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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

 

tricia-moore-at-podiumcrowd-scene-back-left-taxes

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.

Read More . . .

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 prayingRead More . . .

Forty OTOC leaders attend August 8 Training Preparing for a Candidate Accountability Session

August 1st, 2016

Click on the link below for a pdf of the Oct 17 Draft Agenda and questions

draft-agenda-for-candidates

Forty leaders of Omaha Together One Community met on Monday, August 8 at 7:00 p.m. at Augustana Lutheran (3647 Lafayette Ave) to learn how to prepare for a large Candidate Accountability Session. The LeCloser upad organizer from AMOS, our sister organization from Des Moines, lead an information and interactive workshop which taught leaders how to prepare for and hold a non-partisan Candidate Accountability Session with hundreds of people present to seek the firm public commitment of candidates for office around issues of common concern.

OTOC will hold Accountability Sessions this Fall with:

  • Candidates for Unicameral–Thursday, Sept 29 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Candidates for OPPD Dt. 5–October 17 @ 7 pm at St. Leo the Great
  • Candidates for US Congress--October 17 @ 7 pMike M & Sarita question Gwen Aspenm at St. Leo the Great

Liz Hall close upLiz emphasized again the importance of TURNOUT  to make these actions successful. She reminded the OTOC leaders that they want to ask all candidates to say YES to their questions which have come out of months of individual meetings, house meetings, research actions and preparation by OTOC and community leaders.

Nonprofit Advocacy Training

August 1st, 2016

NonProfit Advoacy Training Picture

On Wednesday, July 27th eight OTOC and IPL affiliated leaders attended a training workshop on nonprofit advocacy and lobbying. The full day training workshop was organized by the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands and was hosted on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Included in the workshop were three informative and interactive sessions:

Nonprofit Lobbying 101: This session emphasized the importance of lobbying in order to advance missions and achieve policy goals as a nonprofit organization. The session was extremely educational and outlined the parameters in which nonprofits may operate when engaging in non-partisan lobbying.

Nonprofit Lobbying 201: The second session provided insight into how the Unicameral operates, including processes like bill introductions, committee hearings, priority bills, and floor debates. It later described how the state budget operates and impacts our missions and concluded with ideas about how to confront the issues posed by monetary policy.

Nonpartisan Voter Engagement for Nonprofits: The final session highlighted the role nonprofits can play in boosting civic participation and voter turnout among people who care about and are affected by various issues and ideals. Attendees were given information and ideas for how to effectively provide resources to make voting as easy as possible for the greater community.

OTOC and IPL participants found the workshop extremely beneficial and they look forward to sharing what they learned with you!

Hundreds at 5 OTOC member congregations heard the moving stories of Journey of Hope speakers

July 12th, 2016
Journey of Hope St. Ben2

Journey Speakers opened the week at St. Benedict the Moor

Hundreds of people attended Journey of Hope sessions at five  OTOC member congregations between July 17 and July 24. Congregation members and guests were able to hear directly from those affected by the death penalty why they believe Nebraskans  must vote to RETAIN the Unicameral’s Rejection of the Death Penalty. JOH Logo

The speakers came from murder victim’s families, death row survivors, and family members of those executed. The will share their compelling stories.

OTOC member congregations hosting the presentations were:

 

Sunday, July 17 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Benedict the Moor

Wednesday, July 20 a 7:00pt St. Vincent de Paul–

Journey of Hope St. Pius

Journey shared stories and strategy at an OTOC Clergy and Faith leaders lunch at St Pius X

Thursday, July 21, at 7 pm First United Methodist Church–7020 Cass St

Saturday, July 23 at 6 pm, St. Leo Catholic, 1920 N. 102nd

Sunday, July 24 at 11:3o a.m. at St. John’s Catholic--2500 California Plaza

Journey of Hope St. John

Journey closed their week with powerful stories at St. John at Creighton

 

Bios of for Journey of Hope Speakers in Omaha July 15 to 24

Schedule a Presentation about the Death Penalty at your congregation

OTOC leaders have also prepared an informative and interactive presentation of the facts about the death penalty in Nebraska and the US.  To schedule a presentation, contact OTOC  Vicki Pratt at (402) 334-0678 or vlpratt@cox.net  or Terri Vincent at (843) 364-6403  or

OTOC Housing and Community Revitalization Action Team Report – May 24, 2016

June 9th, 2016
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A diverse group of North Omaha residents came to Claire Memorial to raise concerns about their dramatically reduced tax valuations for 2016

Members of the OTOC Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization Team joined with Pastor Portia Cavitt and Pastor Michael Williams to hold a meeting on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at Clair Memorial United Methodist Church addressing the concerns of northeast Omaha property owners in response to dramatically lowered tax assessments for 2016.

