Appleseed In Action – News and Events for August 2013

In this August edition of “Appleseed in Action”

  • Take Action to support common-sense immigration reform
  • Rebuild Nebraska pushes for sustainable tax structure
  • Protect SNAP for Nebraska families and children
  • Alex Gibilisco joins Immigrants & Communities
  • Meet our Law Clerks and Interns
  • Appleseed at the Maha Music Festival

August is a crucial month to ask your congressman to support common-sense immigration laws with a path to citizenship

Starting in August, our members of Congress will be back home for five weeks of recess.  So, now is a great time to make sure they know Nebraskans want common-sense immigration laws that support Nebraska’s families, communities, economy, and future!

Please call your Congressman today and tell them now is the time for a modern immigration system that includes a clear and attainable process for citizenship so that we can keep Nebraska families together, strengthen our economy, reduce the deficit, and reflect our state’s values.

  • District 1 – Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (402) 438-1598
  • District 2 – Rep. Lee Terry (402) 397-9944
  • District 3 – Rep. Adrian Smith (308) 384-3900

Not sure which district you live in?  Click here to find out.

Immigration_daddyGroups of community leaders from across Nebraska will be meeting with Representatives this month and delivering postcards from Nebraskans that contain messages of support for modernizing our immigration laws.  They will also be delivering pictures drawn by Nebraska children displaying how important it is to keep Nebraska families together.

Be sure to visit our Take Action page throughout the month to find out about other ways you can make your voice heard to support immigration reform.

Appleseed joins “Rebuild Nebraska” effort for stable, responsible tax policy

ReBuild-logoA critical debate is underway in Nebraska about our current tax system.  The Legislature created the Nebraska Tax Modernization Committee to examine these issues.  This group, composed of 14 state senators, will hold meetings the rest of the year to decide what, if any, changes need to be made to our state’s tax structure.

The recommendations made by the Tax Modernization Committee will direct the future tax policy in Nebraska and will have a large impact on the future of our state as a whole, affecting the quality of education, roads and infrastructure, access to health care, and more areas that touch each Nebraska family. So this is an issue Nebraska Appleseed is following very closely.

To stay engaged in the discussion about Nebraska’s tax system, Appleseed has joined an effort called “Rebuild Nebraska.”  Rebuild Nebraska is a collection of groups and stakeholders that believes our tax system should be stable, progressive, and should ensure that we have adequate revenue to meet the state’s obligations and protect the “Good Life” we have built in Nebraska.

Rebuild Nebraska believes Nebraska’s tax system should:

  • Allow us to invest in things Nebraska families rely on like top-notch neighborhood schools, safe communities, and well-kept streets and roads.
  • Encourage the creation of jobs and focus on investments that actually boost the economy.
  • Ensure a progressive structure that does not force middle-class and low-income families into paying a higher percentage of their income in taxes than the wealthy.

Your voice will be very important in guiding this discussion.  You can participate in public hearings held by the Tax Modernization Commission statewide in September and October.  So we want you to stay informed.  You can learn more about Rebuild Nebraska at this website, and follow the discussion by clicking “Like” on the Rebuild Nebraska Facebook page.  We also will include updates about the tax policy discussion in our regular communications to you.

Nebraska has a good quality of life, low unemployment, and a relatively strong economy. We look forward to working with and hearing ideas from the Tax Modernization Committee as they do important work to protect this strong tradition in our state.

Take Action to Protect SNAP for Nebraska families and children

snapfeatimgNo one should go hungry.  However, nearly 14 percent of Nebraskans, about 250,000 people, were food insecure in 2012.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a vital support for many Nebraskans who may not know where their next meal is coming from.   Please call your congressman today and ask them to protect SNAP for Nebraska families, children, seniors, and disabled people.

SNAP traditionally has been funded by Congress within the comprehensive Farm Bill, however the House of Representatives voted in July to pass a Farm Bill with no SNAP components.  This eventually could lead to severe cuts to the program and drastic consequences for thousands of Nebraskans including 80,000 children in our state who receive meals from SNAP.

SNAP already has gone through a $4 billion cut in the Senate’s Farm Bill.  The House recently proposed $20 billion worth of cuts.  These cuts are especially damaging to children, which make up half of SNAP recipients nationwide.

With our agricultural roots, the Farm Bill is very important in Nebraska. But, separating SNAP from the Farm Bill makes the vital nutritional support for our low-income families less stable.

Tell your congressman SNAP is critical to keep thousands of Nebraskans from going hungry. Ask them to protect SNAP!

Alex Gibilisco joins Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Team

Alex Gibilisco recently joined Appleseed's Immigrants & Communities team.

Alex Gibilisco recently joined Appleseed’s Immigrants & Communities team.

Alex Gibilisco recently joined Appleseed as a community organizer with the Immigrants & Communities program.  Alex formerly interned at Appleseed and was instrumental in the collaborative effort to stop LB 48, an Arizona-style anti-immigrant law, from being passed in Nebraska in 2010.  He previously has worked as field organizer for the civic engagement campaign with Border Action Network in Tuscon, Arizona.

Originally from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, Alex considers Lincoln his hometown, and is recently married to his wife, Stephani.

“At Nebraska Appleseed, I have the pleasure in working to show our communities’ support for a change in our immigration process,” Alex said.  “Part of the change has to include a path to citizenship for Nebraska family members and neighbors who are undocumented.  I enjoy this job because not only there is office work, but I get to work outside the office and meet members/leaders in the community.  We are trying to get the community more involved in the political process.  This requires me to visit business owners, churches and other community leaders who know that need for a change in our immigration laws.”

Meet Appleseed’s Law Clerks and Interns

Each summer, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. Beginning in July and continuing through August, we are featuring Appleseed’s clerks and interns on our blog, discussing their backgrounds and experiences.

Read our clerks and interns blog series

We hope you enjoy getting to know these amazing young people as much as we have enjoyed working with them.

Appleseed at the Maha Music Festival Community Campus

maha logoEach year, the nonprofit, volunteer-led Maha Music Festival brings great music to Omaha and showcases at its Community Campus nonprofit organizations they believe are working to make Omaha and Nebraska a better place.

Appleseed is privileged to share that we’ve been invited to participate in Maha’s Community Campus at this year’s festival on Saturday, August 17!

If you’re going to this year’s festival, be sure to stop by Appleseed’s tent and say hello to our team! There, you can learn how you can get involved, take action on immigration reform, and even register to vote.

We will be sharing the campus with the following fantastic nonprofit organizations: Conservation Fusion, Film Streams, Goodwill Industries, Habitat for Humanity, Hear Nebraska, Inclusive Communities, Joslyn Art Museum, Kent Bellows Studio, Legal Aid of Nebraska, the Literacy Center, Nebraska Aids Project, Nebraska Science Festival, Omaha Community Foundation, and Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue.

Hope to see you at this year’s Maha Music Festival!

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