Tag: Opportunity

STATEMENT: Proposed SNAP rule would cut benefits for 3.1 million Americans

Proposed SNAP rule would cut benefits for 3.1 million Americans Food assistance helps reduce food instability and contributes to a healthy Nebraska   Lincoln, NE – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed a regulatory change that will harm 3.1 million people, including working families with children, the elderly and people with disabilities. The proposed rule would dramatically alter… Read more →

Appleseed Statement on Congress’ tax shift bill

***For Immediate Release*** December 20, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Congress’ tax bill Bill endangers investments in health care, education, and other essential public systems   LINCOLN — Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement in response to Congress passing… 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 – June 2017 – Protect quality health coverage

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – June 2017   In this June edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Protect quality health coverage 2017 Nebraska Legislative Recap President’s budget harmful to Nebraska families Court victory for Nebraska foster youth June events at Urban Abbey Job Opening – Staff Attorney Tell our Senators to protect quality health coverage The numbers were as… Read more →

New Report: Opportunity to improve job training for hard-working Nebraskans

***For Immediate Release*** December 22, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   New Report: Nebraska can improve job training for hard-working people Opportunities to invest in skills training would help families get ahead, boost economy   LINCOLN — Helping hard-working families lift themselves out of poverty means making sure… Read more →

Join talks on creating an economic future for all Nebraskans

Our community partners – Community Action of Nebraska and Center for Rural Affairs –  would like to invite you talk about how to create an economic future for all Nebraskans and learn more about what’s at stake in the upcoming state Legislative session. Consider attending one of the upcoming community meetings:   Monday, December 12 o   6 – 7 pm, Scottsbluff, Gering Public Library  … Read more →

Improved child care subsidies would strengthen support for working parents

Across the U.S., low-income families that receive child care subsidies are more likely to be employed, maintain work for longer periods of time and increase their annual earnings and financial resources. It’s a tool that has proven to be an enormous success to help families get ahead. Unfortunately, investment in child care subsidies has been lagging nationwide. Funding for child… Read more →

RELEASE – Census shows over 12 percent of Nebraskans in Poverty

***For Immediate Release*** September 15, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   New data: Over 12 percent of Nebraskans still live in poverty   Census shows high rates of poverty for children, minority populations   LINCOLN — The percentage of Nebraskans living in poverty was not sharply reduced in 2015… Read more →

Roots of Appleseed – Eric Hallstrom

Throughout our 20th Anniversary year in 2016, we are taking a look back at the influential people who helped Nebraska Appleseed grow into the advocacy organization we are today. These “Roots of Appleseed” helped shape our mission of fighting for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans. Read our prior entries in the Roots of Appleseed series: Milo Mumgaard Gretchen Obrist… Read more →

Appleseed In Action – June 2016 News & Events

In this June edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Thank you for your giving day generosity! Appleseed celebrates 20th Anniversary New attention to high injury rates in meat and poultry plants Fight for consumer protections in Kansas City First Lincoln Unites! festival celebrates strength of diversity Thank you for your giving day generosity! We were awed by your incredible generosity on… Read more →

RELEASE – Census shows over 12 percent of Nebraskans in Poverty in 2014

***For Immediate Release*** September 17, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   New data: Over 227,000 Nebraskans lived in Poverty in 2014 Census shows poverty has not sharply fallen despite nation’s lowest unemployment rate   LINCOLN — The percentage of Nebraskans living in poverty was slightly reduced in 2014 versus… Read more →

Legislative Update – May 18

Last week was one of the most noteworthy weeks in the 2015 Nebraska Legislative session with several of Appleseed’s priority bills coming before the body.   DREAMers driver’s license bill advances on General File On May 14, the Legislature overwhelmingly voted 37-8 to advance LB 623 from General File. The bill would make Nebraska the final state in the country… Read more →

Legislative Update – May 11, 2015

With only 13 days left in the 2015 Nebraska Legislative session, time is winding down. Here’s your weekly Legislative Update.   Compromise reached on bill to increase aid to working families It appears Nebraska’s poorest working families may get a measure of help via a compromise announced May 5 to slightly increase payments in the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC)… Read more →

STATEMENT – Compromise a first step toward stability for Nebraska’s poorest families

***For Immediate Release*** May 5, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Appleseed Statement on working families aid funding Compromise is first step to increase stability for working, low-income families   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement on the announced compromise reached on adding aspects… Read more →

