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!

Immigration takes center stage in Nebraska during Congress’ August recess

While our congressmen were back in Nebraska during the August recess, they heard loud and clear Nebraskans are tired of seeing our families and communities harmed by outdated immigration laws.  Community, faith, business, youth, and immigrant leaders all reached out to federal representatives during the August recess to urge the congressmen to support a common-sense immigration system that strengthens Nebraska families, communities, and economy.

Youth, faith, and family leaders held a press event outside the offices of Rep. Jeff Fortenberry office in Lincoln, Rep. Lee Terry in Omaha, and Rep. Adrian Smith in Grand Island asking the congressmen to support an immigration law to “Keep Our Families Together.”

The groups delivered postcards from Nebraskans calling for immigration laws with a path to citizenship along with a banner that contained pictures drawn by Nebraska children urging the representatives to help keep Nebraska families together.

Appleseed also collected postcards and messages of support for immigration reform at the Maha Music Festival in Omaha on August 17 and attended a “Bibles, Badges, and Businesses for Immigration Reform” community roundtable in Omaha on August 21.

It was a busy August, but our work is not done!  Your voice still is crucial to adopt an immigration system that protects Nebraska’s families, provides certainty to our businesses, and strengthens our communities!  Please call or email your congressman and urge them to support a common-sense immigration law with a pathway to citizenship!

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

Drastic proposed SNAP cuts threaten Nebraska families and children

Hunger impacts many of our friends and neighbors here in Nebraska. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 13.4 percent of households in our state are food insecure. This includes working families, children, senior citizens, disabled individuals, and even low-income veterans.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides a vital support for 180,000 Nebraskans struggling to put food on the table.  Unfortunately, in early September, a bill is expected to be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would severely limit the ability of hungry households to keep food on the table. Under the proposal, SNAP would be cut by $40 billion over the next ten years, resulting in at least 4 to 6 million low-income Americans losing important food assistance.

These proposed cuts would do drastic harm to some of Nebraska’s poorest children in families where parents are out of work, as well as eliminate assistance for many low-income working families where high child care and housing costs make it difficult to afford food.

We urge you to contact our Nebraska’s congressmen and tell them to protect SNAP.  We must resist harmful measures to cut crucial food assistance for thousands of Nebraskans.

Appleseed joins civil rights groups to petition OSHA to protect workers safety

On September 3, Appleseed joined the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and other national civil rights groups in filing an official petition to federal agencies, demanding they better protect workers in poultry and meatpacking plants where federal policies allow workers to operate in extremely dangerous conditions.

Appleseed and SPLC jointly drafted the petition to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to create a work speed safety regulation for processing lines in meatpacking and poultry plants.

Click here to read the full OSHA petition

Workers in these plants often suffer disabling, chronic injuries, illnesses and pain because of the punishing speeds at which the processing lines run.  OSHA has general health and safety rules for workplaces, but current OSHA standards don’t address the work speed injuries that are most common in poultry and meatpacking plants.

Read more about the brutal conditions faced by Nebraska meatpacking and poultry workers in Appleseed’s report “The Speed Kills You.

Enroll Nebraska prepares to help thousands sign up for health care coverage

October will be a historic month for health care in Nebraska as nearly 200,000 Nebraskans will finally have access to affordable health insurance – many for the first time – through the health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act.

To help Nebraskans take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity, Appleseed has joined an effort called “Enroll Nebraska” to connect and equip organizations with the resources they need to make sure all Nebraskans can enroll in coverage.

“This is an incredibly exciting time where the landscape of health care is changing for the better,” said Appleseed Executive Director Becky Gould. “Enroll Nebraska will help us make sure that we make the most of this historic opportunity.”

Enroll Nebraska is creating fact sheets and outreach plans for organizations that can help people in their community find the best health insurance options for them.

To learn more about health insurance options you may be qualified for, go to

Tax Modernization Committee public hearings in September

The Legislature’s Tax Modernization Committee will hold three public hearings across the state in September where Nebraskans can give their opinions on the proposed changes to our tax system presented by the committee.

Monday, September 23 – Harms Advanced Technology Center, Western Nebraska Community College, Scottsbluff, 4:00 – 7:00 pm. (Mountain Time)

Tuesday, September 24 – North Platte Community College, North Platte, 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm.

Thursday, September 26 – Northeast Nebraska Community College, Lifelong Learning Center, Norfolk, 1:30 – 4:30 pm.

This is a debate Appleseed is following very closely.  To stay engaged, we have joined an effort called “Rebuild Nebraska” – a collection of groups and stakeholders that believes our tax system should be stable, should be 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.

Reserve your tickets to the 2013 Good Apple Awards!

You’re invited to join us Thursday, October 10, for an evening of live music, hors d’oeuvres, and a community awards ceremony at the 2013 Good Apple Awards! The event is Appleseed’s annual fundraiser honoring outstanding advocates and organizations who stand up for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans.

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

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

Reserve your tickets today!
Tickets:  $50 Individuals, $35 Young Professionals

Join us in honoring this year’s Good Apple Awards honorees!


State Senator John Harms – Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award


Project Everlast – The Roots of Justice Award


Justice for Our Neighbors – Nebraska — The Seeds of Justice Award


Justin Kemerling – The Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader Award

Follow news and updates about the event at or on our Good Apple Awards Facebook event page.

Thank you to our event sponsors!

Advocate Sponsors

Ally Sponsors

A to Z Printing
Barbara J. Braden
Commercial Investment Properties
Fuhrman Smolsky Furey, PC
Husch Blackwell LLP
INSPRO Insurance
Nebraska Children & Families Foundation
Nebraska Medical Center
Nebraska State Education Association
Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP
Woods & Aitken LLP

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Nicholas Swiercek at or (402) 438-8853 x110.

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