ACLU of Nebraska will be recognized with our 2016 Seeds of Justice Award.

Seeds of Justice Award – ACLU of Nebraska

Nebraska Appleseed is proud to recognize phenomenal advocates who have made contributions to the fight for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans at the 2016 Good Apple Awards on October 13 in Omaha. This year, we present the Seeds of Justice Award for outstanding work in the field of public interest law to ACLU of Nebraska. Buy your tickets today and see ACLU of… Read more →

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Nearly 16 percent of Nebraska families with children face hunger

This week, the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) released its national analysis of food hardship in the U.S. in a report titled “Food Hardship in America: Households with Children Especially Hard Hit.” The analysis, which used research from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being survey, contains both national and state-level data on hunger. According to the survey, 15.9 percent of Nebraska households… Read more →

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Help pass this important Child Welfare bill in Congress

Research shows the best outcomes for children come when you can keep them together with their parents in their own home. That’s not always possible, but we must make every effort to avoid removing children from their homes – and that includes helping parents during difficult times. An important new bill coming up soon in the U.S. Senate would strengthen… Read more →

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RELEASE – Census shows over 12 percent of Nebraskans in Poverty

***For Immediate Release*** September 15, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   New data: Over 12 percent of Nebraskans still live in poverty   Census shows high rates of poverty for children, minority populations   LINCOLN — The percentage of Nebraskans living in poverty was not sharply reduced in 2015… Read more →

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The Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader Award – Meet Alejandra Ayotitla Cortez

Nebraska Appleseed is thrilled to honor a truly phenomenal young Nebraska leader with this year’s Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader award at the 2016 Good Apple Awards on October 13 in Omaha. Alejandra Ayotitla Cortez has already impacted the lives of hundreds of Nebraskans through her dedication to community and building the leadership of those around her. Currently a senior at University… Read more →

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RELEASE – Census shows over 154,000 Nebraskans remain uninsured

***For Immediate Release*** September 13, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   New Census data: 154,000 Nebraskans remain without Health Insurance Expanding Medicaid would further reduce uninsured population by 64 percent   LINCOLN — The number of Nebraskans living without health insurance has declined by more than 50,000 over… Read more →

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Announcing the 2016 Good Apple Awards Honorees

We are proud to announce the honorees for our 2016 Good Apple Awards: Something Called Progress! Each of these people, communities, and organizations exemplify what it means to stand up for justice in Nebraska. Stay tuned over the coming weeks for profiles about the accomplishments of each of this year’s honorees. Tickets for this year’s event are now available for… Read more →

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What to know about big changes to Medicaid in Nebraska

Nebraska’s Medicaid program will be undergoing big changes through Heritage Health, Nebraska’s new Medicaid managed care program. “Managed care” is a term used to describe when the state contracts with private insurance companies to manage Medicaid coverage and arrange for Medicaid services. In other words, people with Medicaid will receive their Medicaid coverage through a private insurance company. Medicaid enrollees… Read more →

Former Appleseed law clerk Eric Hallstrom now is Deputy Commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget.

Roots of Appleseed – Eric Hallstrom

Throughout our 20th Anniversary year in 2016, we are taking a look back at the influential people who helped Nebraska Appleseed grow into the advocacy organization we are today. These “Roots of Appleseed” helped shape our mission of fighting for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans. Read our prior entries in the Roots of Appleseed series: Milo Mumgaard Gretchen Obrist… Read more →

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Appleseed In Action – September 2016

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – September 2016   Join us for the 2016 Good Apple Awards! Join us on Thursday, October 13, for the 2016 Good Apple Awards to honor folks who have made outstanding contributions to justice and opportunity for all in Nebraska! Livestock Exchange Building Ballroom 4920 S 30th St, Omaha, NE 6pm-8pm Click here to… Read more →

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“Diapers In Detention” calls for end of treating asylum-seeking mothers and children like criminals

People who come to the United States seeking safety from violence should not be treated as criminals. But, many people seeking asylum – including women with their young children – are being held in for-profit, jail-like facilities surrounded by walls that separate them from both safety and human dignity. On September 1, Nebraska faith and community leaders gathered in Omaha… Read more →

Eleanor Dollear, a recent Carleton College graduate from Chicago, is Appleseed's Weitz Fellow in 2016-17.

Appleseed welcomes Weitz Fellow Eleanor Dollear

Appleseed is proud to welcome Eleanor Dollear as Appleseed’s Weitz Fellow for 2016-17. Eleanor will work with our Economic Justice & Health Care Access programs. The fellowship is supported by the Weitz Family Foundation of Omaha and places recent Carleton College graduates with non-profits in Lincoln and Omaha for one-year fellowships. Eleanor is originally from Chicago and graduated from Carleton… Read more →

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TANF funding for poverty and child welfare

This month, the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program turned 20, which makes now a good time to look at how the program is working to help fight poverty for working families. TANF is the only federal program that provides cash assistance to low-income families with children, and recently, new information has been released by the Administration for… Read more →

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Mapping the Coverage Gap

Note: This is a joint blog by Brian Hanson, Senior Policy Associate at the Center For Rural Affairs, and Appleseed Health Care Staff Attorney Molly McCleery.   There was much discussion last spring in Nebraska Legislature about whether we should find a way to help people in our state who fall into the health coverage gap to finally afford health… Read more →

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Foster Care Reform Update

POLICY SPOTLIGHT New Social Security Income Policy Supports Youth Aging Out of Foster Care As advocates and attorneys working with youth aging out of the foster care system, more can often be done to support their transition by navigating public benefit programs. Many of these youth are living with disabilities that may qualify them for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI).… Read more →

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Column: Let’s fix the path out of poverty

Today’s Omaha World-Herald features a column from our Executive Director Becky Gould on the 20th anniversary of a big change Congress made to the way the U.S. fights poverty for our country’s poorest working families with children. Starting in 1996, the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) restructured one of the country’s most important public assistance programs. This anniversary, Becky writes, is… Read more →

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RELEASE – Schools encouraged to fight classroom hunger with Community Eligibility as students return

Schools encouraged to fight classroom hunger with Community Eligibility as students return Hunger advocates urge eligible schools to ensure all students are getting healthy meals As Nebraska children head back to school this month, hunger advocates urged eligible Nebraska schools to begin using a proven tool to ensure students are getting the healthy meals they need to learn and grow.… Read more →

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Extended foster care helps smooth transition to adulthood

This summer, 12 young adults who were formerly in foster care, as a part of congressional internships though Foster Youth Internship Program, released policy recommendations on how to improve the foster care system. Twenty-two year old Kristopher Wannquist made recommendations surrounding extended foster care, a program that was established in Nebraska in 2014 called Bridge to Independence (B2I). As part… Read more →

After a mid-life career change, Sue Ellen Wall was hired as Appleseed's first staff attorney.

Roots of Appleseed – Sue Ellen Wall

Throughout our 20th Anniversary year in 2016, we are taking a look back at the influential people who helped Nebraska Appleseed grow into the advocacy organization we are today. These “Roots of Appleseed” helped shape our mission of fighting for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans.   Fighting in the courts on behalf of Nebraskans with low incomes wasn’t the… Read more →

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News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – August 2016

In this July edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Fight against predatory lending Immigrants’ contributions strengthen economy Join fight for affordable health insurance Bill would prevent children from entering foster care Appleseed in the News Fight against predatory lending policies Payday lenders have a long history of making bad loans that trap Nebraskans in a cycle of debt with outrageously high… Read more →

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RELEASE – Nebraska business leaders call for new federal immigration laws

For Immediate Release August 3, 2016 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Reason for Reform Campaign Highlights New Data Showing Economic Contributions of Immigrant Nebraskans Local leaders call for common-sense immigration laws in nationwide campaign launch   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska business, faith, and community leaders came together to showcase new… Read more →

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Agency cites poultry processor for worker safety violations

Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued over 20 citations to Pilgrim’s Pride, one of the largest poultry processors in the country, for violations of health and safety standards. Notably, OSHA took an important step to address the shoddy and dangerous medical treatment of poultry workers by citing Pilgrim’s Pride for failing to provide appropriate medical care… Read more →

Volunteer Spotlight – Miriam Chapman

Note: Part of fighting for positive change in our communities means getting to work with outstanding, like-minded volunteer partners who share our goal of expanding justice and opportunity in Nebraska. Periodically, we will feature individuals and organizations with whom we have been fortunate to work to build a brighter future in our state. This is a post written by Appleseed… Read more →

Appleseed volunteer Sloan Rupp wants to work as a counselor to help combat veterans.

Volunteer Spotlight – Sloan Rupp

Note: Part of fighting for positive change in our communities means getting to work with outstanding, like-minded volunteer partners who share our goal of expanding justice and opportunity in Nebraska. Periodically, we will feature individuals and organizations with whom we have been fortunate to work to build a brighter future in our state. This is a guest post from Appleseed… Read more →

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Foster Care Reform Update – June, 2016

IN THIS ISSUE Policy Spotlight: Family First Prevention Services Act Court Opinions: In re Interest of Mitoria R. and Cortez T. Legislative Actions: 2016 Interim Studies Announcements: Appleseed Blog POLICY SPOTLIGHT The Family First Prevention Services Act After much anticipation in the child welfare community, the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2016 (HR 5456) was introduced as a bipartisan… Read more →

Members of the Psi Chi Omega chapter of AKA delivered balloons to State Senators during a Medicaid expansion advocacy day.

Volunteer Spotlight – Alpha Kappa Alpha

Note: Part of fighting for positive change in our communities means getting to work with outstanding, like-minded volunteer partners who share our goal of expanding justice and opportunity in Nebraska. Periodically, we will feature individuals and organizations with whom we have been fortunate to work to build a brighter future in our state. This is a guest post from Appleseed… Read more →

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Supreme Court deadlock endangers unity of thousands of Nebraska families

Families and advocates vow to keep fighting in face of continued limbo for DAPA program Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced a 4-4 ruling in United States v. Texas, a case regarding President Obama’s temporary administrative relief programs to keep immigrant families together. The ruling affirms the Fifth Circuit Court’s decision to uphold the preliminary injunction against the two programs… Read more →

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Report: More Nebraska children facing hunger in Summer

***For Immediate Release*** June 21, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska falls to 46th nationally in summer meals participation As number of summer food sites drop, more Nebraska children face hunger   LINCOLN — Nebraska fell in the national rankings when it comes to ensuring children from low-income… Read more →

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Harvest Public Media series details dangerous slaughterhouse conditions

This week, Harvest Public Media produced a series on the brutally dangerous working conditions faced by workers in meatpacking and poultry plants called “Dangerous Jobs, Cheap Meat.” This series does an excellent job highlighting the high rate of crippling, permanent injuries these workers are exposed to — as well as a lack of accountability for the plants who continue to… Read more →

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Appleseed In Action – June 2016 News & Events

In this June edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Thank you for your giving day generosity! Appleseed celebrates 20th Anniversary New attention to high injury rates in meat and poultry plants Fight for consumer protections in Kansas City First Lincoln Unites! festival celebrates strength of diversity Thank you for your giving day generosity! We were awed by your incredible generosity on… Read more →

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Foster Care Reform Update – May 2016

IN THIS ISSUE Policy Spotlight: Foster Care Hackathon Court Opinions: In re Interest of Sebastian D. & Lillian-Jo D., In re Interest of Abbie L. Legislative Actions: 2016 Child Welfare Legislative Bills and Interim Studies Announcements: Free CLE Webinar, Volunteers needed: Camp Catch-Up, Appleseed Blog POLICY SPOTLIGHT Foster Care Hackathon May is National Foster Care Month, a time to acknowledge… Read more →

Norm Pflanz joined Appleseed in 2008 and currently serves at the U.S. embassy in Turkey.

Roots of Appleseed – Norm Pflanz

Note: Throughout our 20th Anniversary year in 2016, we will be taking a look back at the influential people who helped Nebraska Appleseed grow into the advocacy organization we are today. These “Roots of Appleseed” helped shape our mission of fighting for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans.   Fighting for human rights has taken Norm Pflanz around the world,… Read more →

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RELEASE – Government report confirms high injury rates in meat and poultry plants

***For Immediate Release*** May 25, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 (office) (402) 840-7289 (cell) jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Government report confirms high injury rates in meat and poultry plants Workers denied treatment, are punished for seeking medical care for chronic, crippling injuries   LINCOLN – For more than a decade, medical studies and reports have proven… Read more →

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Take Action – Come with us to Kansas City to fight for consumer rights

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced they will be proposing new rules to rein in some of the worst abuses of the payday loan industry. They’ll unveil the draft rules at a public field hearing on Thursday, June 2nd in Kansas City – and we’re taking a group from Nebraska to the event! Would you like to… Read more →

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More states embracing Medicaid expansion to strengthen economy

Over the last several years, a majority of states – currently 32 and the District of Columbia – have embraced solutions to allow working people with low incomes to afford vital health insurance through Medicaid expansion. For years, Appleseed and many other partners have strongly advocated for Nebraska to do the same because Medicaid expansion is a proven solution to… Read more →

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No Relief: New Study shows Poultry Workers regularly denied Bathroom Breaks

While meatpacking and poultry workers have to deal with crippling work speeds every day that cause high rates of devastating and permanent injuries, they also suffer other abuses and indignities at work which undermine their safety and health. One of the most common issues that workers consistently point to as a serious safety risk is that employers routinely deny workers… Read more →

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First Lincoln Unites! festival celebrates strength of diversity

Lincoln did indeed unite this past weekend in a new festival celebrating the city’s vibrant mix of cultures with activities for all ages. If you missed the day’s African drumming, henna tattoos, delicious food, and moving citizenship ceremony, read on for a vicarious experience and mark your calendar to watch for the 2nd annual event next spring! The day began… Read more →

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Foster Care Reform Update – May 3, 2016

IN THIS ISSUE Policy Spotlight: 2016 Child Welfare Legislative Recap Court Opinions: In re Interest of Giavonna G. Legislative Actions: 2016 Child Welfare Legislative Bills and Interim Studies POLICY SPOTLIGHT 2016 Child Welfare Legislative Recap The second session of the 104th Nebraska Legislature adjourned sine die on April 20, 2016. During this session, several important measures related to child welfare… Read more →

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RELEASE – Nebraska Appleseed celebrates 20 years fighting for justice

***For Immediate Release*** May 2, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Celebrates 20 Years Fighting for Justice and Opportunity Anniversary Celebration honors key partners, advocates on May 4   LINCOLN — On Wednesday, May 4, Nebraska Appleseed will celebrate two decades of social justice advocacy at a… Read more →

Woods Charitable Fund will receive our Growing Good Award for supporting Nebraska's non-profit advocacy community.

Growing Good Award – Woods Charitable Fund

It would be impossible for organizations like Nebraska Appleseed to do our work and fight for positive change in our state without support from people and organizations who share our values of justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans. From our earliest days, Woods Charitable Fund has been a constant ally and partner, providing Appleseed with invaluable financial support that has… Read more →

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Over 100 Nebraska schools eligible for effective tool to feed students in 2016-17

***For Immediate Release*** April 28, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org More than 100 Nebraska Schools Eligible for Community Eligibility Provision to Fight Hunger in the Classroom   LINCOLN — Recently, the Nebraska Department of Education released information showing 104 schools in Nebraska will be eligible to serve more free… Read more →

Gretchen Obrist was one of the early leaders of Appleseed's litigation work on behalf of low-income families.

Roots of Appleseed – Gretchen Obrist

Note: Throughout our 20th Anniversary year in 2016, we will be taking a look back at the influential people who helped Nebraska Appleseed grow into the advocacy organization we are today. These “Roots of Appleseed” helped shape our mission of fighting for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans.   When Nebraska Appleseed’s earliest advocacy programs were beginning to take shape,… Read more →

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Recap of 2016 Nebraska Legislative Session

The 2016 Nebraska Legislative session ended with a flourish last week with two of Appleseed’s priority bills passing into law! It was a great end to the session. However, while there were some important policies advanced at the State Capitol, this session largely will be remembered as a session of missed opportunities to remove barriers for hard-working Nebraska families. Let’s… Read more →

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The Fosters Season Recap: Not all “foster care advocates” are bad

Warning: This blog contains spoilers about this season of The Fosters   After a long hiatus, we are back blogging about the hit Freeform show, “The Fosters.” Since we last left you, there have been many changes with our favorite T.V. foster family. On a show that deals with almost every topic you could imagine (cancer, the sex offender registry,… Read more →

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STATEMENT – Appleseed praises Legislature vote to override veto of LB 947

***For Immediate Release*** April 20, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on vote to Override veto of LB 947 Vote allows Nebraska economy, communities to benefit from hard-working young Nebraskans   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement on the Legislature’s vote… Read more →

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The Nebraska Strengthening Families Act Becomes Law

Monday, Governor Ricketts signed into law LB 746, the Nebraska Strengthening Families Act (NSFA). This is a victory for Nebraska’s child welfare system, as the SFA promotes normalcy and permanency for youth growing up in foster care. The NSFA will allow kids to be kids by removing unnecessary barriers that prevent children in foster care from participating in developmentally appropriate… Read more →

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RELEASE – Supreme Court case argued Monday impacts thousands of Nebraska families

***For Immediate Release*** April 18, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 (office) (402) 840-7289 (cell) jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Supreme Court hears Arguments in Administrative Relief Case U.S. v. Texas decision will impact safety, unity of thousands of Nebraska families   LINCOLN – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in United States v. Texas,… Read more →

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TAKE ACTION – Urge your State Senator to override veto of DREAMers professional license bill

Friday, Governor Ricketts announced he had vetoed LB 947, the bill that would ensure hard-working young immigrant Nebraskans can obtain their professional licenses and fully contribute their skills to Nebraska’s future. We are deeply disappointed in the Governor’s decision, which lets the skills and talents of thousands of hard-working, work-authorized young Nebraskans go to waste. But there’s still time for… Read more →

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Statement on Governor Ricketts veto of LB 947

***For Immediate Release*** April 15, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Governor’s veto of LB 947 Needless veto wastes skills, talent of thousands of hard-working young Nebraskans   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement on Governor Ricketts’ veto… Read more →

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Scholarships available to undocumented and DACA students

Nebraska has long benefitted from the hard work and leadership of Nebraskans from all backgrounds. Ensuring more young Nebraskans have the opportunity to further their education means our communities will be able to receive contributions from young people who grew up calling Nebraska home. There are a number of scholarship opportunities that are available to young Nebraskans regardless of their… Read more →

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New report highlights connection between foster care and homelessness

A report released this week by the federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF) found that more than half of youth who are homeless become homeless when they are kicked out of their homes by a parent or caregiver. These young people then turn to homeless shelters that are often full. Researches from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln studied… Read more →

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Appleseed Statement on Legislature passing LB 947

***For Immediate Release*** April 13, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on Legislature passing LB 947 Bill will allow Nebraska to gain much from the skills and talents in our state   Today, Nebraska Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Director Darcy Tromanhauser issued the following statement on the… Read more →

Appleseed welcomes Development Associate Emma Rasmussen

There has always been power in amplifying the individual voice of those who often go unheard, and that is what motivates Appleseed’s new Development Associate Emma Rasmussen. Emma is an Omaha native and a 2015 graduate of Creighton University, where she developed a plan to use her Theatre major for a larger purpose – using the storytelling power of the… Read more →

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STATEMENT – Appleseed applauds vote moving LB 947 to Final Reading

***For Immediate Release*** April 7, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Appleseed Statement on LB 947 Debate Advancing the bill to Final Reading puts us one step closer to fully utilizing the skills and talents in our state   Today, Nebraska Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Director Darcy Tromanhauser issued the… Read more →

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New report shows Nebraska lagging nationally in helping kids get meals at school

***For Immediate Release*** April 7, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   New report shows Nebraska lagging nationally in helping kids get meals at school Nebraska ranked nearly last in using Community Eligibility Provision   Despite a significant nationwide increase in the number of high-poverty schools helping feed students with… Read more →

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Foster Care Reform Update

IN THIS ISSUE Policy Spotlight: The Family First Act Court Opinions: In re Interest of Jackson E., In re Interest of My’Kyng K., In re Interest of Alec S. Legislative Actions: 2016 Child Welfare Legislative Bills Announcements: Appleseed Blog POLICY SPOTLIGHT The Family First Act The Family First Act is proposed federal legislation that may soon be introduced, by Senate… Read more →

Appleseed interns are a valuable part of our work for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans.