RELEASE – Appleseed praises passage of LB 89

***For Immediate Release*** April 23, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org     Appleseed Statement on passage of LB 89 Legislature’s vote will strengthen Nebraska’s working families   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Becky Gould issued the following statement in support of the Legislature’s vote to pass LB… Read more →

New study shows immigration is linked to rural economic gains

Last week, we posted about a 50-state study that showed the significant tax contributions made by undocumented immigrants in Nebraska. Another study released this week has more good economic news for Nebraska’s rural counties with large immigrant populations. The study, published on the Daily Yonder, shows that rural counties with more immigrants also tend to be performing better economically. Study:… Read more →

Legislative Update – April 6

Nebraska Appleseed’s Legislative Update News and Updates from the Nebraska Unicameral April 6, 2015   This is shaping up to be one of the biggest weeks of the Legislative session for Appleseed’s priority bills.   Medicaid Redesign Act set for debate Wednesday afternoon, the Legislature will begin debate on LB 472 – the Medicaid Redesign Act. Passing this crucial bill… Read more →

Legislative Update – March 30

Nebraska Appleseed’s Legislative Update News and Updates from the Nebraska Unicameral March 30, 2015   Last week marked the first week of full-day debate in the Legislature, and one of Appleseed’s priority bills is on the agenda for this week.   Child care “cliff effect” bill set for debate this week LB 81 – This bill introduced by Sen. Tanya… Read more →

New report shows Minority working families in Nebraska are falling behind

***For Immediate Release*** March 16, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Report: Minority Working Families in Nebraska falling behind Latino Immigrants at Greatest Risk; Study Concludes State Can Address the Problem LINCOLN – A new study concludes that a sharp racial and ethnic divide has emerged within the world of low-income… Read more →

New Report shows increased workforce need for Adult Basic Education

Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Report: More investment in Adult Basic Education would improve Nebraska workforce Hard-working Nebraskans need more skills to compete in changing economy   LINCOLN — A new report released Monday shows Nebraska’s need to invest more in Adult Basic Education (ABE). The report, “Adult Education in… Read more →

Appleseed statement on working families support bill LB 89

***For Immediate Release*** February 6, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed statement on LB 89 heard by HHS Committee Friday Bill would help Nebraska families to stay together while rewarding hard work   Friday, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement in support of… Read more →

Legislative Update

This is your weekly Nebraska Legislature update. Committee Hearings last week Appleseed testified on several bills during Legislature committee hearings last week. LB 12 – A bill to streamline the Medicaid process for eligible Nebraskans who enter and leave the criminal justice system. This bill will improve health care access while saving costs in the corrections system. Appleseed testified in… Read more →

Appleseed statement on Governor’s 2015 State of the State Address

LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Becky Gould issued the following statement in response to the Governor’s State of the State Address. “We couldn’t agree more with Governor Ricketts when he said Nebraska’s greatest resource is our people, and we echo his spirit of collaboration that we can make a stronger, better state when we work together,” Gould said.… Read more →

Being Poor is Getting Scarier in the U.S.

New research by two California economists recently highlighted that the United States is doing significantly worse now to protect low-income families from falling into deep poverty than in previous recessions. The research, cited in a new story from Bloomberg View, “Being Poor Is Getting Scarier in the U.S.,” shows the most recent recession that began in 2008 increased the number… Read more →

RELEASE – New report offers recommendations for family and workforce stability

For Immediate Release Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed report offers solutions to increase stability for families and workforce Despite high workforce participation, many Nebraska families struggle to meet basic needs LINCOLN — Strong, productive workers and families are the backbone of Nebraska’s communities and our economy. Unfortunately, many… Read more →

GoodHire program to help Nebraskans get meaningful work experience

Appleseed very enthusiastically supported a bill during the 2013 Nebraska Legislature session that created a pilot program to encourage Nebraska businesses to hire new employees and grow the state’s economy through wage subsidies. The bill, LB 368, introduced by State Senator Sue Crawford, was a win-win both for businesses looking to grow and hard-working Nebraskans who needed a chance to… Read more →

2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Haley Mead

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. As befits all good fairy tales, for Nebraska Appleseed intern Haley Mead it started with a pair of shoes. “I’ve always been… Read more →

2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Leigh Ellis

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Nebraska Appleseed law clerk Leigh Ellis has always aspired to fight for social justice. Whether it was working at a grassroots organization… Read more →

