Ben Krause (’13) Testifies Before Democratic Platform Drafting Committee
JULY 31, 2012—Benjamin Krause (’13) was among those who spoke to the Platform Drafting Committee of the Democratic National Committee on July 28, 2012, at a national hearing held in Minneapolis over the weekend. Krause testified on behalf of Veterans for Common Sense, an advocacy organization at which he is assistant director for policy advocacy.
A former U.S. Air Force senior airman, a disabled veteran, and founder of DisabledVeterans.org, Krause identified major problems that persistent among veterans: suicide, homelessness, unemployment, an 88% college dropout rate, demoralizing delays in benefits due to a 900,000-claim backlog, and under-utilization of veterans' training and expertise. Taxpayers invest thousands in training its veterans, "yet we relinquish that investment by letting them join the ranks of the jobless, the homeless, and the underserved," Krause said.
The Department of Veteran Affairs needs new thinking, new solutions, and policy changes to address the complex situation, and the nation needs to shift its view of veterans to "a resource rather than a problem," Krause continued. "Leverage the skills veterans have learned in the military to help solve what ails all Americans."
More specifically, colleges and universities could develop methods to acquire and retain veterans as students. And Veteran Owned Business status could more readily be granted to support veterans seeking to employ themselves and others through commercial endeavors, Krause noted. "Veterans win when politicians understand the real needs of all veterans, both those needing help and those delivering it as leaders of society," he concluded.
The Platform Drafting Committee will consider testimony and create a working document for use at the August 10-12 meeting of the full Platform Committee in Detroit. The Platform that is approved by a majority of the full Committee will be presented to Democratic National Convention delegates.
To read a list of Platform Drafting Committee members and Krause's full testimony, go to www.disabledveterans.org/2012/07/28/dnc-veteran-statement-at-veterans-for-common-sense. To watch Krause's testimony, go to http://www.c-spanvideo.org/clip/3793126.
For more about Krause and Veterans for Common Sense, see the Spring 2012 issue of e>Perspectives at www.law.umn.edu/eperspectives/spring2012/students/ben-krause-advocates-for-disabled-veterans-on-capitol-hill.html.