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 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 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).

Learn About Civic Engagement & Unicameral Advocacy at Our February Dine & Discuss

Join us Feb. 26 for Dine & Discuss.


Angie Remington, Communications Director, Nebraska Civic Engagement Table

Angie is a big picture thinker with more than a decade of nonprofit development and communications experience and is passionate about breaking the cycle of poverty through education, mentoring, advocacy, civic engagement, and through investments in economically disadvantaged communities.

Jo Giles, Director of Policy & Training, Coalition for a Strong Nebraska

Jo creates training sessions for CSN members, and others in the nonprofit sector, to be able to participate more fully in the public policy advocacy process. Jo also is responsible for managing communications and supporting CSN members during the legislative session.

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).

How Can You Get Ahead If You Can’t Break Even? Dine & Discuss September 2017

Nebraska leads the nation in percentage of families with four jobs, living paycheck to paycheck.

Julie Kalkowski of Creighton University’s Financial Hope Collaborative will talk about the Collaborative and its success in helping people trapped in debt, and how wiser choices in public policy can play a role.

5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Monday, September 25, 2017 at Valentino’s Grand Italian Buffet, 5022 S 108th St. Come as early as 5 p.m. to socialize!

Cost: $14.14 Drinks included (wine and beer are extra) You are welcome to join us even if you don’t plan to partake of the 75 different-including vegetarian– offerings at Valentino’s buffet. Optional RSVP to our office or 402-344-3701.

Dine & Discuss: The Future of Nebraska Elections

Secretary of State John Gale will discuss the Future of Nebraska Elections with League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha members and guests. The event will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 28 at Valentino’s, 5022 S 108th St.

While most states face upgrading old and potentially hackable electronic voting machines Nebraska does not because it uses paper ballots. Yet, we still must deal with other aging equipment running our election system. The big question will be what equipment to purchase going forward, but also how citizens should vote in the future: at a polling place, by mail (such as in Oregon, Washington and Colorado) or a combination.

To answer these questions and more, Gale convened an Advisory Task Force of Nebraska citizens and Election Commissioners. Its report came out in April: read it here.

Gale will present the report’s findings on the costs of replacing old election equipment, compare what other states are doing and discuss recommendations for the future.

Come as early as 5 p.m. to socialize, with Sec. Gale’s talk beginning at 5:30 p.m. There is no cost to attend, but if you would like to eat, the buffet is available for $14.14 including beverages. Wine or beer available for additional cost.

Dine & Discuss July 2017: What’s At Stake for Public Schools in Nebraska?


What: Stakeholders’ discussion with Nebraska Board of Education members Lisa Fricke and John Witzel, along with Dr. Matthew Blomstedt, Commissioner of Education.

When: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 31

Where: Valentino’s, 5022 South 108th St.

How Much: You are very welcome to join us for free; if you would like to eat, the buffet is $14.14.

RSVP on Facebook or by emailing (RSVPs requested but not required).