The former city comptroller laid out a plan for a new veterans center in Queens, a “veteran’s transportation card,” and better funding for housing and health services.
"We owe a deep debt of gratitude to our veterans for safeguarding our nation and the American ideals of freedom and democracy,” Liu said. “We must ensure they have access to real services when they return home.”
Liu explained that with nearly 900,000 veterans in the state, New York is fourth in veteran-owned small businesses, however unemployment is still higher than the state average.
If elected, he said he plans to establish a veterans employment database to connect job-seeking veterans with employers, as well as fast-track certification for professions like EMTs or RNs.
Other plans include the “heroes tax free zones,” which would enable veterans retired from active duty to start a new business in tax-free zones where they would qualify for low-interest loans and credit for startup capital.
“Unfortunately all too often, even after coming home from the battlefield, many veterans are forced to fight thickets of red tape to just to gain access to scarce resources and limited services,” Liu said. “Our veterans put their lives on the line for us and they deserve real investment by the state in employment opportunities, health and social services, and better transit and housing options.”
Queens Chapter 32 Vietnam Veterans of America president Paul Narson recognized Liu’s effort in helping build the Korean War Memorial in Kissena Park, and said he hopes to see the same effort for his organization.
“Once he gets to the New York State Senate, I’m going to bust his chops and make sure he pays the same effort in getting those Vietnam Veterans a war memorial,” Narson said.