ACTION ALERT: LB 216 Redistricting Bill

Redistricting was the topic at Dine & Discuss held on Oct. 30 with presenters John Else (LWV Nebraska member) and senators John McCollister and Burke Harr. Senator Harr will make LB216 his priority bill. Both senators stressed the critical importance of gaining support for the bill from Senator Jim Scheer, Speaker of the House and Executive Board member.

Action alert: Urge Senator Scheer to support LB 216

We are asking LWVGO members to please contact Senator Jim Scheer to urge him to move LB 216 out of the Executive Board and place on the agenda for a vote by the full legislature. Sadly, the bill did not make it out of committee last year and the year before it was vetoed by Governor Ricketts. Senator Scheer is key to the passage of LB 216 this session; he is likely the deciding vote (5 votes needed, and we already have 4) on the Executive Board of the Legislature and as Speaker he can put LB 216 on the agenda for a vote by the full legislature.

Redistricting happens every 10 years after completion of the census. Too often gerrymandering happens when redistricting is done in back rooms where politicians draw district lines that help them win re-election. The Legislature draws up districts for NE legislature Congress, Supreme Court, Board of Regents, Public Service Commission & the State Board of Education.

Call, write a letter, send a postcard or email State Senator Scheer at:
Senator Jim Scheer
306 Valley View Drive
Norfolk, NE 68701
jscheer@leg.ne.gov
402-471-2929

Sample statements:
(1) In a democracy, it is important for everyone to feel that they have a fair opportunity to be heard through their vote. Gerrymandered districts stack the deck and voters know this. Too many people feel their vote doesn’t count when district lines aren’t fairly drawn. Please support LB 216 by voting YES to move out of the Executive Board, and place it on the agenda for a vote by the entire legislative body.

(2) Fair representation is essential to our democracy. Help Nebraska ensure that all voices can be heard. Vote YES to move LB 216 out of the Executive Board and place on the agenda for a vote by the full legislature.

(3) Making Democracy work requires an equal voice for all. Voters need an open, transparent, non-partisan redistricting process with an independent citizen’s commission to draw fair district lines. The commission should represent our state’s diversity and protect minority representation. Please vote YES to move LB 216 out of the Executive Board and place on the agenda for a vote by the full legislature.

For more on how to write calls to action, see our page with recommendations on the role of communicating values when discussing social issues with elected officials.

Give to Running & Winning

On Wednesday, October 25, 2017, the League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha will host the sixth Running and Winning Workshop for high school girls so that they can experience the “real world” of politics. The League will be aided by University of Nebraska Omaha Service Learning Academy, College Possible and Partnership for Kids and is held at no cost to the participating students.

In off-election years since 2007, Running and Winning Workshop has brought together current and former female elected officials to visit in a small group setting with high school girls to encourage the girls to consider a career in public service and to share their personal perspective on the political process. As part of the workshop, the girls will develop and execute a complete campaign strategy.

We could not provide this unique experience without the participation of our current and former female elected officials who have been so gracious in giving freely of their time and expertise.

We also could not provide this workshop without the generosity of our members who support Running and Winning through their contributions. Running and Winning is free for the students to attend, so we must raise $6980.00 to cover the cost for this event.

I hope you will consider supporting Running and Winning with a tax deductible contribution to the League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha. You can mail your contribution to the League in the self addressed stamped envelope included for your convenience.

I quote a few unedited comments by the girls who have participated in past Running and Winning Workshops:

“It gave me a good insight on how women play a role in the political areas.”

“Just the relationship you build with your teammates and how you use teamwork.”

“I used to think it was boring! Now I totally don’t. It’s so interesting/fun.”

“It changed my point of view by making me feel as if government & politics isn’t such a bad thing after all.”

“That it’s attainable for me!”

Thank you so much for considering supporting Running and Winning through you kind donation.

Sincerely,

Ann Chalson, President

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