Brooklyn representatives were among those who crossed partylines to support economic opportunities for veterans.
On December 10, Congressmembers Yvette Clarke, Nydia Velázquez,Edolphus Towns, Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney and Gregory Meeks,all Democrats joined with GOPers Michael Grimm, Bob Turner, andPeter King to host a forum at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 JoralemonStreet, for former servicemen and women looking to become smallbusiness owners.
Clarke started the informal talks with a fact — 14 percent ofveterans are unemployed, providing an explanation for why thisevent was necessary. The representatives that spoke were quick tooffer encouragement and support to veterans in these difficulteconomic times.
Clarke, addressed the veterans in the room, stating, Mycolleagues and I strongly believe that you [veterans] are one ofthe best investments to rally our economy and lead us out of one ofthe greatest recessions in history.
The second speaker was Velázquez, the ranking member of theHouse Small Business Committee, who was passionate in her speech onveterans. Honoring our veterans requires more than just lipservice; it means providing economic opportunities, sheexclaimed.
Grimm, a Marine Corps veteran of the Gulf War, stressed, Wehave always needed you [veterans] and you stepped up and answered,risking life and limb. We need you again. Grimm went on toarticulate his hope that you will lead us out the recession as youhave led before, echoing Clarke’s statement.
The event consisted of two parts; the first half was an openforum in which experts from federal departments gave presentationsand answered questions and the second was small focus groups led bythe panelists.