News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – March 2013

LEARN-MOREIn this March edition of “Appleseed in Action”

  • Take Action on three important bills at the Legislature
  • Appleseed at the Unicameral
  • You can support Federal Immigration Reform
  • Celebrate Appleseed’s 17th birthday
  • Meet our new staff members

Take Action on Three Important Bills at the Legislature

Take-ActionNow is an important moment for YOU to take action on several important bills going through the Legislature.

LB 577 – This bill would implement the Affordable Care Act’s new Medicaid program in Nebraska.  It would provide health care access to at least 54,000 uninsured Nebraskans, bring more than $2 billion tax dollars back to our state, grow the economy, and save lives. Read Appleseed’s fact sheet on LB 577 and watch this video on how Medicaid works in Nebraska.

You can take action to support LB 577.  Call or write your state senator and tell them this bill is a win-win for the health of Nebraska’s economy and our people.

LB 216 – This bill would would take advantage of a federal option to create a system of extended transition services and support for young people who age out of Nebraska’s foster care system.  These critical services would better meet the needs of these young people in a more inclusive and age-appropriate way.  Read Appleseed’s fact sheet on LB 216.

Take action to support LB 216. Call or write your state senator and tell them this bill give young people transitioning from foster care a real opportunity to be productive, healthy, and engaged members of our community as adults.

LB 381 – A voter suppression bill that would require Nebraska citizens to have a photo identification with their current address in order vote in elections.  Appleseed is strongly opposed to such measures that create barriers to democracy. It undermines the voting rights of many older Nebraskans, Nebraskans that live in rural areas, students who move several times per year, and Nebraskans with low incomes.

Learn more about by watching this short documentary video compiled by Nebraskans for Civic Reform about the successful statewide effort defeating the measure in 2012.

Take action to oppose LB 381. Call or write your state senator and tell them this unnecessary roadblock to the democratic process has no place in Nebraska.

Appleseed at the Unicameral

nebraska-state-capital1-150x150Appleseed was very active in February during the 2013 Legislative session, working with senators and testifying in front of committees on bills that support justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans.

Health Care

Appleseed joined dozens of supporters who testified in favor of LB 577 on February 28 in front of the Health and Human Services Committee.  LB 577 would implement the new Medicaid option in Nebraska that will provide an affordable health care option to thousands of uninsured Nebraskans and bring billions of dollars back to our state.  It’s a good deal for our state.  It will grow the economy. And it is the right thing to do.

Fair Elections

On February 14, Appleseed testified in support of LB 235 to protect the voting rights of all Nebraskans.

LB 235 would establish community advisory committees to work with the election commissioners in Nebraska’s three largest counties – Douglas, Sarpy, and Lancaster County – to give those communities a voice when it comes to decisions that impact voters.

The bill also would reduce the size of voting precincts from 1,750 voters who voted in the previous general election to 1,000 voters.  This means more polling places that are conveniently located to better ensure everyone has a chance to vote.
Our right to vote is the foundation of our democracy – and a right that must always be protected for all Nebraskans.

Child Welfare

Appleseed testified in support of LB 265, a bill that would enable children in foster care to be placed with a family friend or person with whom the child has a previous, significant contact – known as a “kinship home” – without the foster parent being required to go through a time-consuming licensing process.

Prioritizing the placement of children with kin is important to helping them maintain their cultural and familial connections and has been a key issue for Nebraska Appleseed for many years.

Regressive Tax Bills Defeated

On February 6 and 7, Appleseed was part of the overwhelming opposition to LB 405 and LB 406 which would have created a regressive tax plan that would harm Nebraska’s middle class and low-income working families.

In a hearing that lasted more than nine hours, Nebraskans from all over the state waited well into the night to tell the Revenue Committee LB 405 would have damaging effects to the high quality of life Nebraskans work so hard for.

Thanks in part to the opposition, these bills were killed by the Revenue Committee at the request of the Governor.

