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OTOC News

Issue cafes educate about refugees, mental health, and housing

November 16th, 2018

Improving Rental Housing in Omaha

Seventy-five diverse community leaders met on Nov. 27 to learn about and discuss the state of affordable, quality housing. OTOC leaders presented some solutions like a rental property and landlord registration, a housing ombudsman, an inspection pilot project, and , the most effective, a rental property inspection ordinance. The lively group had a good conversation about what these policies would look like and about the larger scope of affordable housing in Omaha. See this article to learn more about OTOCs recent work on housing and an inspection ordinance.

Read More . . .

OTOC Helps Medicaid Expansion Pass in Nebraska!

November 15th, 2018

OTOC leaders have been hard at work for the last seven years to expand Medicaid in Nebraska, believing that expanded Medicaid was a solution for 90,000 Nebraskans who don’t have health insurance. In 2018, after another failed attempt to get a bill passed in the Unicameral, a statewide coalition lead a ballot initiative, raising over 135,000 petition signatures to get Medicaid expansion on the November ballot.

Over 50 OTOC leaders participated, raising at least 3,500 signatures and holding fifteen presentations in congregations across Omaha. With Initiative 427 successfully on the ballot, OTOC leaders continued having information sessions at congregations and community spaces, while also phone banking and canvasing with other volunteers from across the state. OTOC leaders also contributed several Public Pulse letters to the editor to the Omaha World Herald and newspapers across the state.

OTOC’s Work made a Difference!

Stats from how the votes came in on Nov. 6:

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225 OTOC leaders meet with Unicameral Candidates from 4 Districts

October 23rd, 2018

Over 225 OTOC and community leaders from 25 congregations and community organizations met with 7 candidates for the Nebraska Unicameral on Monday, October 22.  OTOC leaders told compelling stories about five issues which they are working on through OTOC Action Teams. They asked candidates for specific commitments on:

  • Adopting a state law requiring rental property registration & inspection if the City of Omaha is unable to adopt adequate protections;
  • Fully funding the  state portion of expanded Medicaid when  Initiative 427 passes;
  • Improving mental health care in our state prisons and in the community;
  • Adopt state strategies to battle climate change;
  • Continue reforming Payday lending. 

Scorecard of candidate responses

Click for a copy of the questions OTOC leaders asked: Final Questions for October 22 Session with Unicameral candidates

Twenty different OTOC and community leaders told stories, asked questions or served as chairs OTOC Agenda with speakers for Oct 22 2018

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Take Action for Renters: Don’t let Yale Park Happen Again

September 26th, 2018

Please join OTOC leaders in contacting your council member and the Mayor’s office and ask for a prompt solution that would prevent homes from becoming unsafe and uninhabitable. Use the paragraph below or your own words to send your support for a solution to the code enforcement system.

We believe the situation at Yale Park was a tragedy that should not be repeated, and a rental property registration and inspection would prevent rental properties from reaching such substandard conditions. We are asking City Council change our “complaint driven” system to one that proactively prevents homes from falling into disrepair.

See OTOC’s Research on Proactive Rental Property Registration and Inspection ordinances:

OTOC Position Paper on Proactive Rental Inspection Systems

Guide to Rental Inspection Programs (1)   

OTOC 1 Page Overview of Rentral Property Registration Ordinance.docx

Dennis Walsh Housing Article 8-9-18

Last two speakers of OTOC 2018 Budget Testimony

Tell City Council Members OTOC wants:

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375 leaders get commitments from Congress & OPPD Candidates on September 18

September 21st, 2018

Photo by Omaha World Herald

The Omaha World Herald reporter opened his story about the evening by observing:

Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., and Democrat Kara Eastman faced questions Monday on immigration, health care and a changing climate in front of a standing room-only crowd of more than 350 people.  In fact, nearly 400 people signed into the 2018  OTOC Accountability Session with candidates for US Congress and OPPD at St. Leo Catholic Church.

The packed crowd of OTOC and community leaders sought commitments from OPPD Board members on four topics:

  1. Taking leadership in the community to increase charging stations for electric vehicles by 100 over next 3 years
  2. Directing Staff to be work with community groups and investors who want to establish “community solar projects”
  3. Reducing or reversing the 2015 increase of the basic service charge from $10.25 per month to $30 per month
  4. Supporting the newly proposed SD 7 setting a goal to reduce carbon emissions to a level 20% below 2010 levels by 2030.

Click here to see Completed OPPD Score Card

The Accountability Session with Candidates for US Congress followed and OTOC leaders asked for commitments on the follow topics from Rep. Don Bacon and Candidate Kara Eastman:

  1. Naming their top three priorities for reforming our broken immigration system
  2. Taking a leading role in sponsoring and adopting legislation to grant permanent status to those individuals with Temporary Protected Status(TPS)
  3. Committing to continue the structure and funding for the federal share of Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act
  4. Committing to continue the protections under the ACA for mental health parity and pre-existing conditions.
  5. Naming their top 2 strategies to reverse the effects of climate

Click here to see candidate responses: Completed Report Card for Congressional Candidates

Read More . . .

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