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OTOC and IPL held five engaging events at Urban Abbey during July

June 26th, 2017

Institute for Public Leadership partnered with OTOC to hold 5 great events at Urban Abbey during July. The events included both celebrations of our culture though song and stories, a workshop on writing letters to the editor and safe rental housing, and discussion of a provocativeKyle Knapp new book.

Friday, July 14: Kyle Knapp played a delightful blend of folk, rock and pop on his acoustic guitar to 35 OTOC leaders and fans.  Kyle told stories and shared classic folk songs and some of his own compositions. Come see Kyle again a future OTOC and IPL events.

Tues., July 18: Juan Carlos Veloso shared Spanish language protest music from Jaun CarlosLatin America, and especially songs from Chile, his native country. Juan Carlos’ mother joined us that evening along with 32 friends and OTOC leaders. He taught us about the struggles of many Latin Americans for justice.

 

Thurs. July 20: Kaitlin Reece of Voices for Children and Tyler Richard of ACLU Katilin Reeseof Nebraska taught 20 engaged leaders how to develop an effective Letter to the Editor and Opinion piece to submit to local newspapers, newsletters and other sources of information.  This informative session inspired those present to write more letters on issues of interest.

Tues., July 25:  How To Assure Safe Rental Housing Leaders of OTOC’s Housing Action Team  hosted Kat Vinton from the  Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance and Prof Kate Mahern of the Creighton Law School legal clinic to discuss the dangers to children from poorly maintained rental housing. OTOC leaders focusedfoKat and Katecus on how to make Omaha’s Housing Code Enforcement more effective and follow up on commitments City Council members made to OTOC to assure rental housing meets health and safety codes. Over 40 people from diverse groups attended this session.

Thurs. July 27  Twenty Five OTOC leaders gathered to discuss the implications of the provocative new book, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the 20th Century , by Timothy Snyder.  Mary Spurgeon of First United Methodist lead the discussion around the ideas in the short but important book. IPL and OTOC will hold a future book discussion in the Fall.

 

OTOC to hold July 10 training–developing a team of leaders at your institution to agitate your vision

June 26th, 2017

Join OTOC on Monday, July 10 for “Organizing a team of leaders to agitate your institution to live up to your shared values” on Monday, July 10 @ 7pm—8:30 pm at  Augustana Lutheran 3647 Lafayette Ave

Liz Hall, Lead Organizer of our Iowa sister organization, AMOS, will lead an engaging workshop on how to identify and develop a team of leaders in your congregation or organization which will “agitate” your institution to live up to its core values and beliefs. During this time of divisiveness, learn how to build community through discussion and honest reflection on our shared beliefs and values.

Closer up

Six of seven next City Council members commit to work with OTOC

May 5th, 2017

OTOC Audience from the front

350 OTOC Delegates filled St. Leo the Great Hall on May 1

At a May 01 Accountability session, six of the the seven winning candidates for City Council made commitments to 350 OTOC leaders. All Candidates were invited, Mayor Stothert  declined and Vinny Palermo had an OPS School Board meeting but has agreed to meet in the future. Our new City Council agreed to work with OTOC leaders on:

  • Improving Housing Code Enforcement in Rental Housing
  • Ending the Commingling of Yard Waste and Garbage
  • Ensuring Omaha Police are free to act as local peace officers, not immigration agents
  • Reigning in the predatory practices of Pay Day Lenders

Candidate Mello and Council membersDraft Final Questions for Candidates–April 30

Final Summary of How Candidates Answered

OTOC’s Questions.pubLeaders Raising Issue of Pay Day Lending

 

 

 

 

 

Below are videos and short summaries of how your next Omaha City Council responded to OTOC’s Questions:

Pete Festersen,  City Council District 1

Pete Festersen May 1 short answers

https://youtu.be/CSh0k5ZebA0

Ben Gray,  City Council District 2

Ben Gray May 1 Short Answers

https://youtu.be/eR4NGSLEJXc

Chris Jerram,  City Council District 3

Chris Jerram May 1 short answers

https://youtu.be/5uDguhr-l8g

Rich Pahls, City Council District 5    Council Member Melton speaking

https://youtu.be/Q98IMdyk75w

Brinker Harding,  City Council District 6

Brinker Harding May 1 short answers

https://youtu.be/_4qbqpHPRjY

Aimee Melton,  City Council  District 7

Aimee Melton May 1 short answers

https://youtu.be/MjSuFvkCJ24

 

350 OTOC Delegates meet with 12 Candidates for Mayor and City Council

May 5th, 2017

OTOC Audience from the frontFinal Summary of How Candidates Answered OTOC’s Questions.pub

  A standing room audience of 350 packed the hall at St. Leo the Great Church on Monday, May 1 to hear OTOC leaders ask Mayoral Candidate Heath Mello and candidates for all 7 City Council Districts for commitments to work with OTOC on 4 issues affecting the quality of life in our City.