Follow Appleseed at the Legislature

Take Action for a clear roadmap to citizenship!

Take-ActionMomentum is surging and the time is now for common-sense immigration laws that uphold our values and move us forward!

This is a critical moment for action. We want our members of Congress to hear support for a roadmap to citizenship for aspiring new Americans as well as positive changes to our immigration laws for future citizens. We know anti-immigrant groups are activating calls to Congress, so please take a quick moment to make a short call to your senators and representative.

Calling either the local or D.C. phone number is fine.

  • Sen. Mike Johanns (202) 224-4224 or (402) 476-1400
  • Sen. Deb Fischer (202) 224-6551 or (402) 441-4600
  • Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (202) 225-4806 or (402) 438-1598
  • Rep. Lee Terry (202) 225-4155 or (402) 397-9944
  • Rep. Adrian Smith (308) 384-3900 or (202) 225-6435

Just leave a short message (after hours is fine!), something like:

“Hi, my name is [name] and I live at [address]. I urge you to move forward with a roadmap to citizenship for aspiring Americans. We need common-sense immigration laws that uphold our values and move us forward. [Or add your own sentence. Strong support for full citizenship in keeping with our history and principles is important!]”

Your voice makes a difference. Thanks for taking a moment to help make sure Congress takes action to create immigration laws that make us proud and that support families, communities, businesses, and our future.

Celebrate at Appleseed’s Birthday Party!

Appleseed is turning 17 this month and we’d love to celebrate with you!  Join Appleseed after work at Zen’s Lounge (122 N. 11th St.) in Lincoln on March 13 for an evening of cocktails and complimentary hors d’oeuvres to celebrate Appleseed’s 17th birthday!

You can RSVP online here

Come learn about and take action on Appleseed’s priorities during the 2013 legislative session, meet Appleseed’s staff, and mingle with Nebraskans like you who support justice and opportunity for all.

There is no cost to attend, but we would be very grateful for a donation of $17 in honor of Appleseed’s 17th birthday.

Click here to make a donation in honor of Appleseed’s 17th birthday.

When:  Wednesday, March 13 – 5pm to 7:30pm
Where:  Zen’s Lounge (122 N 11th St, Lincoln, NE 68508)
Who:  Appleseed’s community of supporters

Appleseed proudly welcomes new staff members!

Three passionate advocates recently joined Appleseed’s staff.

Sam Huppert

Sam pictureSam has joined Appleseed as an organizing consultant field organizer in the Health Care Access Program.  He received a B.A. from Creighton University in Political Science in the spring of 2012. He previously has been involved in a number of organizing efforts, including as Senator Sue Crawford’s Field Director during her primary campaign, and as the Nebraska Democratic Party’s Central Region Director during the 2012 Coordinated Campaign. Sam was raised in Minnesota and enjoys visiting his parents who still reside there, so long as it is between May and September. He also enjoys rooting for the Creighton Bluejays to eventually, someday, make it to the Sweet Sixteen.

Mindy Bilderback

mindyMindy Bilderback has joined Appleseed as Grant Coordinator, developing and coordinating funding for critical projects. Previously, she worked as Communications and Marketing Specialist at the Omaha Home for Boys, a nonprofit residential and transitional living facility for at-risk youth. Mindy earned a B.A. in History from the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 2009, with a minor in Black Studies.  She also works part time at an ice cream shop called eCreamery, but only enough to support her “gelato habit.” Her spare time activities include amateur astronomy, comedic storytelling, watching Star Trek and hosting a weekly pub quiz.

Molly McCleery

Molly McCleeryMolly has joined Appleseed as a staff attorney in the Economic Justice program.  She is a former Appleseed law clerk and graduated from the Creighton University School of Law in 2012.  Most recently, Molly was a judicial clerk for the 3rd Judicial District of Iowa.  She is originally from Knoxville, Iowa, and has a B.A. in English from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri.  She spends her free time knitting, reading, running, traveling, and enjoying time with her dog, Estes.

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