Author: Becky Gould

Black Lives Matter. We stand with you.

The murder of an unarmed man, George Floyd, along with other unjustified deaths across our nation and state—Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and James Scurlock—serve as a stark reminder of the multi-generational injustices and indignities faced by Black communities. Nebraska Appleseed stands in solidarity with Black communities and community leaders to demand justice and fight against the systemic racism deeply embedded… Read more →

TAKE ACTION: Support the Heroes Act to Provide Critical Relief to Nebraskans

As early as Friday, the US House of Representatives could vote on the Heroes Act which is designed to close gaps in previous relief measures and support families and communities as they continue to confront the COVID-19 public health crisis and its ripple effects. This bill would provide critical relief to thousands of Nebraskans left out of the CARES Act,… Read more →

Our Efforts to Keep Communities Safe and Engaged in Response to the Coronavirus

As we all do our part to help keep our communities safe as the situation unfolds, we wanted to share with you Nebraska Appleseed’s plan for how we are adapting our work. Our office in Lincoln will be closed until further notice. However, our staff will be working remotely and continuing our advocacy for the policies we need in this… Read more →

Take Action: Put the safety and well-being of our communities first.

The safety and well-being of our communities is top priority. We need compassionate policies that support Nebraska families and children. As the number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases are identified across our state and the nation, Nebraska Appleseed emphasizes the need for compassionate and comprehensive policies that prioritize the safety and well-being of our communities across our state. We are only… Read more →

STATEMENT: Response to the Governor’s State of the State Address

***For Immediate Release*** Wednesday, January 15, 2020 Contact: Magdalena Cazarez Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed O: (402) 438-8853 ext 119 C: (402) 504-0074   Response to the Governor’s State of the State Address Opportunities abound to support workers, strengthen the child welfare system, address the crisis in our prison system, and implement Medicaid Expansion   Lincoln — Nebraska Appleseed Executive… Read more →

Our campaign starts today!

Today, we begin an important campaign: we’ve set an ambitious goal to raise $50,000 by this Friday, December 6 to carry the fight for justice and opportunity for all into 2020. Through this drive, we’re raising the resources to build the Nebraska we all want to see: a just, vibrant, and inclusive community where everyone can thrive. To help us… Read more →

Response to Governor’s State of the State address

Full implementation of Medicaid expansion in Governor’s budget proposal will benefit Nebraska Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement in response to Governor Ricketts’ State of the State address delivered Tuesday morning. “We are pleased the Governor’s budget upholds the will and priorities of the people of Nebraska by fully implementing Initiative 427, which expanded health care… Read more →

$50K in 5 Days: We start today!

After 6 years, we finally did it – Nebraskans voted to expand Medicaid to 90,000 of our friends and neighbors. But we know our work isn’t finished. We’ll be there to ensure that Medicaid expansion is implemented and funded effectively in 2019 – at the Capitol, in the community, and in the courthouse, if necessary. That’s why we need your… Read more →

2018 Mid-Year Review – All the ways you’ve stood up for justice!

The actions you’ve taken in 2018 have renewed the fight for a more-just society, building a Nebraska where everyone can have the justice and opportunity they need to get ahead.   Health Care for Every Nebraskan You astounded us. Thousands of Nebraskans have contacted their elected officials, made office visits, signed petitions and taken other actions to protect access to… Read more →

Standing up to bigotry and violence

For more than 20 years, Nebraska Appleseed has made it our mission to fight for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans. Diversity, community, and inclusion are not just the values our work is built on, they are principles that are vital to the future of Nebraska. The challenges our state faces can only be faced together. The progress that will… Read more →

Appleseed In Action – August 2017 – Updates from D.C.

