Legislative Update with LWVGO Policy Directors Scheduled for Jan. 28

Join us for our first Dine & Discuss of the new year, held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, January 28, 2019, at Valentino’s at 108th & L streets.

The Dine & Discuss will feature LWVGO Policy Chairs Peggy Adair and Darci Garcia, who will discuss the new session of the Nebraska Legislature.

Peggy and Darci will present a short “Legislature 101” to familiarize you with the unique unicameral, and will then discuss the bills that have been introduced this session that are of interest to the League. They will also review effective lobbying at LWV Legislative Day at the Nebraska Legislature. (This exciting opportunity to meet with your Senators takes place on Tuesday, February 19 beginning at 8:30am in Lincoln. For more information and to register, please go to lwv-ne.org.)

After their presentation, they will have a short meeting for those interested in participating in policy research for specific areas.

If you’d like to eat (you do not have to dine to discuss), the buffet is $14.14. Drinks included (wine and beer are extra). RSVP to our office omahalwv@gmail.com or 402-344-3701, or via Facebook, is optional.

 

Taking Action Against Gun Violence: Dine & Discuss with Megan Gentrup of Moms Demand Action

Please join us from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22 at Valentino’s at 108th & L streets for Dine & Discuss. This month, our featured speaker is Megan Gentrup from the nonpartisan group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Much like Mothers Against Drunk Driving was created to reduce drunk driving, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was created to demand action from legislators, state and federal; companies; and educational institutions to establish common-sense gun reforms. Come hear how the group is taking action nationally and in Nebraska, and is working with student groups.

If you’d like to eat (you do not have to dine to discuss), the buffet is $14.14. Drinks included (wine and beer are extra). Optional RSVP to our office omahalwv@gmail.com or 402-344-3701.

Taking Down the Poll Tax: Dine & Discuss with Charlene Butts Ligon

Join us from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24 at Valentino’s at 108th & L streets for Dine & Discuss. This month, our featured speaker is Charlene Butts Ligon, Omaha-area author of Fearless: How a poor Virginia seamstress took on Jim Crow, beat the poll tax and changed her city forever.

If you’d like to eat (you do not have to dine to discuss), the buffet is $14.14. Optional RSVP to office office@omahalwv.org or 402-344-3701.

Money in Politics: Resources

As a follow-up to her July Dine & Discuss presentation on Money in Politics in Nebraska, LWVNE treasurer Kate High provided the following additional resources.

Money in Politics Links

LB839 Crawford

On July 16, 2018, the US Treasury, headed by Steven Mnuchin, said it will no longer require certain tax-exempt organizations to identify their financial donors to IRS authorities. The League of Women Voters (League) and others who support great transparency oppose this move.

There are twenty-nine types of nonprofit corporations in the IRS code, including the well-known 501(c)(3) designation for religious, educational, charitable, etc. organizations. The Treasury’s change in policy is NOT directed at 501(c)(3)s, but at “certain” nonprofit organizations like:

● 501(c)(4): social welfare, civic leagues, and local associations of employees;examples: National Rifle Association and the Sierra Club

● 501(c)(5): Labor, agricultural, and horticultural; examples:  American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) , American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) , Working America

● 501(c)(6): business leagues, chambers of commerce, real estate boards, etc.; examples: The US Chamber of Commerce , The American Medical Association , PhRMA , Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce , Americans for Job Security

This new policy is in stark opposition to LWVUS’s recommendation to strengthen existing rules:

Strengthen and enforce 501(c )4 political activity rules (action by the Internal Revenue Service; IRS). To be tax-exempt as a social welfare organization according to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)(4), an organization must not be organized for profit and must be operated exclusively to promote social welfare. It is argued that the promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. However, under long-standing IRS regulations, a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization is allowed to engage in some political activities, so long as that is not its primary activity. There is need for strict enforcement of the rules applicable to 501(c)(4)s. The IRS could close loopholes that allow unlimited secret spending in elections by501(c)(4) groups while protecting truly non-partisan voter service activity.

See:MiP Options for Reform

What can you do to combat the corruptive influences of “dark money” in national politics?

1. CALL your elected officials to ask that they support the DISCLOSE Act, reintroduced in both houses of Congress this summer. This legislation proposes amending the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA) to, among other actions, disclose donations from corporations, labor organizations, and other special interests including foreign donors.

2. NEGATIVE ADS? JUST SAY NO. The vast majority of negative ads are “dark money” ads. They’re designed to motivate voters in ways that benefit donors. Russian trolls? Anonymous LLC’s? Friends? Foes? Who can tell? Don’t get sucked in!

3. LEARN ABOUT DARK MONEY at the federal level on the Open Secrets website:

Open Secrets: Dark Money Basics

Open Secrets: Dark Money Reports

4. JOIN the League of Women Voters and other organizations working against the power of dark money. Here are some ideas to start you out:

League Information

5. MOTIVATE OTHERS! We can overcome the influence of big money if we ACT. The enemies of democracy are desertion and complacency.

6. TAKE ACTION! Call, visit, e-mail, and/or write your elected officials. Go to town hall meetings to tell your story and speak your truth. Find and help candidates you support.

7. CONFIRM YOUR REGISTRATION and VOTE!!!!

Insuring the Good Life: Putting Medicaid Expansion on the Ballot. Join Us at Dine & Discuss August 27

Join us at our next Dine & Discuss event, happening from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, August 27 at Valentino’s at 108th & L streets.