OTOC leaders asked candidates for specific commitments around:

  • Safe Rental HousingLeaders Raising Issue of Pay Day Lending

  • Separating Yard Waste and Garbage

  • Assuring Police serve as officers, not Immigration enforcement

  • Reducing the predatory fees allowed to Pay Day Lenders

Candidate Mello and Council members

OTOC recorded the Session and has created OTOC Report Cards with the candidates answers.

Click here to see:

Heath Mello, Candidate for Mayor

Heath Mello May 1 short answers

https://youtu.be/hSRta3hO8mw

Pete Festersen, Candidate for City Council District 1

Pete Festersen May 1 short answers

https://youtu.be/CSh0k5ZebA0

Ben Gray, Candidate for City Council District 2

Ben Gray May 1 Short Answers

https://youtu.be/eR4NGSLEJXc

Dennis Womack, Candidate for City Council District 2

Dennis Womack May 1 Short Answers

https://youtu.be/po0Tl-GHhjs

Chris Jerram, Candidate for City Council District 3

Chris Jerram May 1 short answers

https://youtu.be/5uDguhr-l8g

D’Shawn Cunningham, Candidate for City Council District 3

D’Shawn Cunningham May 1 short answers

https://youtu.be/po0Tl-GHhjs

Jim Rogers, Candidate for City Council District 4

Jim Rogers May 1 short answers

https://youtu.be/txtdnTfwx2U

Rich Pahls,Candidate for City Council District 5

https://youtu.be/Q98IMdyk75w

Brinker Harding, Candidate for City Council District 6

Brinker Harding May 1 short answers

https://youtu.be/_4qbqpHPRjY

Dwite Pedersen, Candidate for City Council District 6

Dwite Pedersen May 1 short answers

https://youtu.be/W-aIDS_BrrY

Aimee Melton, Candidate for City Council District 7

Aimee Melton May 1 short answers

https://youtu.be/MjSuFvkCJ24

Brian Thommes, Candidate for City Council District 7

Brian Thommes May 1 short answers

https://youtu.be/GNwam7uvfMI

 

Two Page Summary of How Candidates Answered OTOC’s Questions

See Questions and Fact Sheets that OTOC presented to Candidates on May 1

April 8th, 2017

Mayoral Candidate Heath Mello and 11 of the 13 candidates for Omaha City Council attended the OTOC City Candidate Accountability Session on Monday, May 1 at 7 pm at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church (102nd and Blondo).  Mayor Jean Stothert declined to attend this non-partisan, issue oriented session.

The only City Council candidates not attending were Vinny Palermo (Dist 4) who had an OPS School Board meeting on May 1 and college student Grant Sturek (Dist 1).

OTOC  Asked Candidates to support our positions on:

  • Safe Rental Housing

  • Yard Waste Recycling

  • Regulating Pay Day Lending

  • Omaha Police Policy toward Immigrants & Refugees

Draft Final Questions for Candidates–April 30

Final Agenda for Distribution

May 1 Report Card

For Immediate Release on April 27

 

 back-left

  • Assuring that Rental Housing is safe and habitable
  • Environmental Sustainability including
    • improving our recycling of yard waste
    • creating a financing mechanism so homeowners  can invest in improving the sustainability of their homes
  • Regulating Pay Day Lending including limiting the predatory  fees that they can charge in Omaha
  • Assuring that Omaha Police don’t become agents of federal immigration enforcement and use community policing with immigrant communities.

Richard Blocker Right

OTOC is  organizing to encourage the Unicameral or Omaha City Council to require Pay Day Lenders charge reasonable fees

IMG_2048

OTOC leaders at Urban Abbey in February learned about new Executive Orders that could sweep many more people into deportation

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