Appleseed In Action – August 2017 News and Events   In this month’s edition of Appleseed In Action: Senate rejects latest ACA repeal effort New bills would allow DREAMers to earn citizenship House budget proposal would endanger many working families Appleseed welcomes organizer Felipe Blanco 2017 Good Apple Awards – Meet the Honorees Senate rejects another effort to repeal Affordable… Read more →

Take Action – Governor vetoes put kids and families in danger

Nebraska is a state that has learned hard lessons about what can happen to children and families when their needs go unmet. Yet, the Governor keeps making choices that cause further harm to our most-vulnerable Nebraskans. Today, Governor Ricketts issued several line-item vetoes to the state budget (LB 327) that will cause long-lasting harm to the safety of children in… Read more →

Take Action – We can’t cripple Nebraska’s future

With a state budget shortfall of more than $1 billion, we have to look for every solution to protect Nebraska’s important public investments that make life better for everyone. Things like good schools, safe roads and highways, and programs that help hard-working families get ahead. But a dangerous tax plan will be up for debate on Friday in the Legislature… Read more →

Action Alert – Now is the time to protect health care

Because of the Affordable Care Act, tens of thousands of Nebraskans are among the millions of Americans who can now get quality, affordable health insurance. But Congress already is taking steps to end those life-saving protections with no replacement plan in sight. Will you call our Senators today? Tell Sen. Deb Fischer and Sen. Ben Sasse they can’t vote to… Read more →

Appleseed’s 2017 “Agenda of Opportunity”

Hard-working families, strong communities, and clear paths of opportunity are the foundation of what Nebraskans believe make up The Good Life. And at Nebraska Appleseed, we know that public policy has a key role to play in making sure every Nebraskan can reach their full potential. Today, we’re releasing our 2017 “Agenda of Opportunity,” a series of local, state, and… Read more →

December News and Events

In this December edition of “Appleseed in Action”: How do you want to Take Action in 2017? Act today to support important Child Welfare bill Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment Advocates flock to Urban Abbey We’re Hiring! – Program Assistant How do you want to Take Action in 2017? We know that 2017 is going to be a big year… Read more →

Standing up for justice

Every day when we come to work at Nebraska Appleseed, we walk through a door that reads “Stand Up For Justice.” It’s our daily reminder that Appleseed was created to fight against the largest, most-formidable forms of systemic injustice in our state. The big problems that keep our poorest neighbors poor and put barriers right in the middle of the… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – November 2016

In this November edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Vote on Election Day – November 8 November Events at the Urban Abbey in Omaha Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment begins 2016 Good Apple Awards honors outstanding advocates The High Cost of Being Poor Election Day – November 8 Next Tuesday, November 8, is Election Day, and if you haven’t already voted… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – August 2016

In this July edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Fight against predatory lending Immigrants’ contributions strengthen economy Join fight for affordable health insurance Bill would prevent children from entering foster care Appleseed in the News Fight against predatory lending policies Payday lenders have a long history of making bad loans that trap Nebraskans in a cycle of debt with outrageously high… Read more →

Twenty years ago today

Twenty years ago today, a group of forward-thinking Nebraskans came together to re-balance the scales of justice toward fairness for low-income families, children, and immigrant Nebraskans. They founded a new venture called Nebraska Appleseed to tackle the toughest challenges and solve big problems at their roots. Over the past 20 years, a grassroots network of amazing, committed, and generous allies… Read more →

Meet our 2015 Good Apple Awards honorees

Save the date for Nebraska Appleseed’s Good Apple Awards on Thursday, October 22, 2015! Join Appleseed for our annual fundraiser reception in Omaha at the Livestock Exchange Building Ballroom (4920 S. 30th St.) to honor outstanding individuals who stand up for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans We’re proud to introduce this year’s honorees: Frank LaMere Jim Wolf Equal Justice… Read more →

Take Action – Thank the Legislature for voting to give DREAMers driver’s licenses

Congratulations! You helped make history! On May 28, the Nebraska Legislature voted to override the Governor’s veto of LB 623! With an overwhelming vote of 34-10, the Legislature stood strong and reaffirmed their commitment to these talented, hard-working young Nebraskans. It’s time to say “thank you” to those who supported DREAMers and recognized their contributions to Nebraska. Please contact these… Read more →

