and adjustment training to help individuals understand the dynamics of civilian life. 

  • By restructuring our Office of Veterans’ Services so that each case worker is a specialist in a designated area of need. Our Veterans and their families struggle far too much when applying for educational benefits and healthcare, and well-trained public servants will ease that process providing peace of mind.

  • By committing to provide mobile Veterans services using the City Hall To-Go Program, in order to meet Veterans where they are.

  • By supporting any and all suicide prevention programs utilized by veterans struggling with PTSD. John will make sure that we build and maintain the infrastructure that provides mental health services for any Veteran who needs it. In addition, John will commit to adding a licensed clinician to the team in the Office of Veteran Services. 

 

Connect 

  • By maintaining our Operation Thank A Veteran program, visiting every service member and Gold Star Family in the City of Boston to provide a personal ‘Thank You’ for the service and sacrifice of our local heroes. Through this initiative, many underutilized programs and benefits will be promoted encouraging local Veterans and families to make use of the entitlements they have earned. 

  • By creating a Veteran mentorship program in partnership with Boston Public Schools, Boston Centers for Youth and Families, and My Brother’s Keeper. John recognizes that Veteran’s have much to offer the youth of our city. 

 

Empower 

  • By elevating the Commissioner of the Office of Veteran Services to the Mayor’s cabinet. 

  • By increasing the number of City contracts with Veteran-Owned and Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses. John will create a training program for these businesses within the Office of Economic Development. 

  • By facilitating opportunities for Veterans to join building trades. John will commit to hiring Veterans on all public construction projects and encourage Project Labor Agreements between private developers and general contractors that contain goals for Veteran hiring. 

  • By working with programs like InnoVets, connect Veteran entrepreneurs to leading experts, mentors, and business people in the city for training, courses and access to capital. 

  • Recognizing that Veterans are uniquely positioned as problem solvers, fund a fellowship position within the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics specifically for a Veteran.

  • By hosting town halls throughout the City to provide a safe space for Veterans and families to share their stories of struggle and success, including sessions that focus on LGBTQ+, female and disabled Veterans, Veterans of color, those suffering from PTSD, and sessions focused on particular vocations. \

  • By committing to hiring as many Veterans as possible into City jobs, including at every level of government, from the front line workers to the cabinet.

 

Advocate

  • By working with our state and federal delegation in the legislature to ensure every period of service, region of conflict, and component of service is recognized for their contribution to our society. 

  • By joining national service organizations in advocating for increases in care and benefits for our veterans and their dependents.

  • By lobbying our veteran national service organizations to host their national conventions in Boston, and supporting those conventions when they come.

 

Protect

  • By preserving and enhancing all Veterans Civil Rights and Protections under State and Federal law, including hiring, housing, and all other areas. John will do this by committing to an audit of City services covered by such rights and protections, and then providing training to City workers to implement.

  • By committing to preserve Veterans preference in hiring practices, and contracting, and to recognize and apply credit for service training received where appropriate.

  • By expanding senior care services for Boston Veterans. John recognizes that as a society, we are failing our low income senior veterans (who are often also people of color and women). It is clear from the data that Boston veterans are not being served by Chelsea and Holyoke. John commits to building senior veterans housing, including a compact living facility that offers wraparound services and common spaces.

 

Honor

  • By enhancing our Hero Square program through increasing the number of biographies and memorial plaques provided alongside the named street sign, and promoting the City’s website to inform residents and visitors of local heroes who sacrificed themselves for their community.

A MESSAGE FROM JOHN

Just as this campaign is a community effort, this policy plan has been informed by a diverse group of residents, policy makers, and community organizations who reflect Boston's ingenuity, passion, and future. In this policy you will see your voice reflected and your neighborhood priorities front and center. I am incredibly grateful for the hours, data, and guidance leant to support this effort. I welcome continued feedback and suggestions from all corners of the city, because I know that policies are most successful when led by the community.
 
Now, more than ever, I have the opportunity to bring all voices to the table to create a Boston that brings prosperity and justice for everyone.Together we can create a Boston where nobody is left behind.
 
Thank you for reading and helping to shape Boston's future, I look forward to working with you.