Widely respected by the population at large and numbering over 20 million strong in the United States (over 60 million including military families), veterans have the potential to constitute a powerful force if they make their voices heard in the policy process—and ultimately vote on Election Day.
In 2014, CVA took on the daunting, but all-important, task of finding veterans where they live, educating them on the issues they care about and encouraging them to voice their collective opinions on these issues by getting out to vote. In states like North Carolina and Louisiana we made thousands of phone calls and knocked on thousands of doors to make sure that politicians knew where veterans stood on the issues that matter to them.
Volunteers nationwide participated in the effort, and while we had great success with our GOTVets effort in 2014, it’s value really lies in providing a foundation from which we can build an even stronger effort to make the voice of America’s veterans heard in 2016.
Back in 2013 – BEFORE THE VA SCANDAL HIT NATIONAL HEADLINES – CVA started in project to address the growing claims backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
At the time, both President Obama and VA Secretary Shinseki had vowed to fix the VA disability claims backlog. However, instead of keeping their word they let it increase by 2,000% — and was projected to soon reach one million veterans. A tragic milestone.
So we said enough. We filed a petition demanding accountability for VA leadership – including the removal of then Secretary, Eric Shinseki – and reforms to reduce the backlog and get veterans the care they need and deserve. With time, we got nearly 30,000 signatures from veterans, military family members and patriotic to sign our petition. Finally, we emphasized the importance of the issue by personally delivering the petition to the White House in August.
Back in 2014, CVA started a project focused on advancing policies that ensure a strong American military and enhance the security of America, her interests, and her allies. The Strength and Security Project served as a forum through which CVA engaged national security thoughts leaders on both sides of the aisle to address threats facing America today.