2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Christina Guthmann

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Business opens doors. Whether it’s investing in small businesses here in the U.S. or overseas, investing in people is what drives Nebraska Appleseed… Read more →

Supporters gather 135,000 signatures to put minimum wage on fall ballot

Measure to raise Minimum Wage to be voted on this fall pending signature verification On July 3, the good news didn’t come in small packages, but in stacks and stacks of large boxes, piled high in the rotunda of the State Capitol. The boxes contained petitions signed by nearly 135,000 Nebraskans from every corner of our state in support of… 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 →

Petitioners find statewide support for raising the minimum wage

NOTE: This is guest post from Appleseed intern Christina Guthmann, who has volunteered to gather petition signatures for the ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the privilege of working on the minimum wage ballot initiative with Appleseed. My first day on the job, I was trained on circulating by a state senator.… Read more →

The Growing Wage Gap is a Growing Problem in Nebraska

Earlier this month, Nebraska was near the top of the national rankings in a dubious statistic. According to the AFL-CIO’s 2014 Executive PayWatch website a CEO of a Nebraska company was paid, on average, 170 times more than an average worker and an astounding 421 times that of someone making the state’s minimum wage. That is the highest disparity of any state in the country except… Read more →

Rally to support opportunities for Nebraska’s hardworking families

On Tuesday, the Nebraska Legislature voted down LB 943, a bill that would have raised Nebraska’s minimum wage to $9 per hour for hourly employees and increased the minimum wage for workers who earn tips to 70 percent of that standard minimum wage.  Introduced by Sen. Nordquist, with the tipped minimum wage amendment from Sen. Lathrop, the bill received 20… Read more →

Minimum wage bill gets priority designation

A bill to raise Nebraska’s minimum wage to $9 per hour received a priority designation Thursday when its introducer, State senator Jeremy Nordquist, designated LB 943 his priority bill for this Legislative session. Appleseed is a strong supporter of this bill, which would help more hard-working Nebraskans make ends meet and be a step toward rebuilding our middle class. Read… Read more →

New report shows more working mothers in Nebraska make low incomes

More than 26,000 low-income families in Nebraska are headed by working mothers according to the new report, “Low-Income Working Mothers and State Policy: Investing for a Better Economic Future.” The report, which was released today by the Working Poor Families Project and utilizes the latest data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, finds that Nebraska ranks 15th in the… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed Statement on LB 943 to increase the state minimum wage

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould release the following statement about LB 943, which was heard Monday by the Legislature’s Business and Labor Committee. “Hard work is a core value in Nebraska. Our state boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and one of the highest rates of parents participating in the workforce. But our economy… Read more →

ACCESS Nebraska Working Group issues Statement of Principles to guide reforms of troubled system

For Immediate Release December 19, 2013 LINCOLN —  Today, the ACCESS Nebraska Working Group, a collection of advocates, community partners, and stakeholders, issued a statement of principles to be used as a guide to improve the troubled ACCESS Nebraska system. Yesterday, the Legislative Performance Audit Office released findings that highlighted severe flaws in the ACCESS Nebraska system. This statement of… Read more →

Appleseed intake line a resource to help Nebraskans overcome barriers

With support from the Omaha Community Foundation, Appleseed provides an Intake and Information telephone line to assist low-income community members with concerns related to our areas of expertise.  While we do not usually provide legal representation to the people who contact us, we help give callers the information and resources they need to successfully resolve their issues. We recently surveyed… Read more →

Appleseed intern learns rewarding lessons in Washington, D.C.

 NOTE: Iliana Panameno is a former Nebraska Appleseed intern who is now a graduate student at the Boston University School of Social Work. This summer, I had the opportunity to intern for SCAN of Northern Virginia, through my participation in the Institute of Philanthropy and Voluntary Services. I always knew I wanted to work towards bringing social justice to all… Read more →

More ADC participants can now use Education Activities to meet Work Requirements

Last week, Nebraska took a major step forward in supporting the educational needs of adults making low incomes. With LB 240 now in effect, all parents in the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) Program can meet their full work requirement by participating in GED, English as a Second Language, or Adult Basic Education programs. In the past, restrictions around age… Read more →

Appleseed Summer Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Victoria Rosenboom

Note: Each summer, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Name: Victoria Rosenboom Position: Fellow Hometown: Ashland, Nebraska About Victoria: Victoria is a senior at Nebraska Wesleyan University, studying political science and… Read more →