Take Action – Tell Legislature to override veto of DREAMers driver’s license bill

We need you to stand up TONIGHT for young immigrant Nebraskans! Wednesday night, the Governor vetoed LB 623 — the bill that would allow young immigrant Nebraskans known as “DREAMers” to apply for driver’s licenses — despite the bill being passed with overwhelming 34-9 support by the Legislature last week. TAKE ACTION We need you to contact your State Senator… Read more →

Take Action – Urge Governor to sign DREAMers driver’s license bill

You did it! Today, the Nebraska Legislature voted 34-9 on Final Reading to pass LB 623, the bill that will allow young immigrant Nebraskans known as “DREAMers” to apply for driver’s licenses. But, there’s one more step you need to take. Please contact Governor Ricketts and urge him to sign the bill so Nebraska can become the final state to… Read more →

Take Action – Protect minimum wage for hard-working Nebraska students

Last fall, Nebraskans overwhelmingly voted to raise our state’s minimum wage to $9 per hour, but a new bill in the Legislature would strip that fair wage from hard-working young Nebraskans. LB 599 would allow employers to pay high school student workers less than other employees, which is in direct contrast to what Nebraskans voted for last November. The bill… Read more →

Become a sustainer of justice for all

Building a stronger, more just society in Nebraska requires long-term commitment. We’re in it for the long haul at Appleseed, dedicated to a vision where we have effective public systems and strong communities that ensure full opportunity for all Nebraskans. If this vision speaks to you, please consider becoming a monthly donor to Nebraska Appleseed and sustain the fight for… Read more →

Justice for families facing hunger

When kids and families experience tough times the last thing they need is uncertainty about where they will find their next meal. Yet approximately 30 percent of all Nebraska households applying for food assistance needlessly wait longer than a month for approval for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Because of the State of Nebraska’s troubled ACCESS Nebraska benefit processing… Read more →

Appleseed proud to receive award from NAACP – Lincoln Branch

Last weekend, Nebraska Appleseed was profoundly honored to receive the 2014 Leola Bullock Community Service Award from NAACP – Lincoln Branch during the NAACP’s Freedom Fund Banquet. It is a great honor to receive this award from an organization that has done so much in the pursuit of civil rights and social justice and to receive this award named after… Read more →

Pursuing The American Dream

Freedom, opportunity are hard-won concepts.  You can help protect them for all. Each Fourth of July provides us with the opportunity to celebrate a uniquely American holiday. With family, friends, food, and fireworks, we raise up the strengths and ideals that create our American identity.  We are a country built on the premise of freedom and opportunity, justice, hard work,… Read more →

Please thank the senators who fought for hard-working, uninsured Nebraskans

As you may have seen this morning, LB 887, the Wellness in Nebraska Act, that would have provided a path to affordable health insurance for at least 54,000 uninsured Nebraskans, was filibustered this morning. The vote to end debate was 27-21, with 33 votes necessary to end debate. While this is a disappointing outcome, we will continue to work with… Read more →

Legislature denies health care access to 54,000 Nebraskans

Today’s failure to pass the Wellness in Nebraska Act hurts 54,000 of our hard-working families, neighbors, and friends, who now must continue to live and suffer without proper access to health care by having no options for affordable insurance,” Gould said.  “This decision also hurts our state, by missing the opportunity to make real and positive improvements in our broader… Read more →

Sign online petition supporting responsible tax system in Nebraska

The Nebraska Tax Modernization Committee has finished up its series of public hearings and is now meeting to come up with recommendations for the future of our state’s tax system. We have one more way we would like our state senators to hear from you. Please consider signing this online petition started by Rebuild Nebraska telling our senators you believe… Read more →

Take Action: Oppose dangerous House proposal to slash food assistance

No Nebraskan should have to go hungry.  But, this week the House of Representatives will introduce a bill that would slash $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), which helps nearly 180,000 people in Nebraska – a large proportion of them children – get enough to eat. We are urging you to call your congressman… Read more →

Appleseed joins Rebuild Nebraska to protect The Good Life

A 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. As part of that process, the… Read more →

