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Archive for May, 2015

Over 50 leaders from 22 organizations attend first summer training session

May 26th, 2015
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Rev. Marshall Johnson led part of the first OTOC Summer Training on Organizing Skills

On Monday, June 8th, fifty one  OTOC leaders and guests began a lively summer training program to focus some of the fundamental ideas and practices of organizing. Leaders from 22 different congregations and community organizations discussed concepts like “Self Interest”, the “Iron Rule” of organizing and reality that officials sometimes  “Do the right thing for the wrong reason” and “the action is in the reaction.”

These sessions are intended to help OTOC and community leaders develop an understanding of the basic concepts  that they need to successfully organize effective action in their congregation,  organization and community.

Based on feed back from participants in the first session, the trainers and  leaders of  the second session on Monday, July 13 at 7:00 p.m. will focus more on the usual steps of organizing. The will lay out some of the characteristics of a broad based organization and review the typical practices that leaders use when they are working to take action effective action. The next session will be:

OTOC Action Teams have active Winter & Spring

May 25th, 2015

OTOC’s Action Teams have had a busy few months. Please share this report with people who might be interested in their ongoing efforts to make Omaha and Nebraska a community that works for all families.

Final May 2015 Report about work of Action Teams

OTOC leaders prepare to meet with Governor Ricketts on Mar 31

Immigration Action Team: OTOC leaders were greatly cheered that the Nebraska Unicameral was able to clear last minute efforts to filibuster LB 623 which grants Dreamers who have been granted a temporary federal status the opportunity to apply for a Driver’s license in Nebraska.  According to Kathleen Grant, OTOC Immigration Action Team Chair, “It is high time that the State of Nebraska afford these young people the opportunity to legally drive to their work, school and home. They are part of the bright future of our state and by not allowing them to drive in our state, we are driving them away from our state.”

Grant, Gaspar Gaspar and other leaders of the OTOC Action Team  asked 9 candidates for the Unicameral to support this change in law at an OTOC  Acountability Session attended by 300 people back on October, 6, 2014.  OTOC leaders testified in support of the bill in February and then met with Governor Ricketts  on March 31 to ask that he support this change in state law. To learn more about ongoing work of the Immigration Action Team, contact Jeanne Schuler at jschuler@creighton.eduRead More . . .

OTOC Mental Health Action Team meets with Kim Foundation and Community Alliance

May 15th, 2015

Click on the link below for a copy of the Executive Summary of the Region 6 Mental Health Assessment:

Executive Summary of Region 6 Assesment Report

Leaders working on the OTOC Mental Health Action team had a full afternoon of meetings on May 14. In the early afternoon five leaders from OTOC and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) met with the executive director and program director of the Kim Foundation. The conversation helped the OTOC and NAMI leaders understand better the role that the Kim Foundation plays in fostering collaboration between agencies dedicated to providing mental health care to those who are in need. OTOC and NAMI agreed they would look for ways to participate in Kim Foundation sponsored community events in the future.

Later in the afternoon, 10 leaders from OTOC, NAMI and the League of Women Voters had a meeting with Carol Boye, Executive Director of Community Alliance, and Aileen Brady, the Chief Operating Officer. The leaders engaged in an informative and wide ranging discussion about the gaps which exist in the services provided to  people with mental illness and their families. Through this research action, the group identified a several strategies to improve access to mental health care and supportive services that they will continue to research over the next several months.

If you want to be part of improving mental health care in this region, contact the Mental Health Action Team chair, Sarita Penka  at  saritapenka2@gmail.com or come to the next action team meeting.

Over 180 Give to Institute for Public Leadership to support training for OTOC and community leaders

May 15th, 2015

Over 182 people contributed to IPL during the day, and over 110 people gave during the last 8 hours, helping IPL win one of only 15 participation awards given to  mid-sized organizations with the most donors!!!

Together we raised over $23,000 so that IPL can continue our work providing leadership training to emerging leaders from refugee and immigrant communities, school parents and leaders of OTOC member institutions. ThanksOG-Logo-with-Date

Here is how your contributions to IPL came in

$16,893 from 182 on line donors

$   3,600 from IPL Board and friends in Extra Bonus $$ to boost  the impact of your gift

$      690 Cash and checks contributed at the After Work Gathering

$   1,500 Participation Award from Mutual of Omaha

$ 22,683

$500    Expected  matching dollars from Omaha Community Foundation

Total Number of Donors

182 different individual donors contributed to IPL online  which ranked 12th  of 175 or top 7% of  midsized organizations (budgets of $100,000 to $500, 000).  Compared to all 715 organizations, ranked IPL 48 of 715, also in the top 7% of all organizations for number of donors.

During the last 8 hours of the day, 110 people contributed to IPL and the total of 182 was an increase over 50 over the number of donors in 2014.

Total funds received

IPL received a total of $16,893 in online contributions during OmahaGives which ranked 21st of 175 midsized organization or among the top 12%. Among all 715 participating organizations, IPL ranked 102nd or the top 15% of all organizations.

Thanks for your great support to Institute for Public Leadership which provides leadership development to refugee and immigrant leaders, school parents and leaders from Omaha Together One Community

OTOC leaders rejoice at Unicameral vote to grant drivers licenses to Dreamers

May 15th, 2015

OTOC leaders inside Governor Reception RoomOTOC leaders were greatly cheered that the Nebraska Unicameral was able to clear last minute efforts to filibuster LB 623 which grants Dreamers who have been granted a temporary federal status the opportunity to apply for a Driver’s license in Nebraska.  According to Kathleen Grant, OTOC Immigration Action Team Chair, “It is high time that the State of Nebraska afford these young people the opportunity to legally drive to their work, school and home. They are part of the bright future of our state and by not allowing them to drive in our state, we are driving them away from our state.

Grant, Gaspar Gaspar and other leaders of the OTOC Action Team  asked 9 candidates for the Unicameral to support this change in law at an OTOC Acountability Session attended by 300 people back on October, 6, 2014.  OTOC leaders also  met with Governor Ricketts  on March 31 to ask that he support this change in state law.Read More . . .

Take Action on Monday May 4 on two bills that will affect the future of our Environment!!

May 3rd, 2015

Support LB 423 to increase community based energy projects

 LB 423 would provide a production tax credit for Community Based Energy Development (C-BED) projects. Passage of LB 423 has the potential to lead to the development of many community renewable energy projects in Nebraska. There are several community and wind and solar projects that are waiting to see if this incentive will be put in place before deciding whether to proceed with development. LB 423 represents a positive use of tax policy to incentivize activities that are beneficial to Nebraska and its people.

 C-BED projects have the following requirements:

1. At least 25 % investment in Nebraska materials or resources; and

2. Approval of the local county board.

The investment threshold means that more money will stay in Nebraska, creating more jobs and beneficial economic impact.

County board approval means that there is an opportunity to address siting issues and other local concerns.Read More . . .

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