Omaha women still struggle in poverty

A recent Women’s Fund research report “How Are Women Doing in Omaha?” highlighted several concerning statistics about women in poverty here in Nebraska. The report found women are more likely to have incomes below the Federal Poverty Level and African-American women were four times as likely as Caucasian women to live in poverty. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of Omaha families… Read more →

Educational opportunity bill signed into law, will help low-income families become secure

Education is one of the best paths out of poverty.  Indeed, literacy, GED credentials, and other basic education skills are absolutely essential for economic independence. The Nebraska Legislature made strides towards making education more accessible by passing a bill that helps improve educational opportunities for low-income families. LB 240, a bill sponsored by Senator John Harms, allows low-income parents over… Read more →

Free webinar on supportive services available for Nebraska students

Nebraska Appleseed invites you to attend our upcoming webinar regarding supportive services for students in Nebraska, Extra Credit: A Guide to Resources for Non-Traditional, Parenting, and Low-Income Learners on Thursday May 2 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. James Goddard, director of Appleseed’s Economic Justice and Health Care Access programs will give you the information you need to help students… Read more →

Young People ask State Senators to Extend Voluntary Services and Support to 21

On January 31, young people from Project Everlast joined Senator Amanda McGill and other advocates to speak out in support of LB 216 – the Young Adult Voluntary Services and Support Act. LB 216, introduced by Senator McGill, would remove barriers facing young people who age out of foster care by extending voluntary services and support to the age of… Read more →

Legislative Update

Bills Coming out of Committee LB 577 – It was wonderful news for the health of Nebraska’s people and economy when this bill, which would implement the Affordable Care Act’s new Medicaid program in our state, was advanced out of the Health and Human Services Committee this week.  LB 577 is a good opportunity and a real solution to provide… Read more →

Legislative Update

Here is your weekly Legislative Update from Nebraska Appleseed. Wage subsidy program a win-win for Nebraska businesses and workers LB 368 – This bill, introduced by Senator Sue Crawford, would create a subsidized employment pilot program within the Department of Health and Human Services, which would allow employers to grow their businesses and allow low-income workers to gain meaningful job… Read more →

Wage subsidy bill LB 368 a win-win for Nebraska businesses & employees

The great work ethic of Nebraska’s labor force is one of the most important drivers of our economy.  LB 368, introduced by Senator Sue Crawford, would create opportunities for Nebraska businesses to hire new employees and grow the state’s economy through wage subsidies. “LB 368 creates a subsidized employment pilot program that creates new job opportunities for low-income Nebraskans and… Read more →

Legislative Update

Appleseed testified on a number of bills in committee last week Foster Care Reimbursement Rates LB 530 – A bill that increases reimbursements for foster families to better meet the needs of children in foster care, establishes a pilot project for a new method of determining rates, and extends the Children’s Commission and its subcommittees until 2016. Appleseed testified in… Read more →

Legislative Update

Last week, Appleseed testified on several bills at the Legislature Appleseed Opposes Harmful Tax Policy LB 405 and LB 406 – Two harmful bills that would create a regressive tax structure by eliminating the state income and corporate taxes and eliminate sales tax exemptions.  Appleseed joined the overwhelming opposition to these two bills. Appleseed encourages a thorough, thoughtful discussion on Nebraska’s tax system,… Read more →

Appleseed testifies in support of bills to protect hardworking Nebraska employees

Monday, Nebraska Appleseed staff testified in front of the Legislature’s Business and Labor Committee on several bills aimed at encouraging honest employment practices and protecting hardworking Nebraskans. Darcy Tromanhauser, Director of the Immigrant Integration and Community Participation Program, testified in support of LB 560 which seeks to prevent wage theft in Nebraska and ensure that a day’s work equals a… Read more →

LB 577 is a great opportunity & real solution to improve the health of all Nebraskans & our state economy

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould made the following statement on LB 577, the legislative bill that would implement the Affordable Care Act’s new Medicaid program in Nebraska. “LB 577 is a tremendous step toward ensuring the future health of Nebraskans.  The bill ensures that we take advantage of the opportunity to provide access to health care to at least 54,000… Read more →

Working Poor Families Report shows more families working low-paying, unstable jobs

Despite more families holding jobs, the ranks of the working poor are increasing according to a new report from the Working Poor Families Project. The report, “Low-Income Working Families: The Growing Economic Gap,” shows nearly one-third of the nation’s working families are paid wages so low they struggle to meet their basic needs. Indeed, according to the report, 32 percent… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed issues response to State of the State Address

Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Becky Gould issued the following statement in response to the Governor’s State of the State Address today. “This morning, Governor Heineman laid out his priorities for the next year in his State of the State Address.  We agree that the State of Nebraska is strong and a great place to live.  Because of this, we are… Read more →

Appleseed 2012 Year in Review – Expanding Opportunities for Nebraska’s Low-Income Families

This is part of a series looking back on Nebraska Appleseed’s work in 2012. Protecting right to treatment for young children with developmental disabilities In May, Nebraska Appleseed filed a lawsuit on behalf of two children with developmental disabilities who were denied Medicaid coverage of medical treatments despite the treatments being deemed medically necessary by their doctors. Read the petition… Read more →

Extra Credit: Resources for Non-Traditional, Parenting, and Low-Income Students

Getting a degree is one of the best long-term pathways out of poverty for low income families.  Degree completion is also important to colleges and universities, especially important now as more non-traditional students are seeking post-secondary education. Research shows that access to public assistance programs, such as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, can help keep students in school… Read more →

How the new Medicaid program would fuel the Nebraska economy

Last week, we talked about the coverage gap that about 78,000 Nebraskans would fall into if the Legislature chooses not to implement the new Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. These are Nebraskans that don’t qualify for the current Medicaid program, but don’t make enough to be able to get tax credits to buy health insurance through the Exchange.… Read more →

Bridge programs train high-skilled workers for a stronger economy

Nebraska Appleseed does a lot of work to encourage more educational opportunities for people with lower incomes because we believe education is the best ladder for people to climb out of poverty. Better education means better, higher-paying jobs that can support families and allow hard-working Nebraskans to be self-sufficient.  By 2018, 66 percent of all jobs in Nebraska will require… Read more →

Wage subsidy bill would help put more Nebraskans to work

The great work ethic of Nebraska’s labor force is one of the most important drivers of our economy.  Nebraskans work hard, and our businesses – especially small businesses – count on that hard work for success and economic growth.  At the same time, Nebraska’s working people need new opportunities to earn family supporting wages. That’s why Nebraska Appleseed testified Thursday… Read more →

Choosing Education

At a time when the highest-paying occupations and fastest-growing fields in Nebraska all require some type of academic credential or training, job-seeking adults with limited educational backgrounds are often at a disadvantage. Fortunately, parents in the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) program have the right to take part in meaningful work activities that help them reach their goals – including… Read more →

Outstanding contributions to justice recognized at Good Apple Awards

Nebraska Appleseed recognized several courageous Nebraskans Thursday night whose work has contributed to the fight for justice and opportunity for all at the 2012 Good Apple Awards. More than 300 people attended the Good Apple Awards at the Omaha Livestock Exchange Building ballroom.  Thursday’s event was the fourth such awards celebration for Nebraska Appleseed and drew its largest crowd ever.… Read more →

Five Things the U.S. Census Bureau Tells us About Poverty in Nebraska

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released a study regarding poverty nationwide and in Nebraska.  What does this data tell us about how we are faring as a state?  Five key points become clear: 1. Nebraska’s poverty levels are not improving: The number of people nationwide living in poverty remained essentially unchanged from a year ago, but slightly more Nebraskans are… Read more →

September News from Nebraska Appleseed

In this September edition of “Appleseed in Action”: New data on poverty in America UNMC report reveals Medicaid expansion would cover 90,000 uninsured Deferred Action Forum: a new opportunity for DREAMers Appleseed files petition for hearing on meatpacking worker health & safety Join us at the Good Apple Awards on October 4 New data on poverty in America On Wednesday,… Read more →

Investments in Americans Pay Great Dividends

Yesterday, a guest column appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star written by James C. Roumell titled “What I built – with government help.” Mr. Roumell is, by the classical definition, a self-made man.  He grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Detroit.  He went to college.  He started a small business that has grown into a very successful financial asset… Read more →

A Step Forward for Aspiring U.S. Citizens

Tomorrow, applications for the important new deferred action policy for DREAMers will be released. This worthwhile policy grants temporary relief from deportation for DREAMers – young, aspiring citizens who have grown up in the United States – and allows applicants to apply for a two-year work permit. Most important, it reaffirms that these youth are already Americans in all but… Read more →