Meet Appleseed’s Spring 2016 Interns

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright and talented interns and law clerks who are passionate about fighting for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans. We’re pleased to introduce you to our Spring 2016 interns. Special thanks to intern Megan Birman for compiling these stories. Appleseed currently is looking for interns and law clerks… Read more →

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Statement on Legislature vote to bracket LB 1032

***For Immediate Release*** March 29, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on LB 1032 Debate Legislature again fails 97,000 uninsured Nebraskans who need path to affordable health coverage   Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement on the Legislature’s vote not to advance… Read more →

Milo was named the executive director of Legal Aid of Nebraska in 2015.

Roots of Appleseed – Milo Mumgaard

Note: Throughout our 20th Anniversary year in 2016, we will be taking a look back at the influential people who helped Nebraska Appleseed grow into the advocacy organization we are today. These “Roots of Appleseed” helped shape our mission of fighting for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans.   The roots of Nebraska Appleseed were first planted in an unlikely… Read more →

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RELEASE – High rate of meatpacking worker injuries lead to new enforcement efforts

***For Immediate Release*** March 21, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 (office) (402) 840-7289 (cell) jsheldon@neappleseed.org   High rate of meatpacking worker injuries lead to new OSHA education, enforcement efforts New program to focus on reducing unsafe conditions for workers   LINCOLN – Workers in meatpacking and poultry plants continue to work in some of… Read more →

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Twenty years ago today

Twenty years ago today, a group of forward-thinking Nebraskans came together to re-balance the scales of justice toward fairness for low-income families, children, and immigrant Nebraskans. They founded a new venture called Nebraska Appleseed to tackle the toughest challenges and solve big problems at their roots. Over the past 20 years, a grassroots network of amazing, committed, and generous allies… Read more →

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RELEASE: Over 87,000 Nebraskans covered through ACA Marketplace in 3rd enrollment period

***For Immediate Release*** March 15, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Over 87,000 Nebraskans newly insured through Health Insurance Marketplace 88 percent of enrollees received tax credits to reduce cost of plans   LINCOLN — Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced more than 87,000… Read more →

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2016 International Women’s Day shows event vibrant and growing in Omaha

March 8th, International Women’s Day, has long been celebrated by the global community as a day to honor women for their social, economic, cultural and political achievements. On this day, women, communities, and countries the world over enjoy the day with events that range from festivals to tea parties. Three years ago, a group of refugee women in Omaha came… Read more →

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RELEASE – Appleseed joins Supreme Court amicus brief in deferred action case

***For Immediate Release*** March 9, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed joins amicus brief in Supreme Court deferred action case More than 300 organizations urge Supreme Court to lift injunction in case of U.S. v. Texas   LINCOLN – Today, Nebraska Appleseed signed onto an amicus brief… Read more →

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Take Action – Let young Nebraskans work for their dreams

One of the best resources Nebraska has for a bright future is hard-working young people who want to follow their career dreams and practice their chosen professions right here in our state. We’re asking you to take action today to help more of these bright young Nebraskans reach their career goals and be part of the next generation of Nebraska… Read more →

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RELEASE – Settlement agreement reached in class-action food assistance lawsuit

***For Immediate Release*** March 4, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Russ Reno Public Information Officer, DHHS Office: (402) 471-8287 Russ.Reno@nebraska.gov Proposed settlement will help Nebraska families eligible for food assistance Agreement would end lawsuit regarding delays in administering SNAP   LINCOLN — An agreement recently was reached between the Nebraska… Read more →

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Foster Care Reform Update 03/01/2016

IN THIS ISSUE Policy Spotlight: H.R. 4472 – Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act Court Opinions: In re Interest of Tavian B., In re Interest of Precious H. & Blut Law La H., In re Interest of Miah T. & DeKandyce H. Legislative Actions: 2016 Child Welfare Legislative Bills Announcements: Camp Catch-Up, Appleseed Blog POLICY SPOTLIGHT… Read more →

Legislative Update – February 29, 2016

It was an exciting week at the State Capitol as one of our biggest priority bills faced a first-round vote last week. Plus, Nebraskans got their chance to tell their State Senators why they support health coverage for hard-working people. This is the final week of committee hearings before the Legislature moves to all-day floor debate next week. Advocates urge… Read more →

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Appleseed Statement on LB 1032 Fiscal Note

For Immediate Release February 24, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853, ext. 119 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Statement on Legislative Fiscal Office Fiscal Note for LB 1032   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement on the release of the latest fiscal note for LB 1032, the Transitional… Read more →

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Yet another worker survey reveals crippling conditions and abuse in poultry plants

The Northwest Arkansas Workers’ Justice Center (NWAWJC) recently released a superb report on Arkansas’ poultry industry called “Wages and Working Conditions in Arkansas Poultry Plants.” The report, which examines a large industry in Arkansas – the state ranks second in the U.S. for broiler production– comes soon after an excellent report on the poultry industry from Oxfam America. NWAWJC surveyed an… Read more →

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Nebraska ranked nearly last in School Breakfast participation

  ***For Immediate Release*** February 17, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska ranked nearly last in U.S. in School Breakfast Participation State scores 49th in helping qualified kids start the day with a healthy meal at school   LINCOLN — Nebraska ranked nearly last in the country… Read more →

State Sen. John McCollister LB 1032

Hearing for new health coverage bill draws dozens of supporters

Supporters packed a hearing room at the State Capitol on February 10 for a hearing on LB 1032, the Transitional Health Insurance Program (T-HIP) Act. The new bill, introduced by State Senator John McCollister (LD-20, Omaha), is a new, bipartisan plan to help nearly 77,000 uninsured Nebraskans afford the essential health coverage they need. It also would allow our state… Read more →

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Statement – LB 1032 creates path to affordable health coverage for 77,000 Nebraskans

***For Immediate Release*** February 10, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement supporting Transitional Health Insurance Program Act LB 1032 would create path to affordable health insurance for 77,000 uninsured Nebraskans   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement in support… Read more →

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Appleseed Statement on DHHS fiscal analysis of LB 1032

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement on the Department of Health and Human Services’ fiscal analysis of LB 1032, the Transitional Health Insurance Program Act. “We have seen these kinds of 11th-hour, taxpayer commissioned reports before from the Department. At the end of the day, what matters is what the Legislative Fiscal Office projects, and that analysis… Read more →

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News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – February 2016

In this February edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Support new Transitional Health Insurance plan 2016 Legislative Priorities Nebraskans call on end to Deportation raids Introducing new Appleseed team members Our response to 2016 State of the State Address Job Announcement – Development Associate Support new Transitional Health Insurance plan The biggest issue of the 2016 Nebraska Legislature session will be… Read more →

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Legislative Update – February 1, 2016

Things are starting to pick up at the State Capitol with several bills that Appleseed is following having hearings this week.   Take Action to fight unfair banking practices All Nebraska families should have access to credit, but Nebraska law currently lets payday lenders charge some of the highest interest rates in the nation. LB 1036 (Sen. Kathy Campbell) would… Read more →

Foster Care Reform Update – January 2016

IN THIS ISSUE   Policy Spotlight: 104th Legislative Session Court Opinions: In re Interest of Dante S. Legislative Actions: 2016 Child Welfare Legislative Bills Announcements: Introduced Legislation Chart, Appleseed Blog POLICY SPOTLIGHT The 2nd session of the 104th Nebraska Legislature began on January 6, 2015. Here are a few of the bills that Nebraska Appleseed will be monitoring closely this… Read more →

Appleseed staff attorney Molly McCleery was chosen as a Fellow by the New Leaders Council - Omaha

McCleery chosen as New Leaders Council-Omaha Fellow

Appleseed is excited to announce our health care staff attorney Molly McCleery has been chosen as one of 20 members in the 2016 class of Fellows by New Leaders Council-Omaha! New Leaders Council (NLC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that is the premier leadership and professional development, training, mentoring, networking, and career and political advancement program for young professionals. Fellows… Read more →

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The 101: About the Transitional Health Insurance Program

On January 19, State Senator John McCollister of Omaha introduced LB 1032, the Transitional Health Insurance Program Act. LB 1032 creates the Transitional Health Insurance Program (or “T-HIP”), which would provide health coverage for the 77,000 Nebraskans in the coverage gap. Those people who are eligible to covered by T-HIP include single adults and parents who are ineligible for Medicaid… Read more →

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Meet three new members of Appleseed family

Recently, Appleseed added three new members to our staff. We wanted to introduce you to these hard-working advocates who are helping our fight for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans.   Elizabeth Hutchison – Executive Assistant In December, Elizabeth Hutchison joined Appleseed as our executive assistant. She previously worked in communications for Union Pacific. A Lincoln native, Elizabeth said she’s… Read more →

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LB 746: The Nebraska Strengthening Families Act

On January 21, the Health and Human Services Committee of the Nebraska Legislature held a hearing on LB 746, the Nebraska Strengthening Families Act (NSFA), a bill that allows “kids to be kids” by removing unnecessary barriers that prevent children in foster care from participating in developmentally appropriate activities like sports, sleepovers, and  extracurricular activities. All testifiers were in support… Read more →

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RELEASE – Nebraska Strengthening Families Act would remove barriers for foster youth

***For Immediate Release*** January 21, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Strengthening Families Act, LB 746, set for Thursday hearing Bill will better allow “kids to be kids” by removing barriers to important developmental activities   LINCOLN — Child welfare advocates, young people with experience in foster care… Read more →

Legislative Update – New bill a healthy solution for uninsured Nebraskans

Press conference draws supporters of new Transitional Health Insurance Program Tuesday, a new effort to create a path to affordable health insurance for hard-working uninsured Nebraskans was officially unveiled when State Sen. John McCollister introduced LB 1032, the “Transitional Health Insurance Program Act.” This bill would allow nearly 77,000 Nebraskans who currently cannot afford insurance to get vital health coverage.… Read more →

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Statement on LB 1032, the Transitional Health Insurance Program Act

***For Immediate Release*** January 19, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Nebraska Appleseed Statement in Support of Transitional Health Insurance Program   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement on LB 1032, the Transitional Health Insurance Program Act, introduced today by State Senator John McCollister.… Read more →

Nebraskans celebrate introduction of new Transitional Health Insurance Program

Plan would return Nebraska tax dollars to the state for private health coverage for 77,000 uninsured Nebraskans Today, a bipartisan group of State Senators unveiled a new health coverage bill that would create a pathway to affordable health coverage desperately needed by 77,000 uninsured Nebraskans who currently cannot afford insurance. The plan, called the “Transitional Health Insurance Program,” or T-HIP,… Read more →

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Appleseed Statement on 2016 State of the State Address

***For Immediate Release*** January 14, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Nebraska Appleseed issues response to 2016 State of the State Address   Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement in response to the Governor’s State of the State Address.   “In his State of the… Read more →

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RELEASE – Nebraskans Call on President Obama to End Deportation Raids

***For Immediate Release*** January 13, 2016   Contact: Charles Shane Ellison, Justice for Our Neighbors – Nebraska (402) 898-1349 charles@jfon-ne.org   Jeff Sheldon, Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 (office) (402) 840-7289 (cell) jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraskans Call on President Obama to End Deportation Raids Groups condemn raids on vulnerable Central American families   As President Obama visits Nebraska today, Nebraska… Read more →

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News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – January 2016

In this edition of “Appleseed in Action”: 2016 Legislative session will tackle big issues Press conference on health coverage for all Nebraskans New report calls for increase in education in prisons Appleseed urges investigation of for-profit colleges “2016 in 2016” health coverage campaign 2016 Nebraska Legislative session to tackle big issues The 2016 Nebraska Legislative session began on Wednesday, January… Read more →

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Legislative Update – The 2016 session has begun!

On Wednesday, January 6, the 2016 Nebraska Legislature began their 60-day session. Over the next few months, State Senators will consider many bills that will affect justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans including health coverage for the uninsured, improving the child welfare system, and increasing economic opportunity for hard-working families. Each week, we will let you know about movement on… Read more →

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Weatherization assistance program keeps low-income families warm this winter

For most Nebraskans, winter weather is an accustomed inconvenience.  But for Nebraskans with low incomes, cold temperatures can be financially devastating and physically hazardous. In 2006, Appleseed supported the creation of the “Cold Weather Rule” in Nebraska.  According to this rule, low-income Nebraskans cannot have their natural gas shut off between November 1 and March 31 of any given year,… Read more →

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Statement on introduction of Nebraska Strengthening Families Act

For Immediate Release                           January 6, 2016 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 (office) (402) 840-7289 (cell) jsheldon@neappleseed.org Appleseed Statement on LB 746, the Nebraska Strengthening Families Act New bill will implement a federal law that clears barriers for foster youth to have important developmental experiences   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Child Welfare Director Sarah Helvey… Read more →

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New report calls for study of Nebraska’s for-profit Colleges

For Immediate Release                           December 28, 2015   Contact, James Goddard Economic Justice Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 570-9462 (cell) jgoddard@neappleseed.org   New report calls for study of Nebraska’s for-profit colleges High student debt, default rates, and limited performance measures warrant Legislative inquiry   LINCOLN — A new report released today by Nebraska Appleseed reveals concerning outcomes for Nebraska’s for-profit colleges… Read more →

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Recent Education Reforms Protect Youth in Foster Care  

December has been a big month in the federal government for education policy reform to help support young people with foster care experience as well as other at-risk youth. The passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the introduction of the Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act will bring positive changes and protections… Read more →

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Foster Care Reform Update – December 22, 2015

IN THIS ISSUE Policy Spotlight: Recent Education Reforms Protect Foster Youth Court Opinions: In re Interest of Gavin S. and Jordan S., In re Interest of Grace H. Legislative Actions: 2015 Child Welfare Interim Studies Announcements: Appleseed Blog POLICY SPOTLIGHT Recent Education Reforms Protect Foster Youth This month, President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (S.1177),… Read more →

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Education under ADC is a proven success

Education is the clearest pathway out of poverty. And in Nebraska, we have emphasized the importance of education in our Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) program. ADC is Nebraska’s cash assistance program for low-income families with children. Most people who participate in the ADC program must engage in a work activity every week. Under Nebraska’s ADC program, participants can choose… Read more →

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Investing in Adult Education essential for future economy

The jobs of the future will require Nebraska’s workforce to have training and education beyond the high school level. By 2018, 64 percent of the available jobs in Nebraska will require a post-secondary education. Yet, nearly 10 percent of all Nebraskans ages 18 to 64 lack a high school degree or an equivalent and almost 25 percent of Nebraskans age… Read more →

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Appleseed joins Supreme Court brief on deferred action

Earlier this week, Nebraska Appleseed joined a coalition of 224 immigration, civil rights, labor, and social service groups to file an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court. The brief urged the Court to review Texas v. United States, a case that has temporarily blocked implementation of the President’s administrative relief programs for those who qualify for expanded Deferred… Read more →

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News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – December 2015

In this December edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Nebraskans urge leaders to welcome Syrian refugees Join the Insure the Good Life campaign Tell large chicken companies workers deserve to be safe DAPA/DACA court decision continues to harm Nebraska families Double your donation to Appleseed Nebraskans urge leaders to welcome Syrian refugees In recent weeks, a national conversation was sparked around… Read more →

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RELEASE – New report recommends increasing access to education programs in Nebraska prisons

For Immediate Release                           December 2, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 (office) (402) 840-7289 (cell) jsheldon@neappleseed.org   New report recommends increasing access to education programs in Nebraska prisons Increased access to education will reduce recidivism, lead to new job opportunities after incarceration   LINCOLN — Education is essential not just for the individual who… Read more →

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Foster Care Reform Update – November 30, 2015

IN THIS ISSUE Policy Spotlight: Memorial March to Honor Lost Children Court Opinions: In re Interest of Mya C. Legislative Actions: 2015 Child Welfare Interim Studies Announcements: Ethics CLE, Appleseed Blog POLICY SPOTLIGHT Memorial March to Honor Lost Children Last Wednesday, advocates for Native American children led the 13th annual Memorial March to Honor Our Lost Children in Sioux City.… Read more →

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A week of overwhelming support for Syrian refugees in Nebraska

In recent weeks, a national conversation was sparked around refugees from Syria. Nebraska has long been a safe and welcoming home for those escaping violence throughout the world, and on November 17, Nebraska Appleseed issued a statement urging our elected leaders to welcome refugees in keeping with our state’s values of compassion and humanity. In the week before the Thanksgiving… Read more →

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RELEASE – Faith and community organizations’ letter to Gov. Ricketts urges compassion for refugees

***For Immediate Release***                           November 24, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 (office) (402) 840-7289 (cell) jsheldon@neappleseed.org Faith and community organizations send letter to Gov. Ricketts urging compassion for Refugees Letter asks Governor to rescind request not to settle Syrian refugees in Nebraska   LINCOLN – Today, a group of 31 Nebraska community and faith… Read more →

RELEASE – Nearing Thanksgiving, poultry workers, advocates demand safer work conditions

For Immediate Release November 19, 2015   Contact: Jeff Sheldon Communications Director Nebraska Appleseed Office: 402-438-8853 Mobile: 402-840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Thanksgiving places the Human Cost of our food Front and Center Poultry and meat workers call for safe working conditions, fair wages, and increased worker voice   As millions of Americans sit down for their Thanksgiving meal next week, most don’t think about… Read more →

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Tell large chicken companies that workers deserve safe conditions, fair pay

Oxfam America has recently released an expansive and troubling report on America’s poultry industry entitled “Lives on the Line: The Human Cost of Cheap Chicken”. (you can also read a pdf version of the report here) The report’s immersive website contains many eye-opening and informative web graphics and videos. The excellent report documents many personal stories from workers, unpacks the… Read more →

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TAKE ACTION – Tell Congress & Governor Ricketts to welcome Syrian refugees!

As people across the United States are volunteering to welcome Syrian refugees in their communities, a number of Governors recently announced that they want to stop their states from resettling Syrian refugees. Some Members of Congress have even introduced legislation that would stop refugee resettlement altogether. It is critical that public officials hear from their constituents NOW as decisions are… Read more →

A foster equality ribbon created by the Human Rights Campaign.

