Democracy is not a
spectator sport


350 OTOC leaders met with Candidates for Congress and OPPD Dist 5

October 3rd, 2016

350 OTOC leaders from 30 congregations and community organizations met on Monday, October 17 with Candidates for US Congress, Brad Ashford and Don Bacon, and candidates for OPPD Board Craig Moody and Tom Mulligan.

Click on the following link to see what KETV reported about this meeting which focused on issues, not political parties or personalities: Link to KETV story about OTOC Accountability Session

back-leftClick on this link to see the final-questions-to-candidates-for-congress

Click on this link to see the questions-mi-and-chairsand-background-for-congress

Click on this link to see final-oppd-introductions-and-4-questions

OTOC Accountability Sessionbacon-and-ashford

Monday, October 17 at 7 pm

St. Leo the Great Church Hall (102nd & Blondo)

Candidates for US Congress

  • Brad Ashford and Don Bacon


  • Candidates for OPPD Board District 5

    Craig Moody and Tom Mulligan


Learn where candidates stand on OTOC’s Action Agenda:

Congressional Candidates

  • Assure Fair Treatment of Immigrants and Refugees
  • Assure Accessible, Affordable Health Insurance for all
  • Improve Behavioral Health Care & don’t criminalize mental illness
  • Support policies to adapt to and mitigate climate change

OPPD Candidates

  • Revise OPPD’s increased fixed service fee
  • Increase Transparency in Board Decision making
  • Increase Commitment to Renewable Energy

220 OTOC delegates and supporters attended OTOC’s Sept 29th Accountability Session with Candidates for the Unicameral

September 2nd, 2016

A full house of OTOC leaders joined candidates John Synowiecki  and Tony Vargas (Dt 7 Southeast),crowd-scene-back-right-with-ps-courts

Sara Howard and Larry Roland (Dt. 9 East Central),

Jill Brown and Justin Wayne ( Dt 13 Northeast) who gave their clear responses to questions posed by OTOC leaders.

Click on the following link to see final-questions-to-unicameral-candidates

Click on this link to see final-fact-sheets-and-questions-to-candidates-for-sept-29

Candidates told the OTOC leaders where they stand on OTOC’s Action Agenda:medicaid-expansion

  • Expand Medicaid to cover all caught in the coverage gap
  • Increase Access to Behavioral Health Care in Prison and Community
  • Create Mental Health, Veterans Courts to avoid incarceration
  • Write Environmental Sustainability into state law and policyclimate-change-speakers
  • Adopt Fair Tax Policy to deal with ongoing structural deficts

OTOC leaders also challenged themselves to work together to spread the word to Retain Repeal of the Death  Penalty



OTOC to host 3 Issues Cafe’s at Urban Abbey in September about the Death Penalty and Asylum seeking Women in Detention

September 1st, 2016

Marilyn Felion close up

Marilyn Felion helped lead an introduction to this issue at Urban Abbey during January, 2016

Leaders of Omaha Together One Community (OTOC) will hold three Issue Cafes at Urban Abbey (10th and Jackson) in September. Please join us at 6:45 p.m. for each of these three engaging discussions:

Wed, Sept. 7th and Mon, Sept. 19th at 6:45 pm  Why Nebraska should Retain Repeal of the Death Penalty. Learn the facts about the death penalty in Nebraska. Be part of inviting conversation and teach your community about this critical issue and why we should vote to RETAIN repeal of the Death Penalty in November.


Also attend the League of Women Voters Debate Thurs Sept 8 at 7:00 p.m.

At the Community Engagement Ctr @UNO (6001 W. Dodge) Two  Senators, Two  County Attorneys will  Debate whether Nebraska should Retain the Repeal  Click here for more information:      LWGO-DeathPenalty revsd

Jeanne Schuler

Jeanne Schuler and Sr. Kathleen Erickson helped lead a Sept 1 Press conference in front of Rep Brad Ashford’s office calling for an end to the indefinite detention of women and children seeking asylum

Thursday, Sept.15 at 6:45 pm:

Stop the Detention of Women and Children Seeking  Asylum   Learn how the US is keeping 2000 women and their children who are seeking asylum  in “Family Detention Centers” in Texas and Pennsylvania. Learn about the dangerous trek these families undertake to flee the  gang violence that is currently plaguing El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Learn what it is like for these women and children to be locked up behind barbed wire. Learn about solutions which OTOC and Omaha faith leaders are promoting.       


