Assemblywoman Paulin and Miss New York Team Up to Urge Governor Paterson to Sign Bill Supporting Cold War Veterans

PRESS CONFERENCE: Monday July 20th 2009, 11 a.m.

LOCATION: Veterans of Foreign Wars-- 433 White Plains Road Eastchester, N.Y. 10709

On Monday, Assemblywoman Amy R. Paulin is teaming up with Eastchester resident and Miss New York winner Alyse Zwick to urge Gov. Paterson to sign important legislation that will support New York’s veterans. Veterans from Eastchester, Pelham, Scarsdale, and New Rochelle will be on hand to urge the governor to sign the bill into law.

County legislators Vito Pinto and Jim Maisano, both veterans and sponsors of the bill in the county, will be appearing at the press conference.

Miss New York, Alyse Zwick, is a dedicated activist for veterans’ issues – as the spokesperson for the United Veterans Council, she has traveled to visit veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. In January she will be competing for the Miss America title.

"I am delighted to be back home supporting veteran’s issues. As Miss New York, my agenda is entirely directed toward the interests of our nation's veterans. I urge Governor Paterson to sign this bill.” said Zwick.

The legislation will increase property tax exemptions for Cold War veterans who stood at the ready when combat seemed imminent, bringing their exemptions in line with those offered to other veterans. The legislation also extends benefits to those vets who reside in owner-occupied co-op units.

“Cold War veterans deserve benefits just like everybody else,” said Thomas Adamo, Commander at the American Legion post in Scarsdale.

Over a year ago, Warren Gross, a Cold War veteran and co-op owner from New Rochelle, reached out to Assemblywoman Paulin about the need for property tax exemptions to be extended to Cold War veterans who live in co-ops. Their group had been left out of previous legislation. From there, Assemblywoman Paulin worked to draft the bill that recently passed the Assembly and Senate.

“I see so many negative things happening to vets, this bill passage gives me a renewed faith in the government’s ability to support veterans,” said Warren Gross, “Assemblywoman Paulin has worked so hard to pass this important bill, and we hope that the governor will sign it into law,” he said.

“It is my belief that all veterans who give their time to our country, both in times of war and times of peace, are at risk for harm and should be afforded equal treatment and benefits.” said Assemblywoman Paulin.

Robert Foster, commander of the VFW in Eastchester where the press conference is being held, agreed.

“Americans need to realize that what is done for yesterday’s veterans inspires today’s young men and women now serving,” he said. “It’s important to let them know that there is going to be someone there to take care of them in the future.”

The bill (A7422) was sent to the governor on July 13. He has 10 days to sign it.