News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – July 2013

In this jam-packed July edition of “Appleseed in Action”:

  • Nebraskans celebrate passage of Senate immigration reform bill
  • Civil rights groups call for investigation into meatpacking plants
  • Recap of 2013 Nebraska legislative session
  • Lincoln recognized as official “Welcoming City”
  • Summer Food programs feed children out of school
  • Announcing our 2013 Good Apple Awards Honorees!
  • Appleseed events at Urban Abbey in Omaha

Nebraskans celebrate passage of historic Senate immigration bill

2013-06-27_11-57-51_85On June 27, the U.S. Senate passed a historic immigration reform bill with a path to citizenship that marks a huge step toward fixing our outdated immigration system in a way that reflects Nebraska values and strengthens our state’s families and businesses.

The bill passed with large bipartisan support by a vote of 68-32.  Appleseed joins thousands of Nebraskans in celebrating this bill’s passage. Read Appleseed Executive Director Becky Gould’s statement on the Senate vote

Before the vote, representatives of more than 40 diverse Nebraska groups gathered in Omaha to ask Nebraska’s U.S. Senators to vote “Yes” on the bill.  These groups showed the widespread support of immigration reform by thousands of Nebraskans representing our state’s business, agriculture, faith, civic, children’s, families’, and worker’s interests.

See video highlights of June 27 immigration reform news conference:

We are greatly encouraged that the Senate bill passed with an overwhelming, bipartisan majority, but there is still more work to be done to fix our immigration system.  We eagerly look forward to working with Nebraska’s congressional Representatives when the House of Representatives begins debating its immigration reform bill later this summer.

Civil Rights groups call for human rights investigations into meatpacking and poultry processing plants

Current federal policies endanger the safety of workers in meatpacking and poultry plants and pose a serious risk to our country’s food supply.

On June 25, Appleseed joined the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights to petition the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to address human rights violations in U.S. poultry and meatpacking plants – violations that are the result of federal policies that fail to protect workers from dangerous work conditions that can cause serious injuries and illness.

A copy of the petition and a letter urging action also were sent to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack.

If the hearing request is granted, the coalition would discuss the issue before the IACHR, which promotes and protects human rights in the Americas. U.S. officials also would be invited to address the issue.

Read more about Appleseed’s joint petition to investigate the safety of workers and our food supply.

2013 Nebraska Legislative session Year In Review

nebraska-state-capital1-150x150The 2013 session of the Nebraska Legislature came to a close on June 5. All of our program staff worked hard to further policies that will build a stronger Nebraska. While we will still have to fight to insure 54,000 Nebraskans with the new Medicaid program, we are grateful that several of Nebraska Appleseed’s priority bills discussed below became law.

Click here to read our Year-in-Review of the 2013 Legislative session.

To stay up to date on the latest news on the effort to extend Medicaid to more Nebraskans and strengthen our economy, “Like” the I Stand With 54,000 Uninsured Nebraskans Facebook page.

Lincoln recognized as official Welcoming City

neishomeweblogoOn June 21, Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler signed a proclamation honoring and recognizing Lincoln’s welcoming efforts and history. The proclamation recognized Lincoln as an official “Welcoming City” and designated today as “Welcoming City Day.”

This recognition honored Lincoln’s commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes people regardless of race, ethnicity or place of origin, and shows the city is set to be a national leader in recognizing the value of diversity to a city’s economy, culture, and community.

Lincoln is one of the first 10 cities nationwide to be recognized as an official welcoming community.

See an online photo gallery of Mayor Beutler’s proclamation signing courtesy of Nebraska Is Home

A week to celebrate Summer Food programs that feed Nebraska’s kids

IMG_3942Each summer, many Nebraska kids experience hunger when they don’t have access to regular meals they receive at school during the school year.  But there are many wonderful Summer Food Service program sites that do an outstanding job to feed kids in their community during the summer months.

June 10-14 was National Summer Food Program Week, and Appleseed went on the road to visit several of these sites that work hard to make sure Nebraska children don’t go hungry.

Read our Summer Food program blog series:

See our photo album from Summer Food Service Program sites across the state.

Announcing our 2013 Good Apple Awards Honorees!

gaa_2013Join Appleseed on Thursday, October 10, 2013 for an evening of live music, art, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a community awards ceremony honoring the following Nebraskans who stand up for justice and opportunity for all:

State Senator John Harms
The Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award

Project Everlast
The Roots of Justice Awards

Justice for Our Neighbors – Nebraska
The Seeds of Justice Award

Justin Kemerling
The Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader Award

Thursday, October 10, 2013
Social Hour:  6pm
Program:  7pm

Livestock Exchange Building Ballroom
4920 South 30th Street
Omaha, NE

Stay tuned for more news about the 2013 Good Apple Awards online

Appleseed Events at Urban Abbey in Omaha

Part of your July purchases at Urban Abbey will go to support Nebraska Appleseed.

Part of your July purchases at Urban Abbey will go to support Nebraska Appleseed.

Our friends at Urban Abbey in Omaha selected Nebraska Appleseed to be its nonprofit community partner of the month for the month of July! Stop in and grab a cup of coffee or bag of coffee beans and your purchase will support Appleseed’s fight for justice and opportunity for all!

Here’s how it works: Urban Abbey is a non-profit coffee house, bookstore, and faith community working to make a difference and bring people together. Each month, the Abbey selects a nonprofit partner who receives 10% of all coffee bar sales and 100% of sales of the “Urban Abbey Blend” of whole bean coffee. Beansmith donates these bags of whole beans each month. Through this initiative, Urban Abbey has generously given over $19,000 to many nonprofit community partners.

To celebrate our partnership, we are hosting a series of events at Urban Abbey throughout the month of July. I hope you can join us at one of the following events!

Immigration Reform Advocacy Night
Thursday, July 11

Child Welfare Advocacy: A Story of Success
Thursday, July 18

What to Expect from the Affordable Care Act
Thursday, July 25
8:30am networking, 9am presentation w/ Q&A

You’re Welcome In Omaha Dialog Night
Monday, July 29

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