Split of Food Assistance from House Farm Bill a serious concern for thousands of Nebraskans facing hunger

In response to the passage of the House’s version of the Farm Bill, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould, issued the following statement: “It is unfortunate that today the House passed a Farm Bill that did not include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provisions. This raises serious concerns about the future of SNAP, which is a critical support for… Read more →

Picnics, Fireworks and Phone calls: This Independence Day, Stand Up For Justice

Like many of you, Nebraska Appleseed is taking this Independence Day to celebrate our country with our friends and family. There will be picnics, enjoying the outdoors, and fireworks.  We will be taking time to remember what makes the United States a great place to live: the freedom and opportunity afforded to us, the sacrifices countless men and women have… Read more →

Senate Immigration Bill Passes with Bipartisan Support, One Step Closer to Common-Sense Laws for the Future

Today is a historic day for all of us. Immigration is an important part of the fabric of our families, communities, and economy,” Gould said. “Passage of this bill at long last moves us toward modernizing our antiquated immigration laws to create a strong foundation for Nebraska’s families, our communities, our economy and our future. We all benefit from laws… Read more →

Take Action – Support Lincoln City Charter Amendment

Our public officials are best able to serve the public when there is a bond of trust between decision-makers and the people affected by those decisions.  Limiting the possibility of conflicts of interest is important to protecting that relationship. The Lincoln City Charter Amendment on the ballot May 7 would foster trust and ensure integrity within city government by prohibiting… Read more →

Donate and match your gift!

Appleseed’s Development Director Nic Swiercek is running his first half-marathon on May 5 in the Lincoln Marathon and he could use your support! Nic set a goal of raising $1,300 ($100/mile) to support Appleseed’s mission fighting for justice and opportunity for all and to raise awareness about Appleseed’s campaign to expand access to health care coverage for at least 54,000… Read more →

Voter Suppression Bill LB 381 undermines Nebraskans’ right to vote

LB 381, a voter suppression bill that restricts voting access, will be heard by the Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee today. Voting is an American right – and making voting harder is neither Constitutional, nor a Nebraska value. This bill mandates a restrictive and unnecessary voter identification system, puts a greater burden on our already overburdened election workers, and… Read more →

Regressive tax plan would threaten “The Good Life”

We oppose LB 405 because it would result in a regressive tax structure that puts that good life at risk.  By depleting a significant portion of revenue for the state, this proposal reverses the investments we have made for generations in the very things that make Nebraska strong – great public education, safe communities, and healthy families.  We recognize the… Read more →

OpenSky Policy Institute Report Shines Light on Nebraska State Budget

“The salvation of the state is watchfulness in the citizen.” These words are engraved over the entrance to Nebraska’s state capitol.  They have added meaning here in Nebraska, the only state in the nation with a Unicameral Legislature. Today, a new report from the OpenSky Policy Institute, “Looking for Clarity: An Overview of Nebraska Budget and Tax Policy”  was released.… Read more →

Register Today for CFRA’s Grassroots Advocacy Training

Here’s a great opportunity to learn more about engaging in advocacy on issues you care about from the great folks at the Center for Rural Affairs. We have a few spots left – RSVP today.  You can help us spread the word by forwarding this email to friends, family and neighbors who might be interested.   Grassroots Advocacy Training –… Read more →

Lilly Ledbetter to Speak in Omaha

How Federal Courts Impact Our Lives: One Woman’s Battle for Justice Tuesday July 10, 2012, 7-9pm REGISTRATION CLOSED For 10 years, Lilly Ledbetter fought to close the gap between women’s and men’s wages, sparring with the Supreme Court, in a historic discrimination case against Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Ledbetter won a jury verdict of more than $3 million after… Read more →

Statement on the Passage of Child Welfare Reform Legislation

Rebecca L. Gould, Executive Director of the Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest, issued the following statement today in response to the passage of a package of legislation to reform the state’s child welfare system: “Today, the Nebraska Legislature gave final approval to the remainder of the package of five bills designed to put into place much… Read more →

