3647 Lafayette Avenue, Ste 110; Omaha, NE 68131 otocfornebraska@gmail.com 402-344-4401

Democracy is not a
spectator sport

Current OTOC Action Teams

Predatory Lending

  • Organized clergy and community leaders to testify at the Unicameral’s Public Hearing on LB 194 to place reasonable limits on Pay Day Lending
  • Asked all candidates for Omaha City Council to work with us to limit, as much as possible, predatory lending in Omaha
  • Organizing house meetings in Central West Omaha to educate community members about the predatory lending and the need for reasonable limits.


OTOC Agenda for Change:

  • Continue educating the community about predatory lending
  • Continue advocating for fair and reasonable Pay Day Lending reform


To see testimony at the Unicameral of Pay Day Loan Borrowers, click these links: Melissa W | Elsa R | Richard B

Contact Pastor Scott Shreve ( )

Leaders Raising Issue of Pay Day Lending

OTOC leaders presenting about predatory lending at Candidate Accountability session

Housing and Revitalization

  • 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


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)

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


Nov 17 Press Conference

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

Immigration and Refugee Support

  • 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:

  • 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


Click here to view the Sanctuary Toolkit

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

Jeanne SchulerCharlie Gould et al

Environmental Sustainability

  • 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:

  • 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)

Fr Mike

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

  • 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:

  • 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)

Leaders with Rev Nelson at front

 Mental Health

  • 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


Executive Summary of DHHS Behavioral Health Study

Contact: Linda Jensen (lejensen@gmx.com)

community-alliance-meeting (1)

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