We Are Still Fighting the War on Poverty

Milo Mumgaard is the founder and former Executive Director of Nebraska Appleseed. Peter Edelman recently wrote an on-point opinion piece in The New York Times on the challenge of ending poverty. This article is sobering stuff with the release of the annual poverty figures coming out next month, which will show the highest percentage of Americans living in poverty since… Read more →

ACCESS Nebraska Update

Nebraska Appleseed has been watching carefully the implementation of ACCESS Nebraska, our state’s new way of managing public assistance programs like food stamps and Medicaid. Some of you may be wondering: how is it going? This article from the Omaha World Herald provides an update on ACCESS Nebraska from multiple perspectives: “Nebraska’s Food Stamp Errors Carry High Cost” In summary,… Read more →

Many Voices Are Stronger Together

One voice shouting on a street corner may be easy to ignore, but a large group speaking together is a voice that will be heard. This week, many community groups gathered in Omaha to discuss the power of unity at “Stronger Together,” a retreat facilitated by the Leadership Conference Education Fund.  At the  “Stronger Together” retreat, community activists and community… Read more →

Defending the First Line of Defense Against Hunger

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps), is frequently referred to as the nation’s first line of defense against hunger.  Since the beginning of the program, SNAP has helped millions of Americans avoid hunger and malnutrition, especially children, the elderly, and people with disabilities (for a historical perspective on SNAP, watch “Food Stamps Make America Stronger”).… Read more →

You’re Welcome! Photo Anthology

Nebraska’s summer cultural festivals create a perfect opportunity to recognize and appreciate the diversity in our state. By sharing music, food, and art — as we have for generations — communities come together and begin to create a culture of inclusiveness. Throughout the summer, we’ll be presenting photos of Nebraskans sharing why they believe Nebraska is and should be a… Read more →

Hope for DREAMers, a Sensible Immigration System, and Time for Action…

On Friday, June 15th, President Obama announced an encouraging new policy that will grant relief from deportations for undocumented youth who are known as DREAMers. These young immigrants grew up in United States and dream of using their education and skills to contribute to society. They are American in all ways except for one—paperwork—but last week’s announcement was a long-awaited… Read more →

The Spring 2012 Edition of “At the Core”

The end of the 2012 Nebraska legislative session finished with a flurry of activity on prenatal care, child welfare, and a number of Appleseed’s priority bills passing. You can read about these successes and other recent efforts in the latest edition of our bi-annual newsletter “At the Core.” Download a printable copy of “At the Core” Inside you can read… 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 →

Legislative Update

There has been a good deal of activity at the Legislature on Appleseed’s priority issues since the last update.  Here is a quick summary: “Green Lights” In the Capitol’s legislative chamber, there is a large sign listing each Senator’s name. When a Senator votes in favor of a bill, a light next to their name turns bright green. “Green Lights”… Read more →

Educate, Innovate to Compete

It’s March Madness. If your office is anything like Nebraska Appleseed’s, the intense water cooler conversations have begun. Competition can bring out the best in us. It can push us to stretch our boundaries, find new ways to get things done, and do our best. It’s time for Nebraska to educate and innovate to compete. LB 1079 is currently under… 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 →

Appleseed Welcomes New Intake Coordinator Trisha Thompson

It all began when Trisha Thompson landed an internship here at Nebraska Appleseed. “I started interning on the intake line at Appleseed last summer and pretty much fell in love with it,” said Trisha. After graduating with her B.S. in psychology from Peru State College, Trisha is happy to be officially on board at Appleseed serving as our new Intake… Read more →

Appleseed at the Legislature

The 2012 Legislative session is off to a fast and furious start.  We are already a third of the way through this short (60 day) session and Nebraska Appleseed is working on more bills than ever before.  We’d like to highlight some of the key issues we are working on in our programs and give you an opportunity to get… 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 →

It’s That Time of Year…

The holidays are a time of year when our thoughts turn to people who are struggling in our communities.  It’s a time of year when we are not only thinking of the needs of our friends and neighbors, but also of the reasons behind their difficulties, and hoping for a year ahead with new possibilities and opportunities for family success.… Read more →

Huskers Fighting Hunger

Confronting Food Insecurity in Our Communities Keynote Speaker: Dr. Mariana Chilton, Center for Hunger-Free Communities FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, STUDENTS, STAFF AND FACULTY November 16, 2011 5 PM—7:30 PM Henzlik Hall, Room 124, University of Nebraska-Lincoln city campus Millions of Americans experience hunger and food insecurity on a daily basis. Hunger has long-term impacts on child and human… Read more →