Appleseed and Nebraskans for Civic Reform Call for Secretary of State to Investigate Douglas County Election Commission

Today, Nebraska Appleseed and Nebraskans for Civic Reform wrote a letter to Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale formally requesting an investigation concerning the practices and procedures of Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps. Earlier this year, Phipps announced he will eliminate half of Omaha’s polling locations in spite of the closings having a disproportionate impact on low-income and minority populations’… Read more →

Our Courts in Crisis

A lecture presented by Federal District Court Judge Joseph Bataillon A discussion on the judicial nominations crisis. Listen to Judge Bataillon’s presentation: [powerpress url=”″] Download the audio When: Wednesday, April 11th at 12:10 Where: University of Nebraska College of Law Hamann Auditorium The judicial branch has a significant and wide-ranging impact on the lives of Americans. But roughly 10 percent of federal court… Read more →

Ensure Low-Income Parents Can Access Education As a Path Out of Poverty

The Aid to Dependent Children program provides critical support to very low-income families and has the goal of helping families achieve economic security as quickly as possible.  A key part of the program is that all adults must participate in a work activity for at least 30 hours a week.  Currently, parents participating in Nebraska’s ADC program may pursue an… Read more →

Legislation Leads to Higher Education for Parents

Legislation passed by the Nebraska Unicameral in 2009 is opening the doors to higher education for low-income parents, according to a report released today by the Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest entitled “Choosing Education.” The report indicates that 13.3% of Nebraska’s cash welfare caseload is currently engaged in education that could lead to an Associates Degree, thanks in… Read more →

HHS Budget Should Invest in Children and Families

On Monday, Nebraska Appleseed’s Executive Director testified at the Appropriations Committee in response to the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services’ appropriation request.  Appleseed believes that DHHS’s budget must invest in and protect low-income children and families’ needs. [DDET Appleseed Testimony] Senator Lavon Heidemann Chair, Appropriations Committee State Capitol, Room 1004 Lincoln, NE 68509 Re: Agency 25, Department of… Read more →

Nebraska Can’t Afford LB970’s Tax Cuts

Yesterday, Nebraska Appleseed’s Executive Director Becky Gould testified at the Nebraska Legislature’s Revenue Committee in opposition to LB970.  The bill would cut state income taxes and corporate taxes in Nebraska.  The bill would significantly decrease revenue to the state’s general fund and hinder the state’s ability to invest in the future – a strong child welfare system serving vulnerable children and… Read more →

Health Insurance Exchange Legislation Must Go Forward

Reports indicate that Governor Heineman has decided that the state should wait to fully implement a state-based exchange until the United States Supreme Court has ruled on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It is critical that the state pass enabling legislation during the next legislative session to allow the state to create a state-based health… Read more →

Step Up for Kids

Please join representatives from Nebraska Appleseed, A.S.K., Behaven Kids, Boys Town, Building Bright Futures, KVC, NAMI-Nebraska, NASW-Nebraska Chapter, Nebraska Families Collaborative Nebraska Family Support Network, and Voices for Children in Nebraska for the STEP UP FOR KIDS 2011 event. Tuesday, October 11, 2011 3:00-4:00 p.m. North Steps of the State Capitol Special Guest: Tom Osborne In these financially uncertain times, it is… Read more →

Building Nebraska’s Future: The D. Milo Mumgaard Young Leader Award

In 1996, Nebraska Appleseed’s founder Milo Mumgaard developed a vision for a public interest law firm that could take on the toughest issues facing low-income and marginalized Nebraskans.  He started small with a one person operation run out of his basement and through hard work, dedication and skill, grew the organization to twelve staff in eleven years.  Part of the… Read more →

Organizations Urge a Balanced, Values Based Approach in Federal Budget Negotiations

Nebraska Appleseed joined organizations from across the state Tuesday to urge the President and Nebraska’s federal representatives in Washington to develop a budget that reflects Nebraska values. In a Statement of Principles, Nebraska organizations called on the President and Congress to address the federal deficit while also protecting vulnerable Americans and economic security. It is important that we are speaking… Read more →