Normalcy for LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care

This post is from Appleseed Child Welfare intern Skyler May.   In the past few months, Nebraska Appleseed has written extensively about the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (or “SFA”) and the recently released report, “Letting Kids Be Kids: Nebraska’s Implementation of the Strengthening Families Act” which includes implementation recommendations from more than 300 stakeholders and young people.… Read more →

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Appleseed Statement on re-settlement of Syrian refugees

***For Immediate Release*** November 17, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 (office) (402) 840-7289 (cell) jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on Re-Settlement of Syrian Refugees Nebraska must live up to values of humanity, State has role to play in refugee crisis   LINCOLN — Tuesday, Nebraska Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Director Darcy Tromanhauser released the following… Read more →

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Shocking safety violations in pork plant show dangers of brutally fast line speeds

Yesterday, video evidence surfaced of shocking safety violations at a pork plant in Minnesota that supplies Hormel, the nation’s largest pork company that also operates a large plant in Fremont, Nebraska. The conditions exposed by the advocacy group Compassion Over Killing constitute extreme dangers to food and workers’ safety as well as grotesque cases of animal cruelty. You can view… Read more →

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RELEASE – Court decision continues to harm Nebraska families and communities

***For Immediate Release*** November 10, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Circuit Court of Appeals decision continues to harm Nebraska families and communities Court ruling out-of-step with past legal precedents. Supreme Court appeal expected.   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Director Darcy Tromanhauser issued the following… Read more →

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News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – November 2015

In this November edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Join the Insure The Good Life campaign Child welfare advocates urge “Let all kids be kids” New report exposes poultry worker abuses Join us November 10 for Happy Hour in Lincoln Good Apple Awards honors outstanding advocates Support health coverage for all Nebraskans. Join the “Insure The Good Life” campaign! Right now,… Read more →

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Foster Care Reform Update – October 30, 2015

IN THIS ISSUE Policy Spotlight: Letting Kids Be Kids: The Implementation of the Strengthening Families Act in Nebraska Court Opinions: In re Interest of Joseph S. et al., In Re Interest of Enyce J. Legislative Actions: 2015 Child Interim Studies Announcements: Through the Eyes of the Child Initiative Lecture Series 2015, Appleseed Blog POLICY SPOTLIGHT Letting Kids Be Kids: The Implementation… Read more →

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Letting Kids Be Kids: The Implementation of the Strengthening Families Act in Nebraska

Important work is underway in Nebraska and nationally to improve “normalcy” for children and youth in foster care. In September 2014, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (also known as the Strengthening Families Act or SFA). Last week, a group of Nebraska child welfare stakeholders released a report with recommendations on how… Read more →

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RELEASE – New report exposes widespread worker abuse in poultry plants

***For Immediate Release*** October 27, 2015 Contact: Kria Sakakeeny, Oxfam America 617-517-9428 (office) 401-359-2219 (cell) ksakakeeny@oxfamamerica.org   Darcy Tromanhauser Immigrants & Communities Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 (office) (402) 803-0382 (cell) dtromanhauser@neappleseed.org   New Campaign Exposes the Human Cost of the Chicken on Our Plates   Oxfam America highlights worker abuses and calls on top companies to publicly commit to… Read more →

Jennifer Rodriguez, executive director of the Youth Law Center.

RELEASE – Child welfare stakeholder group releases report on improving Normalcy for youth in Foster Care

***For Immediate Release*** October 22, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org Child welfare group releases new report on Normalcy for foster youth Stakeholders release report in conjunction with interim study on implementing Strengthening Families Act   LINCOLN — Thursday, a group of Nebraska child welfare stakeholders released a new… Read more →

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Every Nebraska vote matters

Note: This is a guest post from Appleseed intern Lee Kreimer.   As a 22-year-old college student, I can’t tell you how many times I have been informed of my naivety and my wishful thinking about the importance of voting. “It does nothing.” “My vote won’t matter anyway.” Or, my favorite response: “Why should I give my opinion about politics? The… Read more →

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The Affordable Care Act has been a game-changer for women’s health

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has had an enormously positive impact on reducing the number of uninsured Americans. Nearly 9 million people got health coverage in the first year of the ACA’s Health Insurance Marketplace. This is the biggest drop in uninsurance in the U.S. since before 2008, and some experts even say that we haven’t seen this big of… Read more →

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News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – October 2015

In this October edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Nebraskans celebrate National Welcoming Week More than 220,000 Nebraskans in poverty in 2014 Reserve your tickets to the Good Apple Awards Appleseed welcomes new staff Join the Insure The Good Life campaign Appleseed discusses foster care on KZUM Nebraskans celebrates National Welcoming Week Nebraskans across the state celebrated building strong and inclusive… Read more →

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RELEASE – Nebraska Communities Honored at White House Welcoming Summit

***For Immediate Release*** October 7, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Communities Honored at National Welcoming Summit White House recognizes Nebraska towns for efforts to build more welcoming, inclusive, communities   WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Nebraska communities were among a group of cities and towns from across the… Read more →

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Nebraskans celebrate Welcoming Week 2015

Welcoming Week 2015 was the biggest ever, marking a significant moment for the Welcoming movement from September 12-20. People across the United States joined in by participating in Welcoming Week, a national movement  that aims to celebrate and honor the contributions that immigrants make to our local communities every day. This fourth annual event that included more than 245 events… Read more →

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Study shows immigrants today integrating as quickly as previous generations

Tuesday’s Omaha World-Herald carried an important story as the topic of immigration continues to be part of the national debate — both about U.S. actions to accept refugees seeking safety as well as Congress’ continued inaction to modernize our out-of-date immigration system. The story highlighted a new national study that confirms the enormous contributions immigrants make to Nebraska and the… Read more →

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RELEASE – Census shows over 12 percent of Nebraskans in Poverty in 2014

***For Immediate Release*** September 17, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   New data: Over 227,000 Nebraskans lived in Poverty in 2014 Census shows poverty has not sharply fallen despite nation’s lowest unemployment rate   LINCOLN — The percentage of Nebraskans living in poverty was slightly reduced in 2014 versus… Read more →

Kait Madsen

Meet Kait Madsen – Appleseed’s new Field Organizer

When Kait Madsen was looking for ways to get involved on her college campus during her first year at Loyola University in Chicago, she knew she wanted to help others find solutions to problems in their communities. “I’ve always been interested in human rights and making a difference,” she said. That interest sparked a passion for organizing, and led Kait… Read more →

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Appleseed welcomes new Weitz fellow Tori Ostenso

Appleseed is very pleased to welcome Tori Ostenso as Appleseed’s Weitz Fellow working with our Economic Justice & Health Care Access programs. The fellowship is supported by the Weitz Family Foundation of Omaha and places recent Carleton College graduates with non-profits in Lincoln and Omaha for one-year fellowships. At Appleseed, Tori will be doing important work to fight poverty, increase… Read more →

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Core Issues: Medicaid Works for a Healthy Workforce and a Stronger Economy

Public policy plays a big role in the lives of thousands of Nebraskans every day. At Nebraska Appleseed, we extensively research policy solutions to some of our state’s most-pressing issues like poverty, health care access, child welfare, and immigration. Armed with data and evidence-based findings, we strive to put forward achievable solutions on the Core Issues that affect Nebraskans across the state.… Read more →

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News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – September 2015

In this September edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Tell Congress to fight child hunger Many Nebraska families report facing food hardship Newspaper series highlights need to expand Medicaid Local leaders attend grassroots leadership workshop Tickets now available for the 2015 Good Apple Awards Meet our 2015 Summer Law Clerks and Interns Tell Congress to reauthorize funding for child nutrition programs… Read more →

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Foster Care Reform Update – August 2015

In This Issue Policy Spotlight: Implementing the Strengthening Families Act in Nebraska Court Opinions: No cases this issue Legislative Actions: 2015 Child Welfare Interim Studies Announcements: Good Apple Awards, Appleseed Blog Policy Spotlight Implementing the Strengthening Families Act in Nebraska This month, a group of Nebraska stakeholders including youth, foster parents, and other advocates convened to develop recommendations regarding Nebraska’s… Read more →

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New Aid to Dependent Children changes go into effect today

This June, the Nebraska Legislature increased the payment rate for Nebraska’s Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) program for the first time in nearly 30 years by passing LB 607. ADC is the state’s welfare-to-work program that includes cash assistance and employment activities for low-income families with children. This increased payment rate goes into effect today, and Appleseed has created this… Read more →

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Educators see big benefits with Community Eligibility

The new Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) allows eligible schools in districts with a high percentage of low-income families to receive funding to pay for free, healthy meals for all students regardless of the income of the students’ families. Appleseed recently spoke with two principals of Omaha elementary schools about their success with CEP — Stephanie Black, Principal at Martin Luther… Read more →

Appleseed intern Chuck Smart (shown here after finishing a Color Run) is a UNL law student from Twin Falls, Idaho.

2015 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Chuck Smart

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Immigrants & Communities intern Chuck Smart is putting his talents and passion to work at Nebraska Appleseed. Though Chuck is in his… Read more →

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2015 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Gloria Kimbulu

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Appleseed intern Gloria Kimbulu is passionate about immigration law because, well, she is an immigrant herself. Gloria’s parents are from the Democratic… Read more →

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PRESS RELEASE – Nearly 12 percent of Nebraska families facing food hardship

***For Immediate Release*** August 21, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Number of Nebraska families facing food hardship remains steady in 2015 Hunger data shows slight improvement, but too many Nebraskans still struggle to eat LINCOLN — New data released Thursday from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)… Read more →

Melissa Bumanglag is a Creighton University graduate getting ready to begin law school at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis.

2015 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Melissa Bumanglag

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Immigrants & Communities intern Melissa Bumanglag traded in gorgeous beaches of Hawaii for the not-so-beautiful Nebraska winters. Hailing from beautiful Mililani, Hawaii… Read more →

Dolores de la Torre is the owner of "Around the World Cookies." You can find Delores's treats at local farmers' markets.

Cookies with a purpose

Note: This is a guest post from Immigrants & Communities intern Lee Kreimer. I must admit, I’ve always been a sucker for baked goods. Still, there’s something special about the banana bread filled with chocolate chips baked by Delores de la Torre. After sitting in her kitchen for an hour and hearing her story, I know why it tastes so… Read more →

Appleseed intern Olivia Rask is a student at Lincoln High School.

2015 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Olivia Rask

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Immigrants & Communities, Administration, and Jane-of-all-trades intern Olivia Rask is starting off her fight for justice early and in a forceful way.… Read more →

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Medicaid costs are growing slower than private health coverage

Medicaid is a critical program in Nebraska, providing access to health care for many people – mostly children, older adults, and people with disabilities. Despite the important role that it plays in our state, some claim that Medicaid spending is growing at unsustainable rates. However, recent data shows that Medicaid costs have been well contained in Nebraska. According to the… Read more →

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Scottsbluff newspaper series highlights need to expand Medicaid

If you’ve followed us on social media this week, you’ve seen us share an impressively researched three-part series from the Scottsbluff Star-Herald on the damaging effects of leaving nearly 77,000 Nebraskans uninsured because Nebraska has not yet expanded Medicaid. Star-Herald reporter Irene North spent six weeks compiling data, interviewing local health officials, and talking to people in Nebraska’s panhandle about… Read more →

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News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – August 2015

In this August edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Celebrating Medicaid’s 50th birthday Improving access to children’s behavioral health treatment New Americans share their stories at World Refugee Day Introducing 2015 Good Apple Awards honorees Appleseed is hiring Fall interns Meet our 2015 Summer Law Clerks and Interns Celebrating Medicaid on its 50th Birthday One of the cornerstones of our American… Read more →

Appleseed intern Anna Grossman is a University of Nebraska-Lincoln student with a passion for health.

2015 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Anna Grossman

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Management and Operations intern Anna Grossman is a fan of healthy people and social justice. Calling Omaha her hometown, she attended the… Read more →

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Meet our 2015 Good Apple Awards honorees

Save the date for Nebraska Appleseed’s Good Apple Awards on Thursday, October 22, 2015! Join Appleseed for our annual fundraiser reception in Omaha at the Livestock Exchange Building Ballroom (4920 S. 30th St.) to honor outstanding individuals who stand up for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans We’re proud to introduce this year’s honorees: Frank LaMere Jim Wolf Equal Justice… Read more →

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Medicaid at 50: A day worth celebrating

One of the cornerstones of our American health care system reached a big milestone today when we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Medicaid program. For half a century, Medicaid has improved the lives of millions of Nebraskans by providing essential health coverage to people who need it the most, while also supporting Nebraska’s hospitals and clinics and being a… Read more →

John Beutler is a Creighton law student from Omaha and a law clerk in Appleseed's Economic Justice program.

2015 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet John Beutler

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Economic Justice law clerk John Beutler is a critical advocate for justice, both on and off the sand volleyball court. Born and… Read more →

Law clerk David Pontier is a University of Nebraska College of Law student from Omaha.

2015 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet David Pontier

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Most people decide right after their undergraduate career if they want to pursue a law degree, but for Appleseed’s Immigrants & Communities… Read more →

Appleseed Intern Olivia Rask (left) speaks with two recent refugees to Omaha at World Refugee Day.

World Refugee Day opens eyes to refugee stories

Meeting neighbors, finding shared values, and learning about the richness of the combined cultures of all of the people who are proud to call Nebraska home is exciting and can help us to overcome what often divides us. Here, Olivia Rask, an Appleseed intern, shares her experience at the recent World Refugee Day Celebration in Omaha. There are many opportunities… Read more →

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Foster Care Reform Update 07/27/2015

In This Issue Policy Spotlight: Court victory allows children access to vital behavioral health treatments Court Opinions: In re Interest of Trenton W. et al., In re Interest of Jassenia H., In re Interest of Jahon S., In re Interest Estrellita L., In re Interest Lindsey W. & Victoria W. Legislative Actions: 2015 Child Welfare Interim Studies Announcements: Appleseed Blog… Read more →

Cassandra Ndahiro joined Appleseed as an executive assistant.

Appleseed excited to welcome executive assistant Cassandra Ndahiro

One of the newest members of the Nebraska Appleseed family brings our group a wealth of different life experiences from a truly unique background. We’re very pleased to introduce you to our Executive Assistant Cassandra Ndahiro. Cassandra moved to the U.S. after growing up in both Africa and Europe. She calls Kigali, Rwanda, and Kerava, Finland, her hometowns and made… Read more →

Immigrants & Communities intern Ashley Kunz is a Lincoln native and a student at Doane College.

2015 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Ashley Kunz

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Immigrants & Communities intern Ashley Kunz has begun the long trek to law school, and hopes that Nebraska Appleseed will be a… Read more →

Appleseed intern Lee Kreimer.

2015 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Lee Kreimer

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Immigrants & Communities intern Lee Kreimer may be a Lincoln native, but her journey to Nebraska Appleseed wasn’t just a drive across… Read more →

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2015 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Federico Vicente

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Immigrants and Communities intern Federico Vicente is using his well-traveled experience with different cultures to pursue law. Federico could easily call himself… Read more →

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Normalcy for Youth in Foster Care

For many, when we think of our childhood, we are fortunate to be filled with memories of spending time at camp, going on field trips, participating in sports, and having sleepovers with best friends. But for many youth in foster care, their childhood and adolescent years are filled with upheaval, challenges, and even trauma. Adding to the stigma that children… Read more →

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Celebrating team effort in big children’s health victory

On June 30, a great legal victory for Nebraska children’s health was won when a Lancaster County District Court handed down a ruling in the case of K.D./S.L. v. Winterer. The Court ruled children who are in the Medicaid program should have access to certain medically necessary behavioral and mental health treatments – treatments their doctors have prescribed and that… Read more →

Appleseed law clerk Nelly Greenberg grew up in Denver and works in our Health Care program.

2015 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Nelly Greenberg

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Law Clerk Nelly Greenberg is taking her life experiences and her passion for helping people to Nebraska Appleseed’s Health Care program. “As… Read more →

Appleseed Intern Olivia Rask (left) speaks with two recent refugees to Omaha at World Refugee Day.

New Americans share their stories at World Refugee Day 2015

Note: This is a guest post from Appleseed intern Lee Kreimer. I could list many things that I love about Nebraska. The beautiful countryside, the bike paths, and the friendly neighbors are just a few. After attending Omaha Benson High School’s World Refugee Day Celebration last week, it reaffirmed another thing that I love about my state: diversity. Many may not… Read more →

Appleseed intern Taryn Zastrow is a senior Psychology major at UNL, originally from Norfolk, Neb.

2015 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Taryn Zastrow

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences.   Immigrants & Communities Intern Taryn Zastrow is taking her longtime passion for social justice and combining it with her newfound love… Read more →

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Overflow crowd talks fighting Human Trafficking in Nebraska

Note: This is a guest post from Appleseed Communications Intern Grady Wiedeman.   It was standing-room only at Omaha’s Urban Abbey on June 30, as a crowd of more than 120 people gathered to discuss ways to recognize and fight human trafficking in Nebraska. Nebraska Appleseed partnered with the Women’s Fund of Omaha to provide a community discussion about human… Read more →

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News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – July 2015

In this July edition of “Appleseed in Action”:   Supreme Court upholds health coverage in King v. Burwell Legal victory to protect children’s rights to behavioral health treatments Tell Congress to support Child Nutrition bills Save the date for the 2015 Good Apple Awards Capitol Rally to Close the Coverage Gap Urban Abbey Events Meet our 2015 Clerks and Interns… Read more →

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RELEASE – Court victory allows Children access to Vital Behavioral Health Treatments

***For Immediate Release*** July 1, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Court victory allows Children access to Vital Behavioral Health Treatments Lancaster County District Court sides with Appleseed in important decision   LINCOLN — Yesterday, Lancaster County District Court Judge John Colborn issued an order protecting the rights of Nebraska… Read more →

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When a lifetime of hard work isn’t enough for health coverage

Nebraskans pride themselves on their hard work and the state’s lowest-in-the-nation unemployment rate. Farmers, ranchers, small business owners, and service workers are the foundation of our state’s success and thriving economy. Unfortunately, many of these fundamental jobs don’t provide health insurance, leaving workers without access to care. Marcia McIlheran of Hastings is one of the 77,000 Nebraskans who, despite working… Read more →

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Changes to the Bridge to Independence Act – What do they mean for you?

During the last Nebraska Legislative session, a bill focused on family finding for youth in foster care also made important changes to the Bridge to Independence (B2I) Act. B2I extends services and support to young adults who were formerly in foster care by providing health care and a monthly stipend for the young adults. B2I is currently helping 116 young… Read more →

Kevin Dunn, a U.S. Army veteran from Axtell, Neb., is an intern in Appleseed's child welfare program.

2015 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Kevin Dunn

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences.   Kevin Dunn, an intern in Nebraska Appleseed’s Child Welfare program, has come to Appleseed after a long journey. Starting in beautiful… Read more →

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STATEMENT – Supreme Court ruling ensures health coverage for 57,000 Nebraskans

***For Immediate Release*** June 25, 2015   Contact, James Goddard Health Care Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 jgoddard@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on King v. Burwell Ruling Supreme Court decision upholds access to vital health coverage for Nebraskans   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Health Care Director James Goddard issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on… Read more →

Foster Care Reform Update – June 2015

In This Issue Policy Spotlight: 2015 Child Welfare Legislative Recap Court Opinions: In re Interest of Monty S. and Teresa S. v. Jason W. and Rebecca W., In re Interest of Zanaya W., In re Interest of Nery V. Legislative Actions: 2015 Child Welfare Bills Announcements: Appleseed at Urban Abbey, Appleseed Blog Policy Spotlight 2015 Child Welfare Legislative Recap The first… Read more →

Samantha Swinarski is a law clerk in Appleseed's child welfare program. This is a selfie she took on a train.

2015 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Samantha Swiniarski

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Child Welfare law clerk Samantha Swiniarski is using her previous experience as a child welfare social worker and her passion for Nebraska… Read more →

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RELEASE: Supreme Court ruling will affect health coverage for 57,000 Nebraskans

***For Immediate Release*** June 18, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Health coverage of 57,000 Nebraskans hinges on Supreme Court ruling Adverse Court decision could strip health coverage from Nebraskans statewide   LINCOLN — A new report released today by Families USA shows the U.S. Supreme Court decision in King… Read more →

Appleseed intern Grace Kraus, originally from Denton, Neb., is studying Spanish and International Business at UNL.

2015 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Grace Kraus

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences.   Immigrants & Communities intern Grace Kraus has seen firsthand the positive change Nebraska Appleseed fights for in Nebraska, and it led… Read more →

Grady Wiedeman is Appleseed's communications intern from Norfolk.