 To see their moving statements, go to OTOC’s Facebook Page:Click here for OTOC’s Facebook page

85 faith leaders and community rallied on Sept 1 to call for an end to indefinite detention of women and children seeking political asylum

August 18th, 2016

Jeanne Schuler“Crossing the border to ask for asylum is not a crime!”

That was the message that over 80 women religious, priests, pastors and OTOC leaders delivered to Congressman Brad Ashford and other members of Congress. Fifty people agreed to contact the offices of Nebraska Representatives and Senators over the next several months and recruit at least 4 more people to ask Congress to forcefully advocate for the end of protracted detention of  women and children seeking asylum.

image of babyOTOC leaders Jeanne Schuler, local Attorney Dan Rock  and Sr. Kathleen Erickson, RSM gave passionate presentations about this practice that is unjust and a very  expensive way to handle women and children who come to our borders to seek asylum, seeking relief from gang violence in Central America.

To see their moving statements, go to OTOC’s Facebook page at: OTOC Facebook Page

Local media outlets covered this issue and our action in these stories:

Fr. Andy

Channel 6

Groups urge Congress to better asylum seekers housing



Fox 42

Group trying to help people seeking asylum

Fox 42 Becka’s Beat:

Becka’s Beat: When Babies are Criminals

Grace: She came to America seeking asylum and ended up in what felt like prison

Grace: She came to America seeking asylum and ended up in what felt like prison

Dan RockUse these tools to end detention

Flyer for Diapers in Detention September 2016

Circulate this form to gather 5 people opposed to detention

Contact Information for Nebraska Delegation

Background Information

World Refugee Day 2016 Fact Sheet about Women in Detention

CLINIC 2015 Description of Detention

The administration’s Billion $ deal

“Why Is the Obama Administration Keeping Toddlers Behind Bars?” from The Nation

Impact of Long Term Detention of Women and Children

Sr Kathleen

Our speakers encouraged people across Omaha to tell our elected officials:

“Mothers and children who have fled horrific violence are being held, locked up, against their will. They can’t defend themselves as they have no resources and the language barriers are great.

It’s time to end this practice.  There are more humane, community based alternatives to these costly detention centers where  tax payers are paying  top dollar to private corrections corporations for each person held.”      

240 diverse leaders come together for powerful Interfaith Solidarity Service

August 1st, 2016

Over 240 packed Augustana Lutheran Church on Thursday August 4th for an Interfaith Solidarity Service. OTOC leaders worked with Institute for Public Leaders, Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance and other faith leaders to organize this powerful evening of prayer, song and statements of solidarity that we can overcome violence to have more peace-filled communities.Large crowd from front

The evening featured song, reflection and prayer from Christian, Jewish and Muslim  faith communities in Omaha.

The Interfaith Solidarity Service was led by Rabbi Steven Abraham of Beth El Synagogue, Rev. Jan Peterson of Augustana Lutheran Church, Rev. Tony Sanders of Koinonia House of Worship, Rev. Marshall Johnson of St. Luke United Methodist, Imam Samyr El-Refaie of the Millard Islamic Center.women praying

The evening opened with powerful Gospel songs lead by the Koinonia Praise Team and a Call to Prayer by Dr. Sakeer Hussain of the Omaha Islamic Center. Leaders from each of the faith traditions also led Prayers of Petition for our community

One of the emotional high points was the singing of the “El Rabbi and HussanMalei Rachamim” while photos of dozens of Omaha murder victims since 2015 were flashed across a large screen. Hazzan Michael Krausman of Beth El Synagogue sang the powerful song which is usually sung a  Jewish funerals.

Another was when 20 clergy gathered to lay hands on two officers representing Omaha Police Department as those present prayed for the safety of officers and a healing of the relationships between OPD and our community.

police prayer close upRev. Tony Sanders ended the evening with a call for all present to become involved in working across lines that divide us to create stronger communities.



All present were invited to sign up to continue working together and over 120 turned in cards indicating they wanted to continue

Sweating Together, Talking Together and Acting Together

Click on this link to learn more about these activities:

Link to Interfaith receive information about Interfaith Solidarity Activities

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