The Federal Budget Debate: Nebraska Appleseed’s Perspective

Important discussions have been happening this summer as members of Congress debate how to balance the federal budget and address the national deficit. Many of the deficit reduction proposals would severely affect Nebraska’s most vulnerable populations and have a negative impact on our state’s economy. Several proposals being considered would reduce the deficit by implementing deep spending cuts in public… Read more →

Save the Date – September 22, 2011

Join us on September 22, 2011 for Nebraska Appleseed’s 15th anniversary event, the Good Apple Awards, and celebrate Appleseed’s fifteen years of sowing the seeds of justice across the Great Plains. At the Good Apple Awards we will recognize outstanding Nebraskans’ contributions to equal justice and full opportunity for all and celebrate the stories of people’s lives positively changed by Appleseed’s victories in… Read more →

Happy Birthday to Nebraska Appleseed!

Today, Nebraska Appleseed celebrates its 15-year anniversary! Fifteen years ago, our founders incorporated Nebraska Appleseed with the mission that, like Johnny Appleseed, we would “sow the seeds of justice” across the Great Plains – advocating fairness, opportunity, and equal justice for all people. These core values continue to drive our staff, interns, volunteers and supporters to address systemic problems at… Read more →

Nebraska Says No to Arizona-Style Law

On Wednesday, the Nebraska Legislature’s Judiciary Committee announced that it will not advance an Arizona-style bill or other unworkable state-level proposals to regulate immigration. (Other state-level immigration proposals before the committee included LB 569, a bill to require E-Verify for all Nebraska employers, and LR 28, a resolution to encourage all Nebraska law enforcement to enroll in the “Secure Communities” local police… Read more →

Desaparecidos, Bright Eyes, Cursive, Lullaby for the Working Class & more, Concert for Equality, Omaha, July 31, 2010

Reblogged from Losanjealous – Written by Lindsey Shortly after getting involved with the Sound Strike to protest SB1070, Conor Oberst, a Nebraska native, announced he’d be putting together a street festival, Concert for Equality, to raise money for Nebraska’s ACLU chapter in order to help fight a similar law that had passed in Fremont, NE. The line up included a… Read more →

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Urgently Needed

Yesterday, the President gave a long-awaited public speech on immigration. The speech reflected what we know first hand here in Nebraska; the need for common-sense immigration reform is urgent. Describing a “creaky system” of “patchwork fixes and ill-conceived revisions,” the President affirmed his commitment to an immigration reform package that provides a path to citizenship for the millions of immigrant… Read more →

The Reward of Working in Public Interest

I was recently asked by my law school alma mater (University of Nebraska College of Law) to reflect on my choice to pursue public interest law in Nebraska and how law school had prepared me for that task.  As I wrote out my answers, I realized how lucky I was to stumble upon Nebraska Appleseed almost nine years ago.  I… Read more →

Finish The Job – The Need For Reform Remains Unchanged

(originally posted at New Nebraska Network) This past week has been full of speculation about the future of health care reform which has been frustrating for health care reform advocates.  Many of us have worked tirelessly this past year to make comprehensive health care reform a reality, coming further than any previous generation.  The recent shift in the Senate should… Read more →

State Fair Stories

I spent last Sunday helping to staff the Health Care Reform booth at the Nebraska State Fair.  Amid the Mexican cigars, infra-red spas and the only glue you’ll ever need, I stood with information from the American Cancer Society, AARP and Nebraska Appleseed ready to educate the passing fair-goers and advocate for health care reform.  I had braced myself for… Read more →

The State of Opportunity in Nebraska

Just over six months ago, Nebraska voters, by a smaller margin than was anticipated, passed a constitutional amendment to prohibit laws and policies that help those who have traditionally and to this date, been denied equal access to a wide range of opportunities.  As part of that debate, and recently at the national level with the nomination of Judge Sotomayor,… Read more →