2015 Appleseed Interns and Law clerks – Meet Grady Wiedeman

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences.   Appleseed communications intern Grady Wiedeman is utilizing the skills that he learned competing in speech and debate in real world situations.… Read more →

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RELEASE: Capitol rally calls on Legislature to focus on closing coverage gap

***For Immediate Release*** June 6, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Capitol Rally calls for Legislature to close the Coverage Gap Nearly 77,000 uninsured Nebraskans can’t wait for solution   LINCOLN — Saturday, a crowd of approximately 100 supporters gathered outside the State Capitol to call for Nebraska’s State… Read more →

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Working together to protect Native children and families

Foster care can provide challenges to many families involved, but Native children and their families experience additional challenges when trying to maintain ties to their tribes and culture.   In 1978, Congress enacted the Indian Child Welfare Act after recognizing the disproportionate number of Native children who were being removed from their homes and placed in foster care. The federal… Read more →

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Statewide wave of support carries DREAMers driver’s licenses bill to passage

You Did It! On May 28, the Nebraska Legislature voted 34-10 to pass LB 623 and override the Governor’s veto. Passing this bill makes Nebraska the final state to allow young “DREAMers” – immigrants who grew up in Nebraska after being brought to this country as children – to apply for driver’s licenses. Watch video of final vote But, the bill… Read more →

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News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – June 2015

In this June edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Recap of a tremendous 2015 Legislative session Capitol Rally to Close the Coverage Gap We’re Hiring! Field Organizer Court decision delays implementation of immigration relief programs Six Omaha schools receive Hunger Free Schools Awards During Foster Care Month, youth urged to Get Covered! Support Appleseed in June with coffee from Urban Abbey… Read more →

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RELEASE – Nebraska kids struggle getting needed food in summer

***For Immediate Release*** June 1, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska participation in Summer Food Program slightly increased in 2014 National study shows state has more work to do feeding kids in summer months   LINCOLN — Participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) slightly improved in Nebraska… Read more →

Getting coffee and Urban Abbey in June supports Appleseed's fight for justice and opportunity for all.

A cup of coffee from Urban Abbey in June helps our fight for justice and opportunity for all

It’s not every day that your cup of coffee can support justice for all, but it can during the month of June! Appleseed is excited to renew our community partnership throughout the month of June with our friends at the Urban Abbey, a non-profit coffee shop, bookstore, and faith community in Omaha’s Old Market (1026 Jackson St). Stop in and… Read more →

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2015 Nebraska Legislature Wrap-Up

The Nebraska Legislature closed their 2015 session last week, and what a remarkable session it was. Many of Appleseed’s priority bills became law, yet important work remains to address several issues next year. Here’s a look back at the 2015 session.   DREAMers driver’s license bill passes on veto override vote LB 623 – This bill, which makes Nebraska the… Read more →

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Take Action – Thank the Legislature for voting to give DREAMers driver’s licenses

Congratulations! You helped make history! On May 28, the Nebraska Legislature voted to override the Governor’s veto of LB 623! With an overwhelming vote of 34-10, the Legislature stood strong and reaffirmed their commitment to these talented, hard-working young Nebraskans. It’s time to say “thank you” to those who supported DREAMers and recognized their contributions to Nebraska. Please contact these… Read more →

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STATEMENT – Veto override vote the right choice for Nebraska

***For Immediate Release*** May 28, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on Legislature’s override of Governor’s veto of DREAMers driver’s license bill Vote shows overwhelming support to let talented young Nebraskans contribute to their communities   LINCOLN — Thursday, Nebraska Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Director Darcy Tromanhauser issued… Read more →

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Take Action – Tell Legislature to override veto of DREAMers driver’s license bill

We need you to stand up TONIGHT for young immigrant Nebraskans! Wednesday night, the Governor vetoed LB 623 — the bill that would allow young immigrant Nebraskans known as “DREAMers” to apply for driver’s licenses — despite the bill being passed with overwhelming 34-9 support by the Legislature last week. TAKE ACTION We need you to contact your State Senator… Read more →

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STATEMENT – Governor’s veto of DREAMers driver’s license bill hurts young Nebraskans integral to communities

***For Immediate Release*** May 27, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Appleseed Statement on Governor’s veto of DREAMers driver’s license bill Veto unnecessarily harms young Nebraskans who want to contribute more fully to their communities   LINCOLN — Wednesday night, Nebraska Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Director Darcy Tromanhauser issued the following… Read more →

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STATEMENT – Court decision to delay DAPA/DACA puts families in jeopardy

***For Immediate Release*** May 27, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling delaying DAPA/DACA Delay of program puts families in jeopardy, limits economic contributions   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Director Darcy Tromanhauser issued the following statement on the… Read more →

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Legislative Update – May 27

We’re in the final full week of the 2015 Nebraska Legislature’s session, and we have good news from a busy week at the Capitol last week. Senators pass DREAMers driver’s license bill On May 21, the Legislature overwhelmingly voted 34-9 to pass LB 623 on Final Reading and sent the bill to Governor Ricketts. Appleseed joined many other groups including faith,… Read more →

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Take Action – Urge Governor to sign DREAMers driver’s license bill

You did it! Today, the Nebraska Legislature voted 34-9 on Final Reading to pass LB 623, the bill that will allow young immigrant Nebraskans known as “DREAMers” to apply for driver’s licenses. But, there’s one more step you need to take. Please contact Governor Ricketts and urge him to sign the bill so Nebraska can become the final state to… Read more →

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RELEASE – Final passage of bills will help DREAMers, foster youth, and working families

***For Immediate Release*** May 21, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed praises Legislative votes on Final Reading Friday Bills passing final vote will improve lives of Nebraska DREAMers, children, and working families   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed issued the following statements on bills that were passed on… Read more →

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ConAgra Foods Foundation honors six OPS schools with Hunger Free Schools Award

Award recognizes schools, school board members, administrators who have fought child hunger in Omaha OMAHA — Thursday morning, ConAgra Foods Foundation, in partnership with community organizations that fight hunger and advocate for youth, recognized work to fight childhood hunger in Omaha schools by presenting six OPS schools with the Hunger Free School Award. At a celebratory breakfast meeting hosted at… Read more →

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STATEMENT – DREAMers driver’s license bill one round from passage

***For Immediate Release*** May 19, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on DREAMers driver’s license bill LB 623 one more vote from passage, allowing young immigrants to contribute more fully to Nebraska   LINCOLN — Tuesday, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement on… Read more →

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Legislative Update – May 18

Last week was one of the most noteworthy weeks in the 2015 Nebraska Legislative session with several of Appleseed’s priority bills coming before the body.   DREAMers driver’s license bill advances on General File On May 14, the Legislature overwhelmingly voted 37-8 to advance LB 623 from General File. The bill would make Nebraska the final state in the country… Read more →

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STATEMENT – Legislature made right choice for hard-working young Nebraskans by voting down LB 599

***For Immediate Release*** May 15, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on Legislature’s vote on LB 599 Voting down bill is right choice for hard-working young Nebraskans   LINCOLN — Friday, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement on the Legislature’s vote not to pass… Read more →

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STATEMENT – Appleseed praises Legislature for advancing DREAMers driver’s license bill

***For Immediate Release*** May 14, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Appleseed Statement on DREAMers driver’s license bill Advancing LB 623 is another step forward for young immigrant Nebraskans   LINCOLN — This morning, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement on the Legislature’s vote to advance… Read more →

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Legislative Update – May 11, 2015

With only 13 days left in the 2015 Nebraska Legislative session, time is winding down. Here’s your weekly Legislative Update.   Compromise reached on bill to increase aid to working families It appears Nebraska’s poorest working families may get a measure of help via a compromise announced May 5 to slightly increase payments in the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC)… Read more →

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May is National Foster Care Month. Former foster youth can get health coverage to age 26

May is National Foster Care Month, a time to acknowledge the children and youth who have been involved in foster care systems across the United States, and work to improve the child welfare system. In partnership with the Juvenile Law Center (JLC), we are using the month of May to promote an important opportunity under the Affordable Care Act for… Read more →

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Appleseed In Action – May 2015

5/6/2015 In this May edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Medicaid Redesign Act falls in Legislature Governor’s veto harms poorest families DREAMers driver’s license bill gains statewide support Legislative Update More evidence of crippling injuries in meat and poultry plants Over 100 Nebraska schools eligible to feed all students Primer calls for more accountable funding of child welfare system Medicaid Redesign… Read more →

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STATEMENT – Compromise a first step toward stability for Nebraska’s poorest families

***For Immediate Release*** May 5, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Appleseed Statement on working families aid funding Compromise is first step to increase stability for working, low-income families   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement on the announced compromise reached on adding aspects… Read more →

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New child welfare funding primer released

Last week, the Nebraska Children’s Commission released a child welfare funding primer focused on Nebraska’s current use of state and federal funding for child welfare and the best ways to leverage those dollars to lead to better outcomes for children who touch the child welfare system. The Nebraska Child Welfare Financing Primer was authored by ChildFocus Inc., in partnership with… Read more →

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Legislative Update – May 4, 2015

Last week was quite the week at the State Capitol. The Legislature gave first-round approval to the state budget and debated several of Appleseed’s priority bills.   Governor vetoes bill that fights poverty for hard-working families On Thursday, April 29, Governor Ricketts vetoed LB 89, a bill that fights poverty for Nebraska’s poorest families. LB 89, which passed Final Reading… Read more →

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RELEASE – Over 100 Nebraska schools eligible to fight classroom hunger with new tool

***For Immediate Release*** May 1, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org More than 100 Nebraska Schools Eligible for New Tool to Reduce Hunger in the Classroom   LINCOLN — Today, the Nebraska Department of Education announced 111 schools in Nebraska will be eligible to serve more free meals to students using… Read more →

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STATEMENT – Governor’s veto of LB 89 harms poorest Nebraska children and families

***For Immediate Release*** April 29, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on Governor’s Veto of LB 89 Governor’s uses first veto to harm state’s poorest Children and Families   LINCOLN — Tonight, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement regarding the Governor’s veto of LB… Read more →

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RELEASE – Nebraska must improve accountability, effectiveness in child welfare financing

***For Immediate Release*** April 29, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Nebraska must improve accountability, effectiveness in Child Welfare financing New primer offers recommendations to achieve better outcomes for children in foster care   LINCOLN — Wednesday, Nebraska Appleseed Child Welfare Director Sarah Helvey issued the following statement on the… Read more →

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Bureau of Indian Affairs updates Indian Child Welfare Act guidelines

For the first time since 1979, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) updated its Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) guidelines. This is a strong step forward, making important improvements with ICWA compliance and in the lives of native children and families involved in foster care. The BIA is also working to implement many of these new guidelines as enforceable federal… Read more →

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More evidence work speed takes crippling toll on meatpacking and poultry workers

Earlier this month, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a study of a Maryland poultry plant which found that 34 percent of workers had carpal tunnel syndrome while an alarming 76 percent exhibited signs of nerve damage. As NIOSH noted in a blog post accompanying the release of its report, more than half of the positions… Read more →

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Legislative Update – April 27, 2015

Several of Appleseed’s priority bills to help hard-working families and protect Nebraska children received great votes in the Legislature last week! Here is our legislative roundup from last week and what lies ahead this week.   Working Families bill passes Final Reading LB 89 – This bill to raise the payment rate for the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) benefit… Read more →

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RELEASE – Appleseed praises passage of LB 89

***For Immediate Release*** April 23, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org     Appleseed Statement on passage of LB 89 Legislature’s vote will strengthen Nebraska’s working families   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Becky Gould issued the following statement in support of the Legislature’s vote to pass LB… Read more →

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Today was a big day in the fight against human trafficking

Today was an important day in the fight against human trafficking in our Nebraska and federal governments. With 34 votes, the Nebraska Legislature advanced LB 294 on General File. The bill increases the penalties for human trafficking and protects victims who are minors from being charged in juvenile court. On the national level, after many months of debate, the U.S. Senate… Read more →

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New study shows immigration is linked to rural economic gains

Last week, we posted about a 50-state study that showed the significant tax contributions made by undocumented immigrants in Nebraska. Another study released this week has more good economic news for Nebraska’s rural counties with large immigrant populations. The study, published on the Daily Yonder, shows that rural counties with more immigrants also tend to be performing better economically. Study:… Read more →

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Take Action – Protect minimum wage for hard-working Nebraska students

Last fall, Nebraskans overwhelmingly voted to raise our state’s minimum wage to $9 per hour, but a new bill in the Legislature would strip that fair wage from hard-working young Nebraskans. LB 599 would allow employers to pay high school student workers less than other employees, which is in direct contrast to what Nebraskans voted for last November. The bill… Read more →

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Legislative Update – April 20, 2015

Two bills to help working families advanced to Final Reading last week, highlighting a busy week in the Legislature. Here is your Legislative Update for the week of April 20. Working families bills pass Select File It was a good start to last week when two bills to help hard-working families moved to Final Reading on Monday, April 13. LB… Read more →

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RELEASE – Undocumented immigrants pay $44 million in Nebraska taxes, new report shows

***For Immediate Release*** April 16, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Abbie Kretz Senior Organizer, Heartland Workers Center Office: (402) 933-6095 abbie@heartlandworkerscenter.org     New Analysis: Nebraska undocumented immigrants pay more than $44 Million in state and local taxes Contributions would substantially increase with new federal immigration laws   A new… Read more →

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RELEASE – White House policy report encourages proactive integration of immigrants

***For Immediate Release*** April 15, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   White House policy report encourages proactive integration of immigrants Plan is a historic step toward creating the nation’s first federal integration strategy   Tuesday, the White House Task Force on New Americans announced a historic step toward creating the… Read more →

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Take Action – Tell U.S. Senate to fund Children’s Health Insurance Program

Today is an important day to take action by asking our U.S. Senators to make children’s health care a priority by extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Senate is back from recess today and their first action must be to extend funding for CHIP, a program that provides health coverage for over 55,000 Nebraska children. The… Read more →

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Legislative Update – April 13

Last week was a great example of the ups and downs of our work in the Nebraska Legislature.   Medicaid Redesign Act voted down On April 8, the Legislature heard debate on LB 472 – the Medicaid Redesign Act. This important bill would have closed the coverage gap that currently leaves more than 70,000 Nebraskans without access to health coverage.… Read more →

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STATEMENT – Appleseed lauds vote to advance DREAMers driver’s license bill LB 623

***For Immediate Release*** April 10, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed praises Transportation Committee for advancing LB 623 Bill allows young immigrant Nebraskans to contribute more fully to their communities   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Director Darcy Tromanhauser issued the following statement on the Legislature’s… Read more →

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Appleseed joins legal support for administrative relief to keep families together

This week, Nebraska Appleseed joined more than 150 civil rights, labor, and immigration advocacy groups in an amicus brief urging the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a harmful decision that temporarily blocked implementation of the President’s administrative relief program to keep families together. The brief highlights the benefits of administrative relief for our economy and the value to… Read more →

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STATEMENT – Failure to advance LB 472 leaves 77,000 Nebraskans without coverage

***For Immediate Release*** April 8, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on Legislature’s decision not to advance LB 472   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement on the Legislature’s decision not to advance LB 472 – the Medicaid Redesign Act. “Today’s vote was… Read more →

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STATEMENT – Legislature must pass LB 472 to close the coverage gap

***For Immediate Release*** April 8, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed urges Legislature to pass LB 472 to close coverage gap Medicaid Redesign Act would enhance healthcare access, boost economy   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement in support of LB… Read more →

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Press Release: New report shows 12 percent of Nebraskans face hunger

***For Immediate Release*** April 7, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Survey Finds 12 Percent of Nebraska Households Struggle to Afford Food New Data Underscores Need to Protect and Improve Federal Nutrition Programs   LINCOLN – One in 8 people – 12.8 percent of respondents – in Nebraska reported… Read more →

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Legislative Update – April 6

Nebraska Appleseed’s Legislative Update News and Updates from the Nebraska Unicameral April 6, 2015   This is shaping up to be one of the biggest weeks of the Legislative session for Appleseed’s priority bills.   Medicaid Redesign Act set for debate Wednesday afternoon, the Legislature will begin debate on LB 472 – the Medicaid Redesign Act. Passing this crucial bill… Read more →

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Become a sustainer of justice for all

Building a stronger, more just society in Nebraska requires long-term commitment. We’re in it for the long haul at Appleseed, dedicated to a vision where we have effective public systems and strong communities that ensure full opportunity for all Nebraskans. If this vision speaks to you, please consider becoming a monthly donor to Nebraska Appleseed and sustain the fight for… Read more →

Nebraska State Senators on Twitter

  State Senator Twitter Handle Senator Roy Baker @BakerforNELeg Senator Kate Bolz @katejbolz Senator Lydia Brasch @LydiaBrasch Senator Colby Coash @ColbyCoash Senator Sue Crawford @SenCrawford Senator Al Davis @AlDavisDist43 Senator Laura Ebke @SenLauraEbke Senator Curt Friesen @captaincorn Senator Ken Haar @SenatorKenHaar Senator Matt Hansen @HansenforLD26 Senator Burke Harr @BurkeHarr Senator Bob Hilkemann @votehilkemann Senator Bill Kintner @BillKintner Senator Rick Kolowski… Read more →

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Food assistance lawsuit vs DHHS gets class certification

***For Immediate Release*** April 1, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Class Certification Approved for Lawsuit to Protect Nebraskans Eligible for Food Assistance Suit claims Nebraska HHS unlawfully delayed food assistance beyond legal time frames   LINCOLN – Tuesday afternoon, a federal district court judge approved class certification in a lawsuit… Read more →

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Kids in foster care not receiving required health screenings

A recent study completed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services revealed that not all children who are in foster care and enrolled in Medicaid are receiving health screenings that are required by federal law. Specifically, the report found that nearly one-third of children in foster care in Texas, California, Illinois, and New York, who are enrolled in… Read more →

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Legislative Update – March 30

Nebraska Appleseed’s Legislative Update News and Updates from the Nebraska Unicameral March 30, 2015   Last week marked the first week of full-day debate in the Legislature, and one of Appleseed’s priority bills is on the agenda for this week.   Child care “cliff effect” bill set for debate this week LB 81 – This bill introduced by Sen. Tanya… Read more →

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Action Alert – Tell Congress to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program

Today, ask our U.S. Representatives to make children’s health care a priority by supporting the bipartisan legislation in the House of Representatives to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). On Thursday, Congress will vote to extend funding for CHIP, a program that provides health coverage for over 55,000 Nebraska children. We’re asking you to act TODAY. Contact… Read more →

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RELEASE – OSHA denies workplace protections to meatpacking, poultry workers

***For Immediate Release*** March 18, 2015   CONTACT Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Emma Weinstein-Levey Southern Poverty Law Center (334) 324-6580 emma.levey@splcenter.org     Meat and Poultry Workers Denied Better Workplace Protections by Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA: Lack of Resources Preventing Action to Protect Workers   MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The U.S.… Read more →

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RELEASE – Over 170 Nebraska faith leaders urge Unicameral support for health coverage bill

***For Immediate Release*** March 17, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org Rev. Keith Nelson Omaha Together One Community Clergy Caucus Mobile: 402-304-3648 Email: OTOCforNebraska@gmail.com More than 170 Nebraska faith leaders sign letter of support for Medicaid Redesign Act Faith leaders urge State Senators to pass LB 472 for health… Read more →

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Appleseed Statement on Sen. Sasse’s anti-immigrant bill

***For Immediate Release*** March 17, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Appleseed questions unnecessary bill targeting hard-working Nebraska families Bill would hurt state and local economies Tuesday, Nebraska Appleseed issued the following statement on S. 748 introduced by Nebraska’s U.S. Senator Ben Sasse.   “This bill would leave hard-working immigrant Nebraskans… Read more →

