Democracy is not a
spectator sport

Current OTOC Action Teams

Housing and Revitalization

Nov 17 Press Conference

OTOC Housing Team held press conference to support Vacant Property Registration Ordinance

  • Persuaded the City Council to devote nearly $1 million per year to housing demolition for 3 years to begin clearing a large backlog of vacant, open, and vandalized properties
  • Worked with a coalition to convince City Council to establish an Omaha Land Bank to obtain abandoned and tax delinquent properties and put them back into productive use for re-development, community gardens, and recreation
  • Persuaded City Council to create a Vacant Property Registry so that owners of abandoned properties must pay a $500 registration fee every 3 months for their abandoned properties 
    Council Member Melton speaking

    OTOC won commitment of 6 member of the next Omaha City Council to work with OTOC to improve the safety of all rental housing

    OTOC Agenda for Change:

    • Continue to adopt ordinances which prevent deterioration of older housing and create incentives for repair and redevelopment of housing in older communities
    • Adopt a landlord registration ordinance to assure that landlords maintain their rental properties
    • Observe Omaha Land Bank board meetings and monitor for common good priorities

Contact: Gloria Austerberry  (glauster@yahoo.com) or  Karen McElroy (karenmumc@gmail.com)

Immigration and Refugee Support

sanctuary-toolkit-newJeanne Schuler

  • Worked with statewide coalition to restore prenatal care for all low income women, regardless of immigration status
  • Worked with a statewide coalition to persuade the Nebraska State Legislature to grant drivers licenses and professional and trade licenses to undocumented young immigrants who were brought to the US as children
  • Worked with Omaha Police Department and local ICE officials to reduce number of incarceration of immigrants for minor infractions and those awaiting deportation hearings

    OTOC Agenda for Change:Charlie Gould et al

    • Encourage a welcoming environment for immigrants and refugees by federal, state and local government
    • Advocate for comprehensive immigration reform
    • Develop immigrant and refugee community leaders

Contact: Kathleen Grant (kathleen.grant2@hotmail.com)  or  Jeanne Schuler (jschuler@creighton.edu)

Environmental SustainabilityFr Mike

  • Worked with a coalition to persuade the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) to convert the coal-fired units in North Omaha to natural gas and to include more renewable forms of energy in OPPD’s 20 year power generation plan
  • Challenged OPPD’s proposal for increasing the fixed monthly service charge from $10.25 to $35 per month because it causes low income/low use customer to pay more and high use customers to pay less for using the same amount of energy
  • Advocated for Unicameral bills regarding increased energy sustainability and climate change
  • Opposed NRD’s 2016 proposal for $100 million in bonds to build more dams in West Omaha
  • Holding candidate accountability sessions with OPPD Dist. 5 candidates

    OTOC Agenda for Change:climate-change-speakers

    • Increase generation of energy from sustainable sources
    • Increase conservation efforts to reduce the waste of energy
    • Support environmental sustainability policies at local, state and federal levels

Contact:  Mary Ruth Stegman  (maryruth@cox.net)

 

“Death and Taxes” (Medicaid Expansion and State Tax Policy)medicaid-expansion

  • Worked for 4 years to expand Medicaid coverage in Nebraska under the Affordable Care Act
  • Conducted meetings with 11 Omaha state senators to seek their support for expansion
  • Organized 175 clergy and faith leaders in support of using Medicaid to expand coverage
  • Testified repeatedly at hearings and press conferences supporting expansion
  • Submitted 10 letters to editor published in 2016 supporting expansion
  • Tax Policy: helped to stop state tax legislation shifting tax burden to middle and lower income

    OTOC Agenda for Change:Leaders with Rev Nelson at front

    • Make affordable health coverage available to 77,000 low income working people who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little for an ACA subsidy–the coverage gap
    • Support passage of measures that make Nebraska tax code more progressive

Contact: Mark Hoeger (mhoeger@aol.com)  or  Mary Spurgeon (marspur2@aol.com)

 Mental Healthcommunity-alliance-meeting (1)

  • Met with 11 Omaha area Senators to advocate for improved mental health care
  • Advocated at the Unicameral for bills which would improve mental health care for incarcerated persons and those returning to society
  • Worked with leaders of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to research and document gaps in the current mental health system and advocated for a state wide study of those gaps which is currently being conducted

    OTOC Agenda for Change:

    • Identify and address gaps in the existing behavioral health system in Omaha and Nebraska
    • Improve access to behavioral health care for persons incarcerated in prison or returning from prison to general society

Contact: Linda Jensen (lejensen@gmx.com)

executive-summary-of-dhhs-behavioral-health-study

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