Approximately fifty people attended, including County Commissioners Rodgers and Boyle, Councilman Ben Gray, Assessor Diane Battiato, County Clerk Dan Esch, and Attorney Gary Fisher of Family Housing Advisory Services.   Channel 7 interviewed Rev. Cavitt and Rev. Williams in a report that aired at 6:00 pm that day. 

Gloria Austerberry of OTOC provided an overview of  the process the County followed in establishing the 2016 valuations and the current state of the dispute between Douglas County and the State Tax Equalization Review Committee which ordered Douglas County to reduce valuations in Northeast Omaha by 8th and increase them in Central West Omaha by 7%.

Picture2

County Commissioner Chris Rodgers explained the appeals process and said that is the only option now

Many people from the floor had tough questions for the elected officials present including one woman who said she bought her home 10 years ago for $60,000 and it was  reduced in tax  value a few years ago to $47,000 and was now has a 2016 proposed tax value of  $27,000 by Douglas County. She asked how this could happen? Douglas County Tax Assessor Battiato said that tax values are simply a reflection of the sales in that come from that  area of the City and that the collapse of the housing market in 2008 was still being felt in the Northeast part of the City.

Commissioner Rodgers and County Clerk Esch told people that they can appeal their tax valuations during the month of June if they want to ask for a lower or higher valuationa. Attorney Gary Fischer reminded the audience that tax valuation is not necessarily the  actual market value of their and that people should not panic because the County has set their values are less than they had believed. Tax Values are set by a process of mass valuation while the market value of each home is established by what a willing buyer will agree to pay the seller.  Many people expressed concern about how the tax values of their main asset, their home, could be so much less than they have been in recent years.

Council Ben Gray noted that the Omaha Vacant and Abandoned Property Registration Ordinance and the Omaha Land Bank which OTOC has fought for are new developments to help restore our neighborhoods.  OTOC believes there is much we can do to protect the equity in our individual homes, but we have only begun to explore collective action we can take to improve our neighborhoods.

216 donate to Institute for Public Leadership in support of leadership through OTOC and community organizers

June 9th, 2016

 

 

 

On Wednesday, May 25, 2016, IPL held an event in conjunction with Omaha Gives! in which 216 individuals made 230 contribKen Smithutions. Throughout the 24 hours of the event, IPL received $26,779 to continue forming community leaders. As a result of our gracious donors, IPL had the most donors within the last eight hours of the day, which allowed us to win a $3,000 participation prize. IPL will also receive over  $1,000 from the Omaha Community Foundation in “Bonus Dollars” which a match the donations of our donors.

As a result of the Omaha Gives! event, the Institute for Public Leadership had the  5th highest participation  for the day out of 170 mid-sizedMark Hoeger fist pump organizations which participated. Our generous donors contributed over $31,000 to sustain our leadership development for community leaders, including those from Omaha Together One Community. Thank you for your support.

 

 


ApplaudingB

OTOC and IPL to hold Summer Training Academy: “Leadership in an Election Year”

May 20th, 2016
2016 Visioning Session

Thirty seven OTOC leaders attended the May 14 Visioning Session where they agreed to sponsor 3 summer training sessions on Leadership in an Election Year

OTOC and Institute for Public Leadership will hold 3 workshops this summer to help Omaha leaders prepare for “Leadership in an Election Year.” All sessions will be from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Augustana Lutheran (3647 Lafayette Ave).

Monday June 13--Listening and Telling our Story: Creating a Narrative for the change we want in our communities

Monday July 11--Sharing our narratives and agenda for change with voters; how to organize successful non-partisan voter education campaigns

Monday August 8–holding a large accountability session with candidates for office; how to make our agenda the candidate and successfully win their commitment to support it.

Session 2 Marshal Johnson at front of room

Over 90 people from 40 different organizations attended attended at least one of the three 2015 leadership training sessions

 



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