Legislative Update – March 16

Nebraska Appleseed’s Legislative Update News and Updates from the Nebraska Unicameral March 16, 2015 Last week, committees met and discussed two of Appleseed’s top priority bills, but we still await action on one of them during this final week of committee hearings. HHS Committee advances LB 472 to the floor On March 10, the Health and Human Services Committee voted… Read more →

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New report shows Minority working families in Nebraska are falling behind

***For Immediate Release*** March 16, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Report: Minority Working Families in Nebraska falling behind Latino Immigrants at Greatest Risk; Study Concludes State Can Address the Problem LINCOLN – A new study concludes that a sharp racial and ethnic divide has emerged within the world of low-income… Read more →

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RELEASE – Policy change means more former foster youth eligible for health coverage

***For Immediate Release*** March 13, 2015   Contact, Sarah Helvey Child Welfare Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 850-6885 shelvey@neappleseed.org State Clarifies Medicaid Eligibility for Former Foster Youth in Independent Living Approximately 1,000 additional young people now eligible for health coverage   LINCOLN — This week, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services officially changed a previous… Read more →

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Nebraska Takes Important Steps to Fight Human Trafficking

Last Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee of the Nebraska Legislature held a hearing on LB 294, a bill introduced by Senator Jim Scheer. LB 294 would play an important role in strengthening Nebraska’s counter-human trafficking efforts when investigating cases, prosecuting traffickers and caring for survivors of sex and labor trafficking. Testifiers in support of LB 294 consistently recognized the seriousness of… Read more →

Quilted Conscience Project

Free Omaha tours of The Quilted Conscience project this weekend

This weekend in Omaha, you have another chance to see a pair of powerful, colorful exhibits of memories-and-dreams quilts from Nebraska immigrant and refugee youth (The Quilted Conscience), as well as a rare opportunity to see Fabric of Survival, a stunning series of quilts telling the story of a Holocaust survivor from her village in Poland through Nazi occupation and… Read more →

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Closing the Coverage Gap Can Help Pay for Prison Reform

Nebraska is currently facing serious issues with its corrections system, primarily, the level of overcrowding and the resulting cost of corrections operations. Nebraska’s corrections facilities are currently at more than 160 percent of capacity. One way to address overcrowding is to make sure those who leave corrections facilities do not return due to reoffending. Studies show that ensuring that previous… Read more →

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TAKE ACTION – Support DREAMers driver’s license bill

Today is a very important moment to support a bill that affects young immigrant Nebraskans and their ability to contribute to their communities. We’re asking you to contact members of the Legislature’s Transportation and Telecommunications Committee and urge their support for LB 623. LB 623 would allow young immigrant Nebraskans who qualify for DACA to apply for driver’s licenses. (DACA… Read more →

Despite the lowest rates in decades for workers’ compensation insurance, states still are cutting rates paid to injured workers, forcing costs onto taxpayers and putting injured workers deeper into poverty.

Workers’ compensation cuts are putting injured workers into poverty

Last Wednesday, ProPublica and NPR launched a detailed and extensive series on the troubling trend of states reducing workers’ compensation benefits over the past 10 years. These reductions – drastic in some states – have left workers who were injured on the job without support for medical treatment and recovery to get back to work. In fact, the report states… Read more →

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New Report shows increased workforce need for Adult Basic Education

Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Report: More investment in Adult Basic Education would improve Nebraska workforce Hard-working Nebraskans need more skills to compete in changing economy   LINCOLN — A new report released Monday shows Nebraska’s need to invest more in Adult Basic Education (ABE). The report, “Adult Education in… Read more →

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Young immigrant driver’s license bill draws statewide support

***For Immediate Release*** March 3, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Young immigrants driver’s license bill draws statewide support LB 623 would allow DACA recipients to contribute more to their communities LINCOLN — Tuesday, Nebraska agricultural, safety, youth, and immigrant leaders issued statements of support for LB 623 in advance… Read more →

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Legislative Update – February 23

Nebraska Appleseed’s Legislative Update News and Updates from the Nebraska Unicameral February 23, 2015 Legislature votes down restrictive Voter ID bill Last Wednesday, after several hours of floor debate, the Legislature voted down harmful voter suppression bill LB 111. Senators voted 25-15 on a motion to “bracket” the bill, which ends debate and essentially tables the bill until after the… Read more →

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Open Enrollment, Campaign Successes and Tax Season Enrollment

At least 74,000 Nebraskans can rest a little bit easier knowing that they are covered by health insurance following the close of the national open enrollment period February 15. The Department of Health and Human Services announced state numbers February 18 and also reported that over 11.4 million individuals signed up nationwide, surpassing the goal set by the White House in… Read more →

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Legislature votes down Voter ID bill. Thank State Senators for protecting voting rights

Today, the Nebraska Legislature voted down LB 111 – an unnecessary and harmful voter suppression bill that would have been a barrier to vote for many eligible Nebraska voters. This action will protect the right to vote for many of our friends and neighbors including people with low incomes, people who move frequently, college students, and people with disabilities. Please… Read more →

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A healthy boost to Nebraska’s economy

With LB 472, the Medicaid Redesign Act, Nebraska has the opportunity to close the coverage gap by creating a path to health care coverage for 54,000 Nebraskans. In addition to providing health insurance for many uninsured Nebraskans, LB 472 would significantly benefit our state’s economy:   It’s good for individuals and families Medical debt currently contributes to a significant portion… Read more →

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Legislative Update – 02/17/2015

Harmful voter suppression bill debated this week Today the Legislature began floor debate on harmful voter suppression bill LB 111. Appleseed was one of many groups to oppose this bill in a committee hearing because it will be an unnecessary barrier to vote for many groups of voters including seniors, people with low incomes, and students. The debate is expected… Read more →

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Appleseed statement on Texas v. U.S. immigration case ruling

For Immediate Release February 17, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org  Community advocates to keep fighting for Nebraska families after Texas v. U.S. ruling  Monday night, a federal judge in Texas went outside the legal mainstream and issued a temporary injunction in the case of Texas v. U.S. The ruling… Read more →

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RELEASE: Nebraska lags nationally in providing School Breakfast

***For Immediate Release*** February 13, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org Report: Nebraska Lags Nationally in providing School Breakfast This week, the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) released its School Breakfast Scorecard, an annual report that analyzes each state’s participation in the School Breakfast Program. The report reveals Nebraska… Read more →

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Nebraska hospitals and communities need the Legislature to close coverage gap

Nebraska has the opportunity to close the coverage gap with LB 472, the Medicaid Redesign Act, which would allow 54,000 Nebraskans to access health care coverage. But LB 472 also would have a significant positive impact on our state’s hospitals, and in many cases, provide essential funding to keep open health care facilities in Nebraska’s smaller communities. A recent PBS… Read more →

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Appleseed statement on working families support bill LB 89

***For Immediate Release*** February 6, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed statement on LB 89 heard by HHS Committee Friday Bill would help Nebraska families to stay together while rewarding hard work   Friday, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement in support of… Read more →

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Legislative Update

This is your weekly Nebraska Legislature update. Committee Hearings last week Appleseed testified on several bills during Legislature committee hearings last week. LB 12 – A bill to streamline the Medicaid process for eligible Nebraskans who enter and leave the criminal justice system. This bill will improve health care access while saving costs in the corrections system. Appleseed testified in… Read more →

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Nebraska Appleseed statement on Nebraska Legislature Voter ID bills

***For Immediate Release*** January 23, 2015 Contact: Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Becky Gould issued the following statement on the proposed voter ID bills LB 111 and LB 121 heard by the Legislature’s Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee this afternoon. “LB 111 and LB 121… Read more →

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Appleseed statement on Governor’s 2015 State of the State Address

LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Becky Gould issued the following statement in response to the Governor’s State of the State Address. “We couldn’t agree more with Governor Ricketts when he said Nebraska’s greatest resource is our people, and we echo his spirit of collaboration that we can make a stronger, better state when we work together,” Gould said.… Read more →

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STATEMENT – Business, faith, education, and health care groups support LB 472

***For Immediate Release*** Contact: Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org LINCOLN — Today a coalition of more than 20 business, health care, education, faith and community groups issued a joint statement in support of LB 472, introduced today by State Senator Kathy Campbell, that would close the coverage gap that currently leaves more… Read more →

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ACTION ALERT – Tell your State Senator to Close the Coverage Gap

Today, a bill was introduced in the Legislature that would close Nebraska’s health coverage gap and fix a problem that currently inflicts high human and financial costs on our state. We hope you’ll act today to show your support. We’re asking you to contact your state senator and urge them to support LB 472, to make health care make sense for… Read more →

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Human Trafficking Awareness Month

This morning, January 14, Governor Ricketts signed a proclamation establishing January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month in Nebraska.  And in honor of Sunday’s Human Trafficking Awareness Day, a group of nearly fifty people braved the cold outside the State Capitol for a vigil to bring light to the issue of human trafficking, the second largest criminal industry in the world.… Read more →

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ACTION ALERT: We can’t move backwards on immigration

Nebraskans have been saying for a long time that Congress must move us forward with up-to-date immigration laws that keep families united, boost our economy, and create a strong foundation for our future. But, harmful new legislation is threatening to drag us backwards into more pitfalls that mean more broken families and more needless deportations. Take action today! Call or… Read more →

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Legislative Update – January 12, 2015

The 2015 Nebraska Legislative session convened on January 7th with the election of committee chairs and committee placements. Congratulations to Senator Galen Hadley of Kearney for being elected Speaker of the Legislature. Click here for a full list of committee placements Bill introduction began on January 8th. Here is a look at some bills Appleseed will be monitoring this session.… Read more →

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Being Poor is Getting Scarier in the U.S.

New research by two California economists recently highlighted that the United States is doing significantly worse now to protect low-income families from falling into deep poverty than in previous recessions. The research, cited in a new story from Bloomberg View, “Being Poor Is Getting Scarier in the U.S.,” shows the most recent recession that began in 2008 increased the number… Read more →

Youth Homelessness at the Holidays

While the holiday season is a time to celebrate for many, some young adults may be spending their holidays homeless this year. And a large number of these young people may have been in our state’s foster care system. A recent study conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln through the Administration on Children, Youth and Families’ Family and the Youth… Read more →

Child Welfare and Sex Trafficking in Nebraska

A newly released Appleseed policy brief, “Child Welfare and Sex Trafficking in Nebraska,” outlines the issue of the commercial sexual exploitation of children (“CSEC”) and the risk factors that make children in foster care more vulnerable to the coercion of traffickers. Human trafficking is a growing worldwide crime that exists even in our Nebraska communities. The goal of this guide… Read more →

RELEASE – ‘500 by the 15th’ surpasses health coverage goal

***For Immediate Release*** December 19, 2014   “500 By The 15th” campaign widely surpasses health insurance enrollment goal Organizations assist nearly 900 Nebraskans in new or renewed coverage plans LINCOLN — A statewide campaign to help at least 500 Nebraskans enroll in health insurance or renew previous plans in the first half of December was a resounding success, Enroll Nebraska… Read more →

Civil rights groups demand formal OSHA response on worker protections

For Immediate Release December 17, 2014 Contact: Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Kyleah Starling, Southern Poverty Law Center Phone: (334) 956-8420 kyleah.starling@splcenter.org Civil rights groups demand formal OSHA response on worker protections Letter requests written response to 2013 petition demanding safeguards from crippling injuries LINCOLN — Today, a coalition of civil… Read more →

Shopping around could mean big savings on health insurance

For those who signed up for health insurance last enrollment period through Health Insurance Marketplace, plans will be automatically renewed for the upcoming year starting tomorrow. While this makes it easier for individuals to stay covered, most could save money by reviewing their plans and considering switching to a different insurer.  According to an article in The New York Times,… Read more →

President Obama recognizes welcoming efforts and creates White House Task Force

A growing number of communities here in Nebraska and across the nation are recognizing that our cities and towns thrive when diverse people from around the world feel valued and want to put down roots. Tuesday in Nashville, President Obama recognized Welcoming America founder and Executive Director David Lubell and the community of Nashville as one such community at a town… Read more →

The Costs of the Coverage Gap in Nebraska are Too High to Ignore

On December 2, Nebraska state senators again witnessed the high human and financial cost our state is paying by not closing the coverage gap that leaves at least 54,000 working people unable to get health insurance. The Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee convened for a hearing on interim study LR 601 to study the effects of implementing or failing… Read more →

Appleseed In Action – December 2014 – Keeping Nebraska families together

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – December 2014 12/3/2014 In this December edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Nebraskans support President’s Administrative Relief Enroll Nebraska launches 500 By the 15th campaign Report shows working Nebraskans fall in coverage gap Nebraska Supreme Court decides important ICWA case Support our fight for justice for families facing hunger President’s Administrative Relief a good… Read more →

‘500 by the 15th’ campaign to encourage Nebraskans to get health coverage

***For Immediate Release*** December 1, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org  “500 by the 15th” campaign aims to help Nebraskans get health coverage Statewide health care organizations available to provide free assistance Today, community and health care organizations across Nebraska announced the kickoff of a new effort to ensure Nebraskans get… Read more →

Families USA report: Working Nebraskans being left without coverage

***For Immediate Release*** December 1, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   New report shows vast majority of Nebraskans in Coverage Gap are working Nearly three-quarters of those unable to get health coverage have held jobs in past year LINCOLN — A new report released today by Families USA, the national… Read more →

Justice for families facing hunger

When kids and families experience tough times the last thing they need is uncertainty about where they will find their next meal. Yet approximately 30 percent of all Nebraska households applying for food assistance needlessly wait longer than a month for approval for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Because of the State of Nebraska’s troubled ACCESS Nebraska benefit processing… Read more →

RELEASE – Nebraskans call Administrative Relief a good first step on immigration

***For Immediate Release*** November 24, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraskans call President’s Administrative Relief a good first step on immigration Immigrant, faith, & community leaders now urge Congress to take action for long-term, common-sense laws LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska faith, immigrant, and community leaders gathered to support the… Read more →

A very fond farewell

Today is my last day at Nebraska Appleseed and it is bittersweet. I came to Appleseed over 11 years ago. I was new to Nebraska and looking for work that I would find more meaningful than the commercial litigation I was doing at big firms in New York. What I found at Appleseed was more meaningful and fulfilling than I… Read more →

Appleseed Statement on President’s Administrative Action on Immigration

For Immediate Release November 20, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed statement on President’s Administrative Relief for Immigrants Tonight, Nebraska Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Director Darcy Tromanhauser released the following statement on President Obama’s announcement of temporary administrative relief from deportation for some immigrants in the United… Read more →

New federal law addresses trafficking for youth in foster care

In September, Congress passed the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (H.R. 4980), one of the most significant pieces of domestic legislation passed by this Congress and a great child welfare victory. Nebraska’s U.S. Senators and Representatives all voted in support of this legislation (Rep. Adrian Smith was also a co-sponsor of H.R. 4980). This bipartisan success shows commitment… Read more →

Executive Action a wise first step on fixing Immigration

Today, we learned that President Obama will announce his intention to take executive action as a first-step, temporary solution to our outdated immigration system. The announcement will be made during a televised address Thursday at 7 p.m Central with a detailed speech on the plan coming Friday in Las Vegas. Post by The White House.   Administrative relief granted by the President… Read more →

The Bridge to Independence Program in Action

We could not be more excited that the Bridge to Independence (B2I) program has finally begun! B2I provides young adults who age out of foster care with extended services and support to age 21, including housing support, guidance from an Independence Coordinator and Medicaid coverage.  We’re thrilled for the B2I start because now young adults like Sarah will have the… Read more →

Nebraska Supreme Court decides Indian Child Welfare Act case

***For Immediate Release*** November 14, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Nebraska Supreme Court makes influential decision on Indian Child Welfare Act Court holds ICWA protections apply to state wards placed in parental home LINCOLN – Today, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act’s active efforts requirement… Read more →

Appleseed proud to receive award from NAACP – Lincoln Branch

Last weekend, Nebraska Appleseed was profoundly honored to receive the 2014 Leola Bullock Community Service Award from NAACP – Lincoln Branch during the NAACP’s Freedom Fund Banquet. It is a great honor to receive this award from an organization that has done so much in the pursuit of civil rights and social justice and to receive this award named after… Read more →

The Nation highlights the costs of massive work speed ups

For those following the longstanding problems of high injury rates and relentless work speeds in meat and poultry processing, this may sound familiar. An important new article from The Nation, “Americans Are Working So Hard It’s Actually Killing People,” outlines how “the jobless recovery means massive speedups for many workers you depend on.” In industries as varied as nursing, meatpacking,… Read more →

Rural immigrant and Latino leaders celebrate nonpartisan election work

Immigrant and Latino leaders in six Nebraska counties celebrated an election season filled with new outreach to voters of color this year. Community volunteers in six counties reached more than 9,600 voters with basic information about the voting process through door-knocking, phone-banking, and mail. “We were excited to reach out with information about where and when people could vote,” said… Read more →

Nebraska Students Vote

Note: This is a guest blog post from a group of Union College students who worked with Appleseed staff this fall to create a project designed to encourage Nebraska college students to vote in this election. This semester the Practice III class at Union College hosted a service ­learning project where students had the opportunity to work alongside an organization.… Read more →

Take Action – Vote for Initiative 425 to raise Nebraska’s minimum wage

Tomorrow is your chance to help make hard work pay in Nebraska by voting FOR Initiative 425 to raise Nebraska’s minimum wage to $9.00 per hour! Voting for Initiative 425 will reaffirm the value and dignity of hard work for thousands of Nebraska families who have fallen behind despite working full-time jobs. Click here to find your polling place Our… Read more →

Federal investigation reveals plant routinely exposed workers to serious injuries

Yesterday, OSHA issued 11 serious safety and health citations to Wayne Farms, resulting in fines over $100,000. The agency found that one of Wayne Farms’ poultry plants in Alabama exposed workers to dangerous musculoskeletal hazards and serious injuries, and failed to accurately record and manage injuries suffered by workers. OSHA documented what medical evidence, reports, and surveys have shown for… Read more →

RELEASE – Feds issue historic fine to poultry plant for injuries and abuses

For Immediate Release October 30, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   OSHA issues noteworthy fine to poultry plant for injuries and abuses Violations echo concerns of Nebraska meatpacking and poultry workers Yesterday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a fine of more than $100,000 to an Alabama… Read more →

Medicaid to 26: Ensuring a Healthy Start to Adulthood After Foster Care

On October 24th, as a part of Legislative Resolution 533 (LR 533), introduced by Senator Sue Crawford, Nebraska Appleseed, young adults and partners gathered at the Capitol to discuss Nebraska’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s new provision for Medicaid coverage to age 26 for young adults who age out of foster care. The day started early with a press… Read more →

RELEASE – New report offers recommendations for family and workforce stability

For Immediate Release Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed report offers solutions to increase stability for families and workforce Despite high workforce participation, many Nebraska families struggle to meet basic needs LINCOLN — Strong, productive workers and families are the backbone of Nebraska’s communities and our economy. Unfortunately, many… Read more →

Appleseed organizers find passion for voting stretches across Nebraska

With the November 4th election quickly approaching, Appleseed staff have been busy traveling across the state to encourage Nebraskans to vote. We caught up with our organizer, Alex Gibilisco, to find out what is motivating Nebraskans to go to their polling place this fall, many of them for the first time. Q. What sort of work has Appleseed been doing to… Read more →

GoodHire program to help Nebraskans get meaningful work experience

Appleseed very enthusiastically supported a bill during the 2013 Nebraska Legislature session that created a pilot program to encourage Nebraska businesses to hire new employees and grow the state’s economy through wage subsidies. The bill, LB 368, introduced by State Senator Sue Crawford, was a win-win both for businesses looking to grow and hard-working Nebraskans who needed a chance to… Read more →

RELEASE – Youth in Foster Care get Healthy Opportunity from Medicaid

***For Immediate Release*** October 24, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   ACA Medicaid Provision gives Healthy Opportunities to Youth Formerly in Foster Care New report shows only small fraction of eligible youth currently enrolled LINCOLN — The Affordable Care Act provides young adults who age out of foster care… Read more →

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Join us at the National Immigrant Integration Conference

Travel to Los Angeles this December for the National Immigrant Integration Conference 2014! This year, the National Partnership for New Americans is co-hosting NIIC 2014 with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), to be held in Los Angeles from December 14-16, 2014. NIIC 2014 offers the best annual opportunity for advocates, educators, policymakers, and service providers… Read more →

You’re Invited – Panel discussion on Paid Family Leave

With the changing nature of the workforce, it’s getting more and more challenging to balance the demands of the jobs we need and the families we love. States around the country are starting to establish policies that promote more family-friendly workplaces, and both businesses and families are seeing the benefits. Please join us for a discussion featuring national expert Ellen… Read more →

Appleseed welcomes Eric Savaiano to Economic Justice and Health Care programs

October 1st, Appleseed was proud to welcome the newest member of our team when Eric Savaiano joined us as a Program Associate with our Health Care and Economic Justice programs. Eric comes to us from Nashville, Tenn., where he previously worked at an educational nonprofit called the PENCIL Foundation as a Family Resource Center Director at a large, diverse, public… Read more →

“Medicaid Works” photo project shows value of health care for all Nebraska families

Medicaid is vital to the wellbeing of many Nebraskans with disabilities. Unfortunately, this critical health insurance program is often poorly understood and stigmatized. The “Medicaid Works” photo project promotes an accurate picture of the many ways this essential program supports thousands of Nebraskans every day. View the entire “Medicaid Works” photo project. With support from the Nebraska Planning Council on… Read more →

Every U.S. President since Eisenhower has taken Executive Action on Immigration

According to a new report by the American Immigration Council (AIC), ever since the United States Congress first passed a comprehensive immigration law in 1952, every one of the 11 U.S. Presidents since have used their legal authority to take executive action on immigration. This report — as well as a handy “By the Numbers” summary from the Center for… Read more →

Nebraskans in poverty, and the solutions that can help

Last week, TalkPoverty.org released their state-by-state analysis of 2013 poverty data compiled last month by the U.S. Census. Using a variety of measures, the interactive analysis provides an in-depth look at how poverty impacts various communities across the United States, including each congressional district in Nebraska. Click here to find Nebraska’s poverty data. One of the most alarming statistics was… Read more →

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Meet the 2014 Good Apple Awards honorees – Jan Gradwohl

On October 2nd, we will be honoring people and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans at the 2014 Good Apple Awards. Leading up to the event, we will introduce you to the 2014 award recipients. Jan Gradwohl – Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award The Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award recognizes a Nebraskan who… Read more →

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Meet the 2014 Good Apple Awards honorees – Beth Riley

On October 2nd, we will be honoring people and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans at the 2014 Good Apple Awards. Leading up to the event, we will introduce you to the 2014 award recipients. Beth Riley – Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader Award The Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader Award is named after Nebraska… Read more →

(Finally) Starting Soon: The Bridge to Independence Program!

With notice of the approval from the federal Department of Health and Human Services on August 19th, Nebraska’s Bridge to Independence program must begin within 60 days of this notice of approval.  However, we are excited to share that the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has announced that the Bridge to Independence program will begin early, on October… Read more →

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Meet the 2014 Good Apple Awards honorees – Creighton Center for Service and Justice

On October 2nd, we will be honoring people and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans at the 2014 Good Apple Awards. Leading up to the event, we will introduce you to the 2014 award recipients. Roots of Justice Award – Creighton Center for Service and Justice The Roots of Justice Award recognizes grassroots… Read more →

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Meet the 2014 Good Apple Awards Honorees – Husch Blackwell LLP

On October 2nd, we will be honoring people and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans at the 2014 Good Apple Awards. Leading up to the event, we will introduce you to the 2014 award recipients. Seeds of Justice Award – Husch Blackwell LLP The Seeds of Justice Award honors outstanding legal contributions to… Read more →

RELEASE – Organizations call on Crime Commission to curb racial profiling

For Immediate Release September 17, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Tyler Richard ACLU of Nebraska Phone: (402) 476-8091 x104 Email: trichard@aclunebraska.org   Organizations present recommendations to Nebraska Crime Commission to curb racial profiling LINCOLN — Today, a group of 25 Nebraska organizations and concerned citizens presented a letter to the… Read more →

SNAP error rates continue to be at record lows

Error rates in food assistance programs nationwide continue to be at record lows according to an analysis from Stateline (a project of Pew Charitable Trusts). This impressive accuracy comes even as the number of Americans enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) grew during the Great Recession, which began in 2007. Stateline’s study credited the reduction in error rate… Read more →

Welcoming Week 2014 celebrates diversity in Nebraska communities

September 13-21 will be celebrated as National Welcoming Week, a nationwide event that highlights the contributions of immigrant Americans and the strength of inclusive communities across the country. Throughout the country, and right here in Nebraska, there are many events where you can join the celebration. We invite you to attend one of these events in your community! “I Learn… Read more →

Appleseed statement on President’s delay of immigration action

September 6, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org Appleseed Statement on President Obama’s Delay of Action on Immigration Several major outlets have reported that President Obama will delay making any decisions about administrative changes to immigration policy until after the November 2014 elections. Below is a statement from Darcy Tromanhauser, director of Nebraska Appleseed’s Immigrants… Read more →

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Appleseed In Action – September 2014

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – September 2014 9/3/2014 In this September edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Minimum wage Initiative 425 officially goes on ballot Bridge to Independence for youth aging out of foster care gets federal approval Lawsuit filed to protect Nebraskans eligible for food assistance Nebraskans urge Congressmen to help Stop Separating Families Get your tickets for… Read more →

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Children fleeing violence in Central America may also be fleeing human trafficking

Our last blog on human trafficking discussed the vulnerabilities of minors, many of whom are part of the child welfare system, who are at risk of becoming a victim to one of the fastest-growing criminal industries in the world. Although human trafficking is a global issue, a common misconception is that the problem is only occurring abroad, far from the… Read more →

Welcoming America receives award from United Nations

We are excited to announce that Welcoming America is one of 11 organizations worldwide to receive the 2014 Intercultural Innovation Award, granted by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)! The Intercultural Innovation Award is given to the most innovative projects around the world that are working to build intercultural cooperation and dialogue, and Welcoming America was selected from a… Read more →

Appleseed joins nationwide groups in calling for federal action to prevent racial profiling

Last week, Nebraska Appleseed joined the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and more than 100 organizations across the country in calling for federal action to prevent discriminatory profiling by law enforcement that continues to occur across the country. Read the group’s full statement In the statement, the groups called for increased accountability in state and local law enforcement… Read more →

RELEASE – Federal HHS approves Bridge to Independence program

***For Immediate Release*** August 21, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org Federal HHS approves ‘Bridge to Independence’ program for young adults aging out of foster care Today, Nebraska received official approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of Nebraska’s state plan amendment under LB 216, the “Young Adult Bridge to Independence… Read more →

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There are many faces of hunger in Nebraska

A new study released this week highlighted the often-overlooked fact that food insecurity is a problem faced by hundreds of thousands of our friends and neighbors here in Nebraska. The study, Hunger In America 2014, was produced by Feeding America, an anti-hunger organization that operates a nationwide series of food banks. It examines the number and demographics of people who… Read more →

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Concertgoers branch out to Appleseed at Maha 2014

Nebraska Appleseed was honored to be selected for the third year in a row to participate in the Maha Music Festival’s Community Village last Saturday! Maha is a nonprofit, day-long music festival bringing together national, regional and local indie and rock artists. Twenty local nonprofits were invited to participate in the Community Village, using engaging activities to share their missions… Read more →

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2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Ashley Kunz

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. She was so sure about what she wanted to do for a career that for three years straight, Nebraska Appleseed intern Ashley… Read more →

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2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Trevor Slawnyk

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Go forth and code, young man. Behind all those lines of numbers and letters that add up to documents, presentations and projects… Read more →

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2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Selina Martinez

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences.   Sometimes dreams change for the better. “I’ve always wanted to help people. Since I was a little girl I told everyone… Read more →

RELEASE – Lawsuit alleges Nebraska DHHS unlawfully delaying food assistance

***For Immediate Release*** Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Class-Action Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Nebraskans Eligible for Food Assistance Suit claims Nebraska DHHS unlawfully delays SNAP beyond legal time frames LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of… Read more →

Appleseed In Action – News and Events for August 2014

8/6/2014 In this August edition of “Appleseed in Action” Support compassion, due process for children fleeing violence Dangerous USDA Poultry Rule gets approval Big numbers for Minimum Wage petition drive Introducing our 2014 Good Apple Award honorees Support compassion, due process for children from Central America fleeing violence Since last fall, approximately 200 children who have fled violent circumstances in… Read more →

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2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Haley Mead

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. As befits all good fairy tales, for Nebraska Appleseed intern Haley Mead it started with a pair of shoes. “I’ve always been… Read more →

Human trafficking disproportionately affects youth in foster care

Our Child Welfare Team at Appleseed is beginning to dig deeper into the issue of human trafficking because of its prevalence in Nebraska and the connection to youth in foster care. While limitations on data collection on human trafficking make the estimated number of victims uncertain, there is no doubt of the realities of human trafficking in our local communities.… Read more →

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STATEMENT – Nebraska faith leaders urge compassion for child immigrants fleeing violence

For Immediate Release August 2, 2014 Contact, Jeanne Schuler Omaha Together One Community (402) 344-4401 omahatogether@otoc.org   Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska faith leaders urge values of compassion, humanity for children fleeing violence Today, a collection of more than 90 Nebraska faith and community leaders released a statement calling for Nebraska to act in… Read more →

RELEASE – Final approval given to dangerous USDA Poultry Rule

***For Immediate Release*** Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Obama Administration Approves Dangerous USDA Poultry Rule Advocate coalition decries regulation as harmful to food and worker safety LINCOLN — Today, despite the opposition of hundreds of thousands of consumers, dozens of Members of Congress, and more than 100 food and worker safety… Read more →

Call your Congressman NOW to protect children fleeing violence

Crucial House votes coming today. Make your voice heard! We’re asking you to make a quick phone call right away to protect children seeking safe refuge in the United States. This morning, the House is expected to vote on a bill, H.R. 5230, known as the “Secure the Southwest Border Act of 2014.” We strongly oppose this bill because it… Read more →

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2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Leigh Ellis

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Nebraska Appleseed law clerk Leigh Ellis has always aspired to fight for social justice. Whether it was working at a grassroots organization… Read more →

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2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Andrew Schill

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. “Change comes slowly, but with purpose. The issues of poverty, education, social justice, these are all enormous issues that need to be… Read more →

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2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Kathleen Hansen

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. “I thought Appleseed would be a good mixture between my family science background and my future plans to be a lawyer,” Appleseed… Read more →

RELEASE – Nebraska groups urge Congress to protect children seeking safety

For Immediate Release Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Dawn Bashara Justice For Our Neighbors – Nebraska Office: 402-898-1349 Mobile: 402-215-1498 dawn@jfon-ne.org Nebraska Groups Urge Members of Congress To Protect Children Seeking Safety Today, a group of more than a dozen Nebraska organizations released a set of principles that they hope the… Read more →

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2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Megan Miller

“I’ve always been interested in how people affect events, and inversely, how events affect people,” Nebraska Appleseed intern Megan Miller said. “At Appleseed, we are experiencing this firsthand.” One of Megan’s sociology professors at Wayne State College, where she is currently an undergraduate student, suggested an internship at Nebraska Appleseed. “My professor is so amazing, and I value her opinion… Read more →

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2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Christina Guthmann

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Business opens doors. Whether it’s investing in small businesses here in the U.S. or overseas, investing in people is what drives Nebraska Appleseed… Read more →

Organizations call on Obama administration to reveal changes to USDA proposed poultry rule, and open for comment

***For Immediate Release*** July 16, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org  New poultry industry standards threaten to endanger workers’ health, food safety, and animal welfare On July 10, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget a final version of a new rule… Read more →

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Children fleeing violence need a compassionate response

Over the last decade, escalating violence in much of Central America has reached unimaginable levels.  As the drug trade has grown, local gangs have taken more-brutal steps to assert control of cities and neighborhoods, ruling the streets in many areas with murder, rape, and intimidation. As a result, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador now have among the highest murder rates… Read more →

Humanitarian crisis requires acting in children’s best interests

Note: This post by Appleseed Child Welfare Director Sarah Helvey and Immigrants & Communities staff attorney Omaid Zabih addresses the recent humanitarian crisis in Central America that has resulted in children seeking asylum in the U.S. Tens of thousands of children from Central America have been forced to flee from their home countries to the border due to unimaginable violence.… Read more →

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2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Kseniya Ruzanova

Math and science have their allure, but for Nebraska Appleseed intern Kseniya Ruzanova, it was nothing compared to the excitement she found on the debate team. “I hated math and science and realized my passion for law after I joined the debate team.” Kseniya said. “Seeing so many immigrants going through really rough times right now inspires me to one… Read more →

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Supporters gather 135,000 signatures to put minimum wage on fall ballot

Measure to raise Minimum Wage to be voted on this fall pending signature verification On July 3, the good news didn’t come in small packages, but in stacks and stacks of large boxes, piled high in the rotunda of the State Capitol. The boxes contained petitions signed by nearly 135,000 Nebraskans from every corner of our state in support of… Read more →

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2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Rene Cramer

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. A voice for the voiceless, that’s what Nebraska Appleseed law clerk Rene Cramer wants to be. “I wanted to work for Appleseed… Read more →

Pursuing The American Dream

Freedom, opportunity are hard-won concepts.  You can help protect them for all. Each Fourth of July provides us with the opportunity to celebrate a uniquely American holiday. With family, friends, food, and fireworks, we raise up the strengths and ideals that create our American identity.  We are a country built on the premise of freedom and opportunity, justice, hard work,… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – July 2014

In this July edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Minimum wage petition drive enters home stretch 50 Nebraska groups urge House action for common-sense immigration laws Meet our 2014 Summer Law Clerks and Interns Two new staff members join Appleseed team Welcome new Officers to Appleseed Board of Directors Appleseed raises $37,000 on Give to Lincoln Day Final Day to Sign… Read more →

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2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Conner Kozisek

  Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Nebraska Appleseed intern Conner Kozisek, already had a good idea about his future plans from the time he was in Kindergarten.… Read more →

More than 50 Nebraska Organizations Urge House Action for Common-Sense Immigration Laws

Organizations Send Letter to Nebraska Delegation Urging House Action Today a diverse group of more than 50 Nebraska organizations representing thousands of Nebraskans again called upon Congress to enact common-sense immigration laws.  In a letter sent to the Nebraska Congressional delegation and released to the press, the groups reminded our Congressmen of the strong support for immigration reform in our… Read more →

Nebraska consumers find affordable options through Marketplace insurance plans

A new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finds that Nebraskans are finding affordable health insurance plans in the new Health Insurance Marketplace because of the competition and choice provided. Nebraskans who selected silver plans, the most popular plan type, with tax credits paid an average premium of $79 per month through the Health Insurance… Read more →

Farmers’ markets a new option for nutritious, local food for low-income families

In Nebraska, 14 farmers’ markets now accept payment in the form of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (formerly called ‘food stamps’).  This increases low-income families’ access to fresh produce, locally-sourced dairy products, and even seeds and plants that produce food. This option also benefits local farmers, because the equipment needed to process SNAP Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards also allows… Read more →

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Appleseed welcomes new Officers on Board of Directors

Nebraska Appleseed recently welcomed new officers to serve on our Board of Directors. These individuals will be instrumental in leading our efforts to increase opportunity and justice for all Nebraskans during their three-year term.   President Steve Achelpohl New Board President Steve Achelpohl is a Director at Gross & Welch, P.C., L.L.O., of Omaha. He is a Fellow of the… Read more →

2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Katie Hunsberger

Nebraska Appleseed law clerk Katie Hunsberger wears a lot of hats: mom, law student, clerk, U.S. Navy Lieutenant, but above it all, she just wants to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals. “My background has been in working to help individuals. In seeking to combine law and psychology, I am interested in finding additional ways to help… Read more →

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2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Carissa Hernandes

A perfect day for Nebraska Appleseed intern Carissa Hernandes would probably involve dancing the tango, ceviche with tortilla chips and working with people. “I love learning about different cultures and forming relationships with people,” Carissa said. “I want to have a career where I can do that.” A resident of Papillion, NE, and currently a senior international relations major at… Read more →

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Petitioners find statewide support for raising the minimum wage

NOTE: This is guest post from Appleseed intern Christina Guthmann, who has volunteered to gather petition signatures for the ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the privilege of working on the minimum wage ballot initiative with Appleseed. My first day on the job, I was trained on circulating by a state senator.… Read more →

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A Window of Opportunity for Common-Sense Immigration Laws

Take Action for Common-Sense Immigration Laws! This month marks the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Senate passing a bipartisan immigration bill, yet we’re still waiting for the House of Representatives to act. Today, add your voice to a nationwide call to action! Call your representative and urge him to fix our outdated immigration laws to stop separating families and to create… Read more →

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2014 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Jennifer Connell

For Nebraska Appleseed Communications intern, Jennifer Connell, detaching herself from the rural world she calls home has been a blessing and a challenge. “I honestly wouldn’t be where I am if my parents hadn’t pushed me to succeed. Every summer I’d come home and enjoy working outside so much that I never wanted to go back to school. My parents… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – June 2014

In this June edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Sign petition to raise Nebraska’s minimum wage Court decision keeps Native families together Fewer Nebraska kids getting summer meals A window of opportunity for common-sense immigration laws Traveling Nebraska to learn new health care needs Appleseed raises $30,000 on Give to Lincoln Day Support campaign to Raise Minimum Wage in Nebraska You… Read more →

Report: Fewer Nebraska kids being fed in summer

For Immediate Release June 2, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Nebraska Participation Drops in Summer Food Program Fewer Nebraska kids served summer meals in 2013 LINCOLN — Participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) dropped in Nebraska in 2013 according to a nationwide survey released today. This means more… Read more →

Nebraska Court of Appeals makes influential decisions on Indian Child Welfare Act

***For Immediate Release*** May 20, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Court of Appeals makes influential decisions on Indian Child Welfare Act Court holds ICWA protections apply to state wards placed in parental home LINCOLN – Today, the Nebraska Court of Appeals ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act’s… Read more →

Traveling Nebraska brings new friends and new focus on health care needs

Last week, I traveled around central Nebraska, reaching out to and meeting new organizations and individuals doing outreach and enrollment work for the Affordable Care Act. I am working to expand the Enroll Nebraska coalition with the goal to make it a truly statewide network, connecting organizations to resources and to one another. As I met with people along the… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – May 2014

In this May edition of “Appleseed in Action”: 2014 Legislative wrap-up Ballot initiative for raising minimum wage Take action against a failed deportation policy First ACA enrollment a success. Now what? Match Your Donation to Appleseed on Give To Lincoln Day 2014 Nebraska Legislature session has highs, lows for working families There were several important victories as well as some setbacks… Read more →

People changing individual health insurance plans is nothing new

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act have tried to cast doubt on the effectiveness of the law despite more than 8 million Americans – and 43,000 Nebraskans – signing up for private coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace during the first ACA enrollment period. One of their common complaints is that many Americans with nongroup coverage not provided by their… Read more →

DHHS announces nearly 43,000 Nebraskans covered through Marketplace

***For Immediate Release*** May 1, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nearly 43,000 Nebraskans newly insured through Health Insurance Marketplace Nebraska exceeds goal set by feds in health coverage enrollment under Affordable Care Act LINCOLN — Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported nearly 43,000 Nebraskans enrolled… Read more →

RELEASE – More Nebraska schools can offer meals to hungry kids

***For Immediate Release*** May 1, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nearly 100 Nebraska Schools Eligible to Participate in Free School Meals Today, the Nebraska Department of Education announced 94 schools in Nebraska will be eligible to serve more free meals to students using a powerful new tool known as… Read more →

The Growing Wage Gap is a Growing Problem in Nebraska

Earlier this month, Nebraska was near the top of the national rankings in a dubious statistic. According to the AFL-CIO’s 2014 Executive PayWatch website a CEO of a Nebraska company was paid, on average, 170 times more than an average worker and an astounding 421 times that of someone making the state’s minimum wage. That is the highest disparity of any state in the country except… Read more →

Minimum wage increase may go on the ballot this fall

A bill to raise Nebraska’s minimum wage to $9 per hour (LB 943) failed to pass in the Legislature this session, but its introducer, State Sen. Jeremy Nordquist, is hoping to take the issue straight to Nebraska voters. Yesterday, Sen. Nordquist told the Omaha World-Herald he is attempting to gather signatures for a ballot initiative to raise Nebraska’s minimum wage… Read more →

USDA questioned about line speed impact on worker, food safety

As the USDA continues to push its proposal to allow increased line speeds in poultry plants – with dangerous implications for food and worker safety – a Washington Post article raises new questions: Did USDA mislead the public, Congress about risks for poultry workers? Just the week before, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) issued an unusually… Read more →

Nebraska Leaders Testify at National Commission on Voting Rights Hearing

Hearing in Kansas City part of national series to examine state of voting challenges, successes and opportunities for election reform Nebraska voting rights advocates were among the testifiers at a hearing Monday in Kansas City organized by the National Commission on Voting Rights (NCVR). Voters, community leaders and advocates testified at the hearing about the accessibility of elections in Nebraska,… Read more →

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A failed deportation policy: Breaking up families for minor offenses

We’ve reached an unfortunate milestone under the Obama Administration – 2 million people have been deported from the U.S. under outdated policies, taking a devastating human and economic toll. Last week, The New York Times published a study that shows two-thirds of those people deported have committed only minor infractions such as traffic violations, or had no criminal record at all.… Read more →

Legislative Update

The 2014 Legislative session comes to a close this week when senators adjourn sine die on Thursday.  We’re pleased to let you know several of our big priority bills passed this session! Let’s take a quick look back at the highlights at the Capitol in 2014. Immigration reform resolution passes last week LR 399 (Sen. Wightman) – In the closing… Read more →

First ACA enrollment a success! So, now what?