Build A Stronger Nebraska Together

This summer, I met up with Omaha graphic designer Justin Kemerling of The Match Factory to discuss an idea for an Appleseed art exhibit.  We’ve worked with Justin on a number of Appleseed projects – most recently our Voices from Fremont poster exhibit chronicling how residents witnessed a sense of division, hostility, and suspicion in Fremont since the town passed a restrictive immigration ordinance in 2010.  Justin’s work… Read more →

Step Up for Kids

Do the new census figures reflecting that one child in five in Nebraska struggles with poverty worry you? Have you followed recent child welfare system developments with concern? Do you think that access to prenatal care should be available to all who need it to protect the health of mothers and babies? The newspaper headlines in our state have been… 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 →

Five Facts You Should Know about the U.S. Census Bureau Poverty Data

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released new data about the economic well-being of our nation and our state.  Here are five facts you should know about poverty in Nebraska: More than one in five children (18.2%) in Nebraska experienced poverty in 2010.  This is 3% higher than 2009. Minorities in Nebraska experience poverty at a disproportionate rate compared to… Read more →

It’s a SNAP

Have you ever wondered about whether or not you or your clients qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps)? Is your organization a Community Based Partner for ACCESS Nebraska, the new on-line public benefits application, and you are looking for tools and resources? If so, Nebraska Appleseed’s new Guide to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Outreach in… Read more →

Tony & Janina’s American Wedding: FREE Screening

On Thursday, September 1st, the UNL Progressive Student Coalition is excited to partner with Nebraska Appleseed to host a FREE screening of the film “Tony & Janina’s American Wedding.” This film, about a Polish immigrant family, is a feature length documentary that gets to the heart of the broken, red tape ridden U.S. immigration system and provides a fresh perspective… Read more →

Public Assistance Programs DO Matter for Kids and Families

We all know that a lower income means more struggles for families. Families with greater economic resources are not only able to better provide important inputs into their children’s development such as nutritious meals, safe neighborhoods, and higher-quality educations, but higher incomes have also been shown to improve parent’s psychological well-being and parental interactions with children. However, public perceptions remain… 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 →

More Diplomas

I remember the feeling of satisfaction I had when I hammered a nail into the wall of my first “real” office and hung up my diploma – a feeling of satisfaction and pride. A feeling that my hard work had finally materialized into something concrete that I could hang on a wall. Across the state, hardworking Nebraska families have that… Read more →

Committee Protects Nebraska’s In-state Tuition Education Policy

The Lincoln Journal Star today reported that the Legislature’s Education Committee voted down a bill that sought to repeal Nebraska’s in-state tuition law. Dozens of educational, community, faith, and legal institutions testified in support of protecting Nebraska’s in-state tuition policy at the committee hearing on February 7. Some of the testifiers included the University of Nebraska, the Post-Secondary Commission, the Nebraska… Read more →

Smart Choices, Silver Linings

In good times and in bad, families and communities remain priorities for Nebraska.  The economic downturn has had an impact on state budgets and on family budgets, and our state leaders are facing difficult choices in the 2011 legislative session. In spite of this challenge, several bills that are positive for families are gaining momentum.  These bills help our government… Read more →

A Personal Reflection on Nebraska’s In-State Tuition Law

Alex Gibilisco is a Junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an intern this semester at Nebraska Appleseed.  Alex immigrated with his family to the United States from Guatemala at the age of 10. Alex submitted the following testimony to the Legislature’s Education Committee Monday, February 7 in opposition to LB 657, which would repeal Nebraska’s in-state tuition law. Dear… Read more →

Opportunity: Points of View

A small business of her own. A chance to coach sports. A college degree. These are just a few of the American Dreams of Nebraskans profiled in “Opportunity: Points of View” a new photography exhibit supported by Nebraska Appleseed. The exhibit reflects the stories of hardworking Nebraskans who have overcome life obstacles, ranging from a young Mom in Ogallala to… Read more →

What it Really Means to “Make Ends Meet” in Nebraska

$16.39 per hour. That’s what it takes to “make ends meet” for a single parent with a preschooler in Omaha. It’s $15.38 in Lincoln, and $11.66 in Scottsbluff. These numbers are just a few examples of the wages needed by families in Nebraska based on the newly released “Self-Sufficiency Standard for Nