“Over the past 25 years, Nebraska Appleseed has worked tirelessly on some of the toughest issues facing Nebraskans and their families,” said Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Becky Gould. “We are proud to celebrate this milestone with a grassroots network of big-hearted and forward-thinking Nebraskans and allies who have worked alongside Appleseed to create a brighter, more just future for Nebraska.”
“Nebraska Appleseed has pursued our vision of an equitable Nebraska with strong, welcoming, and diverse communities by tackling problems at their roots through litigating tough cases, building deep and meaningful relationships in diverse communities across the state, and fighting for policies at the state legislature and Congress to make Nebraska a better place for all.”
“By lifting up the voices of all Nebraskans, Appleseed’s advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels ensures that our elected leaders hear and understand the impact of laws and policies on the lives of everyday Nebraskans,” said Catherine Wilson, President of Nebraska Appleseed’s Board of Directors. “The Board is proud of this critical work, excited to celebrate this important milestone, and energized by what lies ahead in the fight for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans.”
Appleseed will celebrate its anniversary by publishing reflections from partners and community members on shared successes and their experiences in working with Appleseed over the years. Moreover, starting in April, Appleseed will launch a 25 Days of Action campaign to engage supporters in continuing to create deep and lasting change for all Nebraskans.
Founded in 1996, Nebraska Appleseed is a nonprofit, legal advocacy organization dedicated to fighting for justice and opportunity for all. Appleseed has grown from a small group of part-time employees to a staff of more than 37 attorneys, policy experts, organizers, and advocates who use a systemic approach to face Nebraska’s biggest issues – such as child welfare, immigration policy, affordable healthcare, housing, and poverty.
Here are just a few of Appleseed’s accomplishments over the last 25 years:
- Co-led the Insure the Good Life campaign, which helped to pass Medicaid expansion through a ballot initiative in 2018. This successful initiative expanded health care access to over 90,000 low-income Nebraskans.
- Won a class action lawsuit in 2015 (K.D. & S.L v. Winterer) on behalf of children with developmental disabilities who were denied necessary behavioral health treatments under Medicaid.
- Worked with Nebraska DACA residents, partners, community leaders, and lawmakers to pass legislation granting DACA recipients driver’s licenses in 2015 and professional licenses in 2016.
- Played an active role in Nebraskans for Responsible Lending, a coalition of organizations and individuals, including many former payday loan borrowers, to pass a ballot initiative in 2020 to stop Nebraska borrowers from being trapped in a harmful cycle of debt through predatory loans. The ballot initiative, passed by an overwhelming number of Nebraskans, restricted predatory lending by capping the annual percentage rate on harmful payday loans at 36%.
- Reached tens of thousands of immigrant Nebraskans and Nebraskans of color across the state through Get out the Vote (GOTV) work and trainings on important topics like Know Your Rights, Family Safety Planning, and Worker Rights and Safety.
- Won a federal court class action lawsuit (Kai v. Ross) in 2006, restoring $18 million in Medicaid health benefits to more than 10,000 low-income working mothers who had been wrongly denied access required by federal law.
- Worked with partners, foster youth, and state lawmakers to pass legislation to improve the “front door” of the child welfare system and implement aspects of the federal Families First Prevention Services Act to ensure that families can access resources they need to stay together, overcome challenges, and keep children out of foster care.