A big congratulations is in order for all of the organizations and individuals who worked tirelessly throughout our state to make the first Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period a success! As of Monday, March 31st,  7.1 million people across the country have successfully enrolled in private coverage through the federally run Health Insurance Marketplace or their state equivalent. This… Read more →

Rally to support opportunities for Nebraska’s hardworking families

On Tuesday, the Nebraska Legislature voted down LB 943, a bill that would have raised Nebraska’s minimum wage to $9 per hour for hourly employees and increased the minimum wage for workers who earn tips to 70 percent of that standard minimum wage.  Introduced by Sen. Nordquist, with the tipped minimum wage amendment from Sen. Lathrop, the bill received 20… Read more →

Legislative Update

We are just seven days away from the close of the 2014 Nebraska Legislature session and several important bills await debate, and hopefully passage.  Read on to see how your voice can influence these debates and get caught up on the Legislature action from last week. Legislature fails to pass bill to raise minimum wage for hard-working families LB 943… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – April 2014

In this April edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Wellness In Nebraska Act filibustered in Legislature Priority bills advance at the Capitol Inter-American Commission hearing on workers’ human rights abuses “Rock Enroll” draws Nebraskans to Get Covered Karen quilting exhibit showcases immigrants’ stories Wellness In Nebraska Act filibuster denies health coverage for 54,000 Nebraskans On March 19, a group of state… Read more →

Teresa’s Story: Crippling work speeds lead to permanent pain and injuries

Note: As we reported last week, meatpacking and poultry workers, Nebraska Appleseed, the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights, and Southern Poverty Law Center testified before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on March 25. The Commission is investigating crippling injuries and human rights abuses in U.S. meat and poultry processing facilities. Petitioners called for better U.S. government policies to protect… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska: Woman able to take deep breath with affordable insurance

Rebecca Cech from Bellwood, Neb., found herself in a dangerous coverage gap that left her unable to afford health insurance.  She is self-employed, made an income too high to qualify for Medicaid and too low to afford private insurance…or so she thought. Rebecca knew she could not go uninsured. She has severe asthma and regularly uses two different medications plus… Read more →

Four surgeries and disabled after 8 years working in meatpacking plants

Note: As we reported earlier this week, meatpacking and poultry workers, Nebraska Appleseed, the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights, and Southern Poverty Law Center testified before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on March 25. The Commission is investigating crippling injuries and human rights abuses in U.S. meat and poultry processing facilities. Petitioners called for better U.S. government policies to… Read more →

Health Care Supporters Vow To Keep Fighting

Last week, a group of state senators left 54,000 uninsured Nebraskans without a path to health care coverage when they filibustered LB 887 – the Wellness In Nebraska Act that would have helped Nebraskan with low incomes get affordable health insurance. But Wednesday, state senators who have shown leadership on health care access joined advocates at the State Capitol for… Read more →

Quilt of Dreams and Memories

Lincoln High School students told the stories of their memories and journeys to Lincoln from Myanmar and Thailand, as well as the stories of their dreams for the future through quilting when the new exhibit “Quilt of Dreams and Memories” opened Sunday at the Sheldon Museum of Art. As the quilt was unveiled, students described their rural homes in Myanmar… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska – No more choosing between food or medicine

Twenty-four-year-old Selene Cruz of Gering, NE recently lost access to Medicaid coverage because her income rose when she began working two jobs to better provide for her children. At the time, she had a prescription refill coming up. Selene has severe fibromyalgia, and her medication would cost her more than $800 each month without insurance. On top of that, she… Read more →

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ACA In Nebraska – Marketplace provides new, less-expensive coverage plans

Sharlette Schwenninger is self employed and had been purchasing her own health insurance for five years. Every year, her premiums had been rising, but due to her own health concerns, she had always felt she needed a higher-premium plan. The insurance plan she had at the time had become very expensive outside of the Health Insurance Marketplace, so she decided… Read more →

Legislative Update

We’re now less than a month away from the end of the 2014 Nebraska Legislature session and last week was a big one as several of our priorities were debated on the floor. Legislature blocks Wellness In Nebraska Act from receiving vote For the second straight year, a bill to help 54,000 uninsured Nebraskans access affordable health coverage was defeated… Read more →

Commission investigates human rights violations in meatpacking, poultry plants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 25, 2013 Contact: Apreill Hartsfield Southern Poverty Law Center (334) 782-6624 apreill.hartsfield@splcenter.org Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Hears Testimony About Worker Abuse in U.S. Meatpacking, Poultry Plants  WASHINGTON – Civil rights groups and meat and poultry workers testified before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) today, describing how the… Read more →

Nebraska Workers to Testify to International Human Rights Commission

Over the last couple of years we have kept you informed on the high rates of crippling injuries in meatpacking and poultry processing and our fight against the USDA’s dangerous Poultry Rule, which will further increase work speeds and remove federal food safety inspectors, posing great dangers to food and workers’ safety. Washington Post: “Poultry workers take fight to Capitol… Read more →

ADVISORY: Human rights advocates, former meatpacking, poultry workers to testify on human rights abuses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 20, 2014 Contact: Apreill Hartsfield, Southern Poverty Law Center, (334) 782-6624; apreill.hartsfield@splcenter.org Jeff Sheldon, Nebraska Appleseed, (402) 438-8853, (402) 840-7289; jsheldon@neappleseed.org Meat and Poultry Workers to Testify at Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Hearing Tuesday, March 25 – A coalition of civil rights groups and meat and poultry workers will testify before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to describe how… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska: Marketplace policy allowed Omaha woman to follow career dreams

Amanda Caillau of Omaha worked as a manager at a restaurant and had health insurance through her employer. But what she really wanted to do was go back to school to pursue her dream of becoming an art teacher. So she did–but in doing so, she lost her insurance. When she initially lost her coverage, she looked at purchasing private… Read more →

Please thank the senators who fought for hard-working, uninsured Nebraskans

As you may have seen this morning, LB 887, the Wellness in Nebraska Act, that would have provided a path to affordable health insurance for at least 54,000 uninsured Nebraskans, was filibustered this morning. The vote to end debate was 27-21, with 33 votes necessary to end debate. While this is a disappointing outcome, we will continue to work with… Read more →

Legislature denies health care access to 54,000 Nebraskans

Today’s failure to pass the Wellness in Nebraska Act hurts 54,000 of our hard-working families, neighbors, and friends, who now must continue to live and suffer without proper access to health care by having no options for affordable insurance,” Gould said.  “This decision also hurts our state, by missing the opportunity to make real and positive improvements in our broader… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska: Young professional finds complete coverage

26-year-old Sara Tangdall teaches part-time as an adjunct English composition professor in the Omaha-metro area. Because she does not have a full-time position, she was unable to get insurance through her job, so she decided to check out the Health Insurance Marketplace. Having insurance for Sara is critical because she has severe asthma and allergies and requires prescriptions that, without… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska: Omaha man dissatisfied with old insurance finds new coverage in Marketplace

Adam Witte, 31, of Omaha had been purchasing private insurance on the individual market for the last several years, but he admits he was not exactly in love with the customer service experience of his old insurance company. “First the number would disconnect me after being on hold for 45 minutes,” Adam said.  “So I tried a different number and… Read more →

Katie Nungesser worked as a certified Navigator, helping people understand their health insurance options and select a plan in the Marketplace.

ACA In Nebraska – Navigators find it rewarding to help people Get Covered

Katie Nungesser saw daily the relief – and sometimes tears – on people’s faces when she informed them they will be able to afford health insurance, in many cases for the first time ever. Until recently Katie, 28, worked as a certified Navigator with the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska in Lincoln, helping people discover their health insurance options in the… Read more →

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Legislative Update

Last week was the first week of full-day debate at the Legislature, and several of Appleseed’s priority bills were on the move. LB 853 – This bill, which implements stakeholder recommendations to implement the Bridge to Independence program passed on General File on March 7.  This bill will be important to ensure a solid start to the Bridge to Independence… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska – Navigators find it rewarding to help people Get Covered

Katie Nungesser saw daily the relief – and sometimes tears – on people’s faces when she informed them they will be able to afford health insurance, in many cases for the first time ever. Until recently Katie, 28, worked as a certified Navigator with the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska in Lincoln, helping people discover their health insurance options in the… Read more →

Legislative Update

Last week was the first week of full-day debate at the Legislature, and several of Appleseed’s priority bills were on the move. LB 853 – This bill, which implements stakeholder recommendations to implement the Bridge to Independence program passed on General File on March 7.  This bill will be important to ensure a solid start to the Bridge to Independence… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed

In this March edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Floor debate ramps up in Legislature Congressman, advocates urge stop Poultry Rule “Rock Enroll” concert to encourage people to Get Covered Fast For Families leader visits Omaha Priority bills advance in 2014 Legislative session Last week was the final week of committee hearings in the 2014 Nebraska legislative session, which means the… Read more →

Legislative Update

Last week was the final week of committee hearings in the 2014 Nebraska legislative session, which means the rest of the session will feature full days of floor debate starting today. Appleseed’s priority bills will be up for debate over the next couple of weeks and we will be sending you notices at key moments to take action on important… Read more →

Congressmen, Workers, and Advocates ask USDA to pluck the Poultry Rule

Yesterday, U.S. Representatives Bennie Thompson (Mississippi), Marcia Fudge (Ohio), and Shelia Jackson-Lee (Texas), along Hilary O. Shelton, the NAACP’s senior vice president for policy and advocacy, joined poultry workers in Washington, D.C., to strongly urge the Obama Administration to stop the USDA’s proposed poultry rule. This proposal would permit poultry processing plants to increase the speed of the processing line,… Read more →

RELEASE: Congressional Leaders, Poultry Workers Urge the Administration to Take Action to stop harmful USDA Poultry Rule

WASHINGTON – Congressman Bennie Thompson and other congressional leaders joined poultry workers today urging the Administration to stop the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from allowing poultry plants to increase processing line speeds – a decision likely to lead to more worker injuries and threaten food safety in Nebraska and across the country. The USDA plans to enact new regulations… Read more →

Appleseed statement on LB887 advancing to floor of the Legislature

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement on LB887, the Wellness In Nebraska Act, being advanced to the floor of the Legislature by the HHS Committee. “We strongly support today’s decision by the HHS Committee to advance LB 887 to the floor of the Legislature.  WIN will provide essential and affordable health insurance coverage for 54,000 of our… Read more →

Minimum wage bill gets priority designation

A bill to raise Nebraska’s minimum wage to $9 per hour received a priority designation Thursday when its introducer, State senator Jeremy Nordquist, designated LB 943 his priority bill for this Legislative session. Appleseed is a strong supporter of this bill, which would help more hard-working Nebraskans make ends meet and be a step toward rebuilding our middle class. Read… Read more →

New report shows more working mothers in Nebraska make low incomes

More than 26,000 low-income families in Nebraska are headed by working mothers according to the new report, “Low-Income Working Mothers and State Policy: Investing for a Better Economic Future.” The report, which was released today by the Working Poor Families Project and utilizes the latest data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, finds that Nebraska ranks 15th in the… Read more →

Legislative Update – February 11, 2014

A couple of Appleseed’s top priority bills received committee hearings last week, and priority bill designation has begun.  Get caught up and see how you can get involved in this week’s Legislative Update. Appleseed testifies in support of bipartisan resolution calling for common-sense immigration laws On February 5th, Appleseed joined a large group of faith, business, and community leaders to… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska: Marketplace saves money for Omaha business owner

As October 16th neared, Omaha resident Mike Nellis knew he would not only be celebrating his 26th birthday—he would also lose access to his parents’ health insurance. As a small business owner, Mike couldn’t afford to provide insurance for himself through his company. He knew he would have to seek out options on his own. Because of the initial difficulties… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed Statement on LR 399 to recommend supporting new, common-sense immigration laws

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Director Darcy Tromanhauser released the following statement on LR 399, which was heard Wednesday afternoon by the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee. “Fixing our outdated immigration system is long overdue. Our antiquated immigration laws needlessly separate thousands of Nebraska families and prevent many people who already work hard, pay taxes, and contribute to our communities from… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – February 2014

In this February edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Priority bills heard in Legislature Congress passes Farm Bill Appleseed welcomes new members to Board of Directors Rachel Gehringer-Wiar joins Appleseed staff Priority bills go before committees in 2014 Legislative session Several of Appleseed’s priority bills in the 2014 session of the Nebraska Legislature have received committee hearings. The final day of… Read more →

Legislative Update – February 4, 2014

Two of Appleseed’s priority bills were heard in committee last week with several additional important bills up for hearings this week.  Read more about Appleseed’s stances and learn how you can get involved. Wellness In Nebraska supporters pack HHS Committee Hearing On January 29, dozens of supporters packed a State Capitol room to testify in support of LB 887, the… Read more →

House takes steps toward new immigration laws

Last week, the House Republican leadership released a set of principles for updating our country’s immigration laws. We were encouraged to see the release of these principles as an indication that this year’s legislative agenda will include immigration reform, which unfortunately stalled in the House after the Senate passed a historic bipartisan bill last year. This inaction – in the… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed Statement on LB 943 to increase the state minimum wage

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould release the following statement about LB 943, which was heard Monday by the Legislature’s Business and Labor Committee. “Hard work is a core value in Nebraska. Our state boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and one of the highest rates of parents participating in the workforce. But our economy… Read more →

Appleseed statement on Wellness In Nebraska bill, LB 887

***For Immediate Release*** January 29, 2014 PRESS RELEASE: Statement on Wellness In Nebraska bill, LB 887. WIN would extend health insurance access to at least 54,000 working Nebraskans. LINCOLN — Today, the Nebraska Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing on LB 887, which would provide health insurance coverage to 54,000 working Nebraskans that will otherwise remain uninsured.… Read more →

Legislative Update – January 28, 2014

Committee hearings on bills began last week, and Appleseed testified on several bills of interest.  We will be testifying on more of our priority bills this week during the first full week of committee hearings. Hearing on Wellness In Nebraska bill Wednesday LB 887 – The “Wellness In Nebraska Act” (WIN) would provide health insurance to at least 54,000 Nebraskans.… Read more →

LB 853 would help young Nebraskans have best chance at success

During the 2013 Legislative session, state senators passed LB 216, a landmark piece of legislation to help remove barriers to health and success for young people who age out of Nebraska’s foster care system.  The bill created a voluntary system of services and support for these young people, now known as the Bridge to Independence program. After last year’s session,… Read more →

“Warning horns should blast full force” about proposed Poultry Rule

The Charlotte Observer has published two strong pieces in the past few days that address the risks of the USDA’s proposed poultry rule — a rule that would increase line speeds to a punishing 175 birds per minute and decrease the number of federal inspectors in favor of company-trained (or not trained) employees. These changes would considerably increase the risk… Read more →

ACA In Nebraska: New policies help Nebraskans receive mental health care

One of the most beneficial pieces of the Affordable Care Act that is often overlooked is the importance the ACA gives to mental health.  Mental health coverage is one of the 10 essential health benefits that new insurance policies must cover according to the ACA. That provision already is helping Nebraskans.  Last weekend, Cathryn Reed of St. Edward, Neb., wrote… Read more →

Legislative Update

It’s a busy time in the Nebraska Legislature as bill introduction concludes this week and committee hearings begin.  Several key bills that Appleseed is closely following were introduced last week and still more will be in committee hearings this week. Appleseed responds to Governor’s State of the State Address Governor Heineman issued his State of the State Address on Wednesday,… Read more →

Appleseed is proud to welcome new members to its Board of Directors

Nebraska Appleseed is very excited to announce the addition of three new members to our Board of Directors. Carol Bloch Carol Bloch of Omaha joined the Appleseed Board of Directors in January 2014 and has a long history of public service and advocacy work in Nebraska. She currently serves as the co-chair of the Courts Matter Coalition of Nebraska and… Read more →

More than 14,000 Nebraskans covered through Marketplace to start 2014

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported this week Nebraska is in the top 20 of states in enrolling people in health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace. According to DHHS figures, 14,464 Nebraskans have purchased private plans through the Marketplace.  That number is 77 percent of the goal set for the state by the Centers… Read more →

LB 943, LB 955, LB 956 are common-sense policies that make sure hard work pays

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement on LB 943, LB 955, and LB 956, which were introduced in the Legislature and are aimed at protecting Nebraska’s working families. “Hard work is one of Nebraska’s foundational values, however, the economy has changed and left too many hard-working Nebraska families behind. LB 943, LB 955, and LB… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed Statement in support of LB928 ICWA bill

Today, Nebraska Appleseed issued the following statement on LB928 introduced by Senator Colby Coash and the State-Tribal Relations Committee. “Nebraska Appleseed enthusiastically supports LB928 introduced by Senator Colby Coash and the State-Tribal Relations Committee,” said Robert McEwen, a staff attorney with Nebraska Appleseed’s Child Welfare Program. “This bill would add much-needed clarity to Nebraska’s state ICWA statute, removing legal ambiguity… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Governor’s State of the State Address

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Becky Gould issued the following statement in response to the Governor’s State of the State Address. “This morning, Governor Heineman laid out his priorities for the next year in his State of the State Address. We agree with the Governor that Nebraskans value family, hard work, and fiscal responsibility and that the actions we take… Read more →

Legislative Update

The 2014 Nebraska Legislature began this year’s 60-day session last week, and each week we will provide an update on bills related to Appleseed’s programs.  It’s been a busy start to the session already, and a number of bills have been introduced that Appleseed is excited about. Wellness In Nebraska provides uniquely Nebraskan solution to health care LB 887 –… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed statement on Wellness In Nebraska bill LB 887

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement on LB 887, which would help more working Nebraskans get access to affordable health care coverage. “A strong economy, a productive workforce, and a thriving future for our state all depend on having a health care system that works for all Nebraskans.  LB 887 would provide health insurance to… Read more →

ACA in Nebraska: Marketplace helped young entrepreneur get covered

A couple years ago, Phil Jarrett, a young professional in Omaha, found out that his medical costs didn’t stop once he got done paying for surgery. That was the year Phil spent nearly half of his annual income on medical bills – even with health insurance provided by his employer. “My old plans wouldn’t cover items relating to pre-existing conditions… Read more →

Rachel Gehringer-Wiar joins Appleseed as Health Care Program Associate

At the beginning of January, Appleseed was pleased to welcome Rachel Gehringer-Wiar to our Health Care Program as a Program Associate. Rachel is an Omaha native, a former Nebraska Appleseed intern, and recently graduated from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. While attending UNL, Rachel became very involved organizing and community work.  She led… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed Statement on 50th Anniversary of War On Poverty

Public policies helped lift hundreds of thousands of Nebraskans out of poverty Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson gave the State of the Union address to Congress in which he launched a War On Poverty. He introduced legislation to establish programs that made reducing poverty a national priority. President Johnson’s legislation set in motion the establishment of programs that… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – January 2014

In this Happy 2014 edition of “Appleseed in Action”: 2014 Nebraska Legislature session kicks off Support common-sense immigration laws Appleseed argues in front of Nebraska Court of Appeals 2014 Nebraska Legislature session kicks off Today the Nebraska Legislature begins what is sure to be an active 2014 session.  The Legislature will address bills dealing with many Appleseed issues during the… Read more →

ACCESS Nebraska Working Group issues Statement of Principles to guide reforms of troubled system

For Immediate Release December 19, 2013 LINCOLN —  Today, the ACCESS Nebraska Working Group, a collection of advocates, community partners, and stakeholders, issued a statement of principles to be used as a guide to improve the troubled ACCESS Nebraska system. Yesterday, the Legislative Performance Audit Office released findings that highlighted severe flaws in the ACCESS Nebraska system. This statement of… Read more →

One step closer to Bridge to Independence for youth aging out of foster care

With 2014 just around the bend, we are closer than ever to local implementation of a program that has had child welfare advocates buzzing for years.  This program, recently titled Bridge to Independence by members of Project Everlast, will voluntarily extend services and support to age 21 for youth aging out of foster care.  This program was created by the… Read more →

Documentary “American Winter” shows strain poverty puts on U.S. families

The true face of poverty and its damaging effects on real American families is on display in the eye-opening documentary “American Winter,” which tells the stories of several families in the Portland, Oregon, area as they deal with job losses, mounting bills, losing their homes, and the toll these challenges can take on a family. A synopsis from the film’s… Read more →

A long and earned path to citizenship

One of the mistaken sentiments expressed by opponents of updating our immigration laws is that creating a clear process for citizenship somehow moves undocumented immigrants “to the front of the line” ahead of people who already have taken steps in the citizenship process. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Immigrants currently stuck in backlogs would be processed first, and… Read more →

Increased line speeds means more risk to food and worker safety

Bloomberg BusinessWeek has published a compelling piece today by Ted Genoways who examines the work and food safety issues of five U.S. pork plants that have been participating in a pilot program that increases the processing line’s work speed and reduces the number of federal inspectors, including the Hormel plant in Fremont, Nebraska. This pilot program is identical to the… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – December 2013

In this December edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Prayer vigils for updated immigration laws Free screening of “I Learn America” immigrant film Legislative hearing examines disparity of Native American children in foster care Medicaid expansion would narrow health care coverage gap Poultry Rule endangers food and workers during holidays Sign online petition for fair, responsible Nebraska tax structure Support Appleseed’s… Read more →

Interfaith candlelight vigil brings Nebraskans together to call for updated immigration laws

Tuesday evening, a crowd of around 100 faith, family, and community leaders joined immigration reform supporters for a candlelight vigil outside the Roman Hruska Federal Courthouse in downtown Omaha to support common-sense U.S. immigration laws being passed before the end of the year. The candlelight vigil, held in conjunction with the 7th night of Hanukkah, was held to lift up… Read more →

Thanksgiving draws attention to poultry workers’ safety

Today, as the Thanksgiving turkey gets pardoned by the President and as Americans get ready to spend time with their families for the holiday, we would like to highlight some excellent blog posts and articles that call attention to how a proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Agriculture would be harmful to consumer and worker safety. These posts clearly… Read more →

Free screening of “I Learn America” film in Omaha

The children of immigration, here to stay, are the new Americans. How we fare in welcoming them will determine the nature of this country in the 21st century and beyond. Schools have a unique role in bridging divides between newcomer and longer term students and families and helping all students succeed. You’re invited to a special screening of “I Learn… Read more →

New survey shows U.S. falls short of other countries in health care affordability for adults

A recent study by the Commonwealth Fund looked at the access and affordability of health care for adults in 11 countries, including the United States. The results don’t speak well for us here in the USA when stacked up against other developed nations.  The survey found that adults in the U.S. were more likely than peers in other countries to… Read more →

Lincoln leaders hold prayer vigil for updated immigration laws

As the holiday season approaches, Lincoln-area faith, youth, civil rights, and family leaders came together outside Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s office today for a prayer vigil expressing the urgency of updating federal immigration laws this year to stop the separation of Nebraska families. The group gathered around a dinner table with one place setting missing to symbolize the many Nebraska families… Read more →

Legislative hearing discusses ways to improve disparity of Native children in foster care

The high rate of Native American children removed from their homes by Nebraska’s foster care system continues to be a concern. In Nebraska, Native children represent 1 in every 10 children in the foster care system.  That’s 10 percent, which is drastically higher than the percentage of our state’s population that identify as Native American (1.5 percent).  That’s an alarming… Read more →

Sign online petition supporting responsible tax system in Nebraska

The Nebraska Tax Modernization Committee has finished up its series of public hearings and is now meeting to come up with recommendations for the future of our state’s tax system. We have one more way we would like our state senators to hear from you. Please consider signing this online petition started by Rebuild Nebraska telling our senators you believe… Read more →

Appleseed intake line a resource to help Nebraskans overcome barriers

With support from the Omaha Community Foundation, Appleseed provides an Intake and Information telephone line to assist low-income community members with concerns related to our areas of expertise.  While we do not usually provide legal representation to the people who contact us, we help give callers the information and resources they need to successfully resolve their issues. We recently surveyed… Read more →

Safety Net Hospitals Face Crippling Cuts without Medicaid Expansion

One of the cost-saving measures in the Affordable Care Act was the reduction in disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments to the states. DSH payments are federal money that goes to hospitals serving a large (or disproportionate) number of uninsured or underinsured patients, to offset those costs. The ACA was constructed so DSH payments wouldn’t be needed anymore because nearly everyone… Read more →

USDA continues to push for dangerous poultry rule in spite of mounting evidence

Dr.Celeste Monforton, a health and safety expert who writes at The Pump Handle, a health and safety blog, wrote a superb post last week that expresses disbelief at the USDA’s insistence – in the face of extensive and contradictory evidence – that the poultry rule will improve food safety. Dr. Monforton lists all of the evidence that has piled up… Read more →

Nebraskans hold vigils, events to urge House action on immigration this year

The four-person dinner table contained settings for only three.  The head of the table sat empty, its absence most conspicuous. The symbol was a powerful one.  Representing Nebraska families who are missing a loved one because of detention or deportation, this dinner scene was not whole, incomplete. Thursday, Nebraskans in several cities gathered together to urge our state’s House of… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – November 2013

In this November edition of “Appleseed in Action” Health care Marketplace now open 2,000 Nebraskans march and rally for updated immigration laws Nationwide SNAP cuts will harm Nebraska families Federal child welfare news Tax Modernization Committee finishes public hearings Toward a Just Society: Poster prints benefiting Nebraska Appleseed Open enrollment begins, provides affordable coverage for Nebraskans The new Health Care… Read more →

Updating immigration laws would boost U.S. economy

We know updating our immigration laws to include a pathway to citizenship for people living in the U.S. would go a long way toward keeping families together, improving health outcomes for Nebraska children, and reflect our state’s values of compassion and dignity. But, there are bottom-line, dollar-and-cents reasons to fix our outdated immigration system as well.  This article from “Immigration… Read more →

Take Action – Prayer vigil for new immigration law Thursday

This year, thousands of Nebraskans have shown their support for Congress to pass updated immigration laws that keep families together, make our economy stronger, and move us forward as a state and country. Join us Thursday, November 7, for a prayer vigil for immigration reform outside Congressman Lee Terry’s Omaha office.  A host of Omaha faith leaders will lead supporters… Read more →

November 1 reduction in SNAP funding is about to hurt Nebraska families

At the end of this week, thousands of Nebraska families who receive food assistance will face even more uncertainty because of a nationwide reduction in payments from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. On November 1, there will be a nationwide reduction in payments from SNAP, formerly called ‘food stamps’, which helps about 180,000 Nebraskans – or 10 percent of our… Read more →

Federal child welfare news

While Nebraska Appleseed continues to work with state lawmakers and local stakeholders to improve our state’s child welfare system, we also have been following several efforts to address child welfare issues at the federal level. Last week, I attended a gathering of policy advocates in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities… Read more →

Affordable Care Act provides health care coverage opportunities for youth with foster care experience

There has been a lot of talk and excitement recently about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which will be fully implemented starting January 1, 2014.  While the ACA goes a long way in providing Nebraskans with access to affordable and comprehensive coverage, there are a few lesser-known provisions.  In particular, youth who age out of foster care will be eligible… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed statement on fixing outdated U.S. immigration system

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement on the effort to pass updated immigration laws to fix the outdated U.S. immigration system: “There is broad consensus in Nebraska and across the country that now is the time to update our immigration laws,” Gould said. “This morning, President Obama reiterated that Americans all over the country from… Read more →

“Valiant Voices” exhibit shows true stories of poverty and perseverance in Omaha

Since May, Appleseed has been partnering with Heart Ministry Center and a group of Omaha women who are fighting to break the cycle of generational poverty.  A grant from the Women’s Fund of Omaha allowed us to provide these women with digital cameras to document the challenges they face on a daily basis. The result is a moving and enlightening… Read more →

Columbus business tour celebrates diversity of locally owned businesses

An article in Thursday’s Columbus Telegram highlighted a recent small-business tour that invited residents to get to know some of the diverse local businesses that help Columbus’ community thrive. From the article: “From long-standing businesses to newly opened stores, a tour through Columbus showcased a diversity among establishments in the city. A group of about 20 people went on the… Read more →

You’re Invited! Valiant Voices: Portraits of Strength

Ever wonder what barriers Omaha women face in breaking the cycle of generational poverty? Please join us for the opening of Valiant Voices: Portraits of Strength, Friday, October 25th at 12:00 p.m., at the First Floor Rotunda of the Capitol. This photo project, supported by the Women’s Fund of Omaha and in partnership with the Heart Ministry Center, showcases the… Read more →

Crowd of 2,000 Nebraskans march and rally for common-sense immigration laws

Saturday, an estimated 2,000 Nebraskans from across the state gathered in Omaha to urge Nebraska’s members of Congress to pass updated immigration laws in 2013 that strengthen families, businesses, communities, and the future of our state. The “Families’ March and Rally for Dignity and Respect” was part of a nationwide push for immigration reform this week in which tens of… Read more →

March and rally in Omaha Saturday for updated immigration laws

Saturday is a huge day for Nebraskans who think NOW is the time to fix our outdated immigration system! We want you to join hundreds of Nebraskans from across the state in Omaha Saturday afternoon as we march and gather to tell Congress now is the time to pass updated immigration laws that strengthen families, businesses, communities, and the future… Read more →

“Valiant Voices: Portraits of Strength” opens tonight in Omaha

Tonight, you’re invited for a first look at the new exhibit “Valiant Voices: Portraits of Strength” at the First Friday art walk in Omaha’s historic Benson neighborhood. “Valiant Voices” is a special photo project that cuts through the clutter and stereotypes of what you think you might know about what it means to live an everyday struggle with poverty. This… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – October 2013

In this October edition of “Appleseed in Action” 2013 Good Apple Awards a week away! Government shutdown may affect public programs Health care Marketplace now open Oct. 12 immigration event House passes drastic SNAP cuts that threaten Nebraska families and children Tax Modernization Committee holds public hearings 2013 Good Apple Awards on Thursday, October 10 in Omaha Join Appleseed on… Read more →

Government shutdown could have consequences for Nebraska families with low incomes

As you likely know by now, Congress has not been able to come to an agreement to continue to fund many activities and programs.  That means on Tuesday, the federal government was shut down. Although many public benefits programs will be able to keep operating because they currently are able to access funding from the prior year, an extended shutdown… Read more →

New USDA poultry rule poses great risk to food and workers’ safety

Last week, a coalition of worker and food safety advocates and allies gathered in front of the White House and rolled out a petition that contained over 500,000 names of people from all over the country who strongly oppose the USDA’s proposed poultry rule. This dangerous rule would increase the already high speed of the production line to an unfathomable… Read more →

Appleseed intern learns rewarding lessons in Washington, D.C.

 NOTE: Iliana Panameno is a former Nebraska Appleseed intern who is now a graduate student at the Boston University School of Social Work. This summer, I had the opportunity to intern for SCAN of Northern Virginia, through my participation in the Institute of Philanthropy and Voluntary Services. I always knew I wanted to work towards bringing social justice to all… Read more →

Introducing the 2013 Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award honoree – Sen. John Harms

On October 10, we will celebrate the outstanding contributions of Nebraskans who have stood up for justice and opportunity for all at the 2013 Good Apple Awards in Omaha.  In the days leading up to the Good Apple Awards, we are proud to introduce you to the honorees we are recognizing this year. The Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award recognizes… Read more →

Introducing the 2013 Seeds of Justice Award honoree – Justice for Our Neighbors

On October 10, we will celebrate the outstanding contributions of Nebraskans who have stood up for justice and opportunity for all at the 2013 Good Apple Awards in Omaha.  In the days leading up to the Good Apple Awards, we are proud to introduce you to the honorees we are recognizing this year. The Seeds of Justice Award honors outstanding… Read more →

The End of the Comprehensive Health Insurance Pool

Beginning October 1, those who have been denied health insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition will be able to sign up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s new health insurance Marketplace. That coverage will begin January 1, 2014. Until now, the Comprehensive Health Insurance Pool in Nebraska (or CHIP) has been the only option for Nebraskans who couldn’t… Read more →

Introducing the 2013 Good Apple Award Honorees – The Roots of Justice Award

On October 10, we will celebrate the outstanding contributions of Nebraskans who have stood up for justice and opportunity for all at the 2013 Good Apple Awards in Omaha.  In the days leading up to the Good Apple Awards, we will be proud to introduce you to the honorees we are recognizing this year. The Roots of Justice Award recognizes… Read more →

Resources ready to help as we countdown to Health Insurance Open Enrollment

Open enrollment is just around the corner. Beginning October 1, many of those who are uninsured and don’t have access to health care coverage through their employer can purchase coverage in the new health insurance marketplace. And, in fact, a new study suggests almost half of those eligible for coverage in the new marketplace will pay less than $100 per… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed statement opposing damaging House bill to cut SNAP

Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Passage of House “Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act” LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement on the House of Representatives’ “Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act,” (H.R. 3102) passed by the House on Thursday. “SNAP helps Nebraskans feed their families when they face hard times. The bill approved in… Read more →

Immigration Reform Summer: Now it’s time for House action

This was the summer of immigration reform in Nebraska and around the country. While our congressmen were back in Nebraska during the August recess, they heard loud and clear across the state Nebraskans are tired of seeing our families and communities harmed by outdated immigration laws. Community, faith, business, youth, and immigrant leaders attended town halls and held dozens of… Read more →

Nebraskans to celebrate National Welcoming Week

A new and growing chorus of voices across the country – from mayors to business owners to everyday residents – recognize the contributions that immigrants bring to our communities and are developing comprehensive efforts to welcome them. This week, from September 15th to the 22nd, this chorus will grow as immigrants and U.S.-born individuals come together across the the U.S.… Read more →

Take Action: Oppose dangerous House proposal to slash food assistance

No Nebraskan should have to go hungry.  But, this week the House of Representatives will introduce a bill that would slash $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), which helps nearly 180,000 people in Nebraska – a large proportion of them children – get enough to eat. We are urging you to call your congressman… Read more →

2013 Good Apple Awards Honorees – Introducing Justin Kemerling: the Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader Award

Appleseed’s annual Good Apple Awards allow Appleseed to recognize people who do outstanding work advancing justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans, and over the next few weeks, we will be introducing you to our 2013 honorees. This year’s event on October 10, 2013 at the Livestock Exchange Building in Omaha is just a month away, and we’re excited to announce… Read more →

Health insurance marketplace provide more options for seniors

As a New York Times article points out, the new health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act offer those who are nearing retirement age more options. Currently, someone who might be contemplating retirement might choose to delay until they are eligible for Medicare at age 65. Those who retire prior to age 65 may have a difficult time… Read more →

Take Action – Add your voice to Nebraska tax discussion

Our state’s tax system affects every Nebraska family, and changes in tax policy can have big implications especially to families that make low incomes. To make sure our tax system is fair for our state’s lowest-earning families, Appleseed is keeping a close eye on the discussion about possible changes to Nebraska’s tax system made by the Legislature’s Tax Modernization Committee.… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – September 2013

In this September edition of “Appleseed in Action” Nebraskans urge congressmen “Keep Our Families Together” during recess Drastic SNAP cuts threaten Nebraska families and children Appleseed petitions OSHA to protect meatpacking and poultry workers Enroll Nebraska prepares to help thousands enroll in health care coverage Legislature Tax Modernization Committee to hold public meetings 2013 Good Apple Awards: Reserve your tickets!… Read more →

Details emerge about dangerous House proposal to drastically cut food assistance

Last week, we told you about newly released data that shows 1 in 7 Nebraska households struggle with hunger, while at the same time, the House of Representatives will introduce a bill this month that will slash $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps thousands of working families and children in Nebraska get enough to eat.… Read more →

New USDA data show 1 in 7 Nebraska households struggle with hunger

According to new data released Wednesday, 1 in 7 Nebraska households struggle against hunger. The statistics, compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service, show 13.4 percent of Nebraska households struggled with hunger on average in the years 2010-2012 according to the USDA’s annual report on food insecurity. More than 48.9 million Americans lived in households that… Read more →

Civil Rights Groups Urge OSHA, USDA to Protect Poultry, Meatpacking Plant Workers

Workers Suffer Injuries, Illnesses Due to Punishing Processing Line Speeds A coalition of civil rights groups filed a formal petition today urging the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to better protect workers in poultry and meatpacking plants where federal policies allow workers to operate in hazardous conditions that often leave them… Read more →