Kristen McCone Gordon
Government Relations Director

As the Chapter’s Government Relations Director, I collaborate with both the Board of Directors and Executive Director to establish and execute a legislative and advocacy agenda for New England PVA. In order to best represent the needs and concerns of our members, I focus on building strong relationships with our congressional delegation and their district staff, as well as with state legislators and disability advocates throughout New England. I’m proud of what we have accomplished together and energized for the work that lies ahead. Learn more about Kristen.

If you have any questions or other legislative issues to bring to my attention, please feel free to contact me directly anytime at kristen@newenglandpva.org or 800-660-1181.


Immediate Action Needed:
Ask your Representative to cosponsor the Veterans Families Health Services Act (H.R. 2734/ S.1280)

We need your help in advancing a critical piece of legislation.

Join us in encouraging the New England Congressional Delegation to cosponsor the Veterans Families Health Services Act (H.R. 2734/S. 1280) by clicking here and sending an email directly to your Representative’s office. Please tell your family, friends, and neighbors to do the same!

We need Congress to pass the Veterans Families Health Services Act (H.R. 2734/S. 1280). This bill would permanently authorize Assistive Reproductive Therapies (ART) to include In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) services, gamete donation, and surrogacy for veterans with service-connected infertility, and include the treatment of veteran spouses in applicable cases.

Currently, Congress has granted a temporary authorization for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide IVF to veterans with service-connected conditions that affect fertility. While it’s encouraging that Congress recognizes the need for this benefit, it’s important to note that this is a temporary solution and reauthorization is not guaranteed. Additionally, the temporary authorization neglects the fact that infertility does not have a one-size fits all solution. Many of our members require IVF to conceive, but just as many veterans require a gamete donation or surrogacy to start their families.

We believe that our government has a moral obligation to restore what has been lost due to a veteran’s service and sacrifice to this nation. Veterans with service-connected conditions that prevent the conception of pregnancy deserve more than what our government is currently offering them. They deserve a chance to start a family.

For more information on the legislation, and to take action by emailing your Representative, please click  here.


Immediate Action Needed:
AUTO for Veterans Act (H.R. 1361/S. 444)

I’m excited to announce another opportunity for you to directly help move one of our key pieces of legislation, the AUTO for Veterans Act (H.R. 1361/S. 444). Please take a few minutes and fill out the VoterVoice link below. As you may recall, VoterVoice is a new program from PVA that allows us to harness the grassroots power of our members in a quick, easy, and effective way. The VoterVoice system enables members to take action by sending a pre-written email to your members of Congress. All you need to do is fill in your address and hit send.

As you may have already read in previous editions of the CordWord, our Chapter has been advocating for the AUTO for Veterans Act (H.R. 1361/S. 444). This legislation would lessen the financial burden and expand access to transportation for eligible, disabled veterans by allowing them to receive an additional Automobile Grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), every ten years.

I’ve been speaking with Congressional district staff about this issue all year but nothing is more powerful than hearing from a constituent. Together, let’s get all the New England Delegation onboard!

All of the information you need to respond and take action is available here: https://www.votervoice.net/PVA/campaigns/78011/respond.


PVA Veterans Policy Podcast Series

In an effort to find new ways to disseminate updates on PVA’s policy priorities, we have decided to begin recording short, podcast type communications providing this information for chapters and members.

Episode 1
Our first recording features Morgan Brown, National Legislative Director, and Heather Ansley, Esq., MSW Associate Executive Director of Government Relations looking back at PVA’s legislative successes on veterans policy in 2020 and provides an overview of our VA-focused issues in 2021. To listen to Podcast click HERE.

Episode 2
Our second recording features Susan Prokop, National Advocacy Director, providing an overview of 2020 in disability policy and an overview of our 2021 priorities. The audio recording may be shared with PVA members and others interested in learning more about our efforts. To listen to Podcast click HERE.