We’ll be discussing the effort to allow voters to expand Medicaid access with James A. Goddard, Director, Economic Justice & Health Care Access Programs with Nebraska Appleseed.

If you’d like to eat, the buffet is $14.14. The presentation will begin at 5:30. RSVPs not required, but you can send questions to web@omahalwv.org or RSVP on Facebook.

Please be aware that the League of Women Voters never supports or opposes political parties or candidates. Advocacy on behalf of parties or candidates is not allowed at our meetings as we discuss the issues. That said, LWVGO does support the Insure the Good Life ballot initiative and the expansion of Medicaid as part of the national League of Women Voters’ position on supporting the Affordable Care Act.

Money in Politics: What’s Happening in Nebraska? Join Us at Dine & Discuss July 23

Join us at our next Dine & Discuss event, happening from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, July 23 at Valentino’s at 108th & L streets. LWVNE Treasurer Kate High will present results of a research study into campaign donations leading up to the 2016 Unicameral races.

If you’d like to eat, the buffet is $14.14. The presentation will begin at 5:30. RSVPs not required, but you can send questions to web@omahalwv.org or RSVP on Facebook.

Please be aware that the League of Women Voters never supports or opposes political parties or candidates. Advocacy on behalf of parties or candidates is not allowed at our meetings as we discuss the issues.

Libraries As Civic Engagement Centers: Dine & Discuss with Laura Marlane, Executive Director of the Omaha Public Library, on June 25

Join us for our June Dine & Discuss voter-education event! We’ll be talking about libraries with LWVGO member Laura Marlane, Executive Director of the Omaha Public Library. The event will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, June 25 at Valentino’s at 108th & L streets. The buffet is $14.14 (dining is not required to participate). 

Optionally RSVP by emailing web@omahalwv.org or on Facebook. See you there!

Laura Marlane is the Executive Director of the Omaha Public Library, a twelve-branch system serving the citizens of Omaha and Douglas County.  Laura has 32 years of experience working in academic, research, and public libraries, in a variety of capacities ranging from systems administrator to director.  She currently serves on the Nebraska Library Commission’s State Advisory Council on Libraries, and is running for Vice-Chair of the Nebraska Library Association’s Public Library and Trustee Section.  Laura has held executive board positions with the Rhode Island Library Association, and Ocean State Libraries where she advocated for improved funding and access for Rhode Islanders and their libraries.  In 2014, Laura served on the Women’s Policy Institute through the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island. During her time at the Institute she advocated for the passage of legislation to provide pregnant and nursing mothers additional workplace accommodations (that proposed legislation was made state law in 2016). She received her B.A. in English from Rhode Island College, and her MLIS from the University of Rhode Island.  Providing free and open access to information, and promoting literacy have been life-long passions.

Building Kids’ Foundations for Success: Join Us for Our May Dine & Discuss

Our May Dine & Discuss event will be from 5 to 7 p.m. (speaker begins at 5:30) on Monday, May 23 at Valentino’s, 5022 S 108th St.

Our guest speaker is Toia Phillips, High School Program Coordinator with Partnership 4 Kids.

Partnership 4 Kids is a goal setting and group mentoring program that builds hope for under-served students and helps them create a foundation for success from kindergarten to careers.

Toia and Partnership 4 Kids recently collaborated with the League by co-sponsoring the first annual Kim Culp Juvenile Justice Forum held this past March. She was an active and vital member of the forum planning committee.

You are welcome to come to listen to the speaker without purchasing a buffet meal. If you would like to eat, the buffet cost is $14.14.

Optional RSVP to our office omahalwv@gmail.com or 402-344-3701.

Anyone is welcome to attend. However, please be aware that the League of Women Voters never supports or opposes political parties or candidates. Advocacy on behalf of parties or candidates is not allowed at our meetings as we discuss the issues.

Transforming the Hustle After Incarceration: Join Us for Our April Dine & Discuss

Join us from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 23 at Valentino’s, 5022 S. 108th St., for our April Dine & Discuss event. The topic is life after incarceration and improving the lives, and supporting the community re-entry, of returning citizens.
Our guest speaker is Jasmine L. Harris, MPH, Post-Release Program Manager,  Defy Ventures Nebraska.
Jasmine is a public health professional who is passionate about criminal and juvenile justice reform, social justice issues and women’s rights. Jasmine has been effecting change in the Omaha community through advocacy and civic-engagement efforts that heighten awareness of the barriers people with criminal histories face.
A bit about Defy Ventures:
Defy Ventures recognizes that many former drug dealers and gang leaders can become successful, legal entrepreneurs. We “transform the hustle” of our currently and formerly incarcerated Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) by offering intensive leadership development, Shark Tank-style business plan competitions, executive mentoring, financial investment, and startup incubation. We give our EITs a legitimate chance to succeed and equip them to become profitable entrepreneurs, stellar employees, engaged parents, and committed role models and leaders in their communities. We intentionally build life-giving, authentic community between EITs and our executive volunteers as they bond in their humanity.

Black Votes Matter: Join Us for Our March Dine & Discuss

Join us as guest speaker Preston Love Jr, Founder and CEO, Black Votes Matter Institute of Community Engagement and
Adjunct Professor, Black Studies Department, UNO talks about the hows and whys of increasing voter participation in the Black community.

Event details:

5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 at Valentino’s Grand Italian Buffet, 5022 S 108th St. Come as early as 5 p.m. to socialize!

The buffet is $14.14. You are welcome to join us even if you don’t plan to eat. Optional RSVP on Facebook or to our office (402-344-3701).