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Civic Engagement Legislature Nebraska Politics Published

Using Power for Good

Everyone knows that the real heroes of the pandemic are the front line workers. People like healthcare workers, grocery store employees, and truckers deserve hazard pay, trophies, and our respect forever. They are risking their lives and that of their families for the greater good to keep things going and take care of their communities.

Sadly, the real heroes are powerless when it comes to needed government action. Elected officials have real power to help, and we want to make sure you know who in power is doing their part looking out for regular people and the community.

Not everyone on the list is up for reelection, but eventually they will be, and we’ll remember.

Speaker Jim Scheer – He brought together the legislature to pass the COVID-19 relief package, despite many saying that he should make Nebraskans wait.

State Senator Tony Vargas (LD7) – While raising a baby and worrying about parents infected by the virus in New York, including his dad on a ventilator, he’s been working to protect factory workers, many of whom are immigrants from around the world. He has every excuse to take a pause from his duties as a state senator; they are paid poverty wages, the body is not in session, and his family is in crisis….and yet, he knows he’s in a position of power and so is still working hard to raise up the powerless and vulnerable.

State Senator Megan Hunt (LD8) – She is in full blown accountability mode. She’s calling out bad actors in Omaha, making a list of slum landlords she’s going to regulate when the legislature goes back into session, and is using all her authority and influence to do and ask for more to help the people in her district and the greater state.

State Senator Justin Wayne (LD13) – He is an Omaha defense attorney on the front lives of poverty and the criminal justice system. He’s working to stop evictions, keep everyone in the prisons safe, and serving as a law enforcement watchdog for racism as police enforce current health measures.

State Senator Adam Morfeld (LD46) – He’s been at the front of the Medicaid expansion fight for years, and now he’s busting out all the receipts on how the Governor lies, manipulates, and thwarts people’s right to healthcare. It’s glorious.

Lincoln City Council James Michael Bowers – As a practicing social worker, he’s exactly the kind of person we want more of in politics. He’s been working night and day to ensure that the vulnerable in our community still have access to services. He’s also doing really boring but essential work of update non profit funding regulations to ensure agencies will keep their government funding as they deliver services in a different way than originally agreed upon before COVID-19.

Lincoln School Board Member Bob Rauner – Dr Rauner (an actual medical doctor) has been making informative youtube videos to explain to the public what’s going on from a medical perspective. He is assuring, calm, and accurate. I would highly recommend having a listen at his youtube channel.

MCC Board of Governors Erin Feichtinger – She’s been at the front lines of renters rights well before covid-19 showed up. She’s been in the news recently speaking up for a coalition of groups pushing to ban evictions across the state. This is a great example of how to use a role of power and raise people up in the community. Nobody can survive without a place to live.

Elected Officials that signed this letter asking for a stay at home ordered to be issued in Douglas County (Omaha metro).

  • Commissioner Crystal Rhoades
  • Commissioner Mike Boyle
  • Senator Tony Vargas
  • Senator Ernie Chambers
  • Senator Justin Wayne
  • Senator Megan Hunt
  • Senator Mike McDonnell
  • Councilman Vinny Palermo
  • OPS Board Member Marque Snow
  • OPS Board Member Amanda Ryan
  • OPS Board Member Kimara Snipe
  • OPS Board Member Tracy Casady
  • OPPD Board Member Amanda Bogner
  • Learning Community Board Member Brian Thommes 
  • MCC Board Member Ron Hug
  • MCC Board Member Linda McDermitt
  • MCC Board Member Dave Pantos
  • Westside District 66 School Board Director Dana Blakley

Mayor’s Leirion Gaylor Baird and Jean Stothert – They took early measures to flatten the curve in light of the inaction from Governor Ricketts. They get praise for seriousness, authenticity, modeling good behavior, transparency in data, and keeping first responders safe while protecting identities of sick people.

If anyone is missing – drop me a line and let me know who and what they’ve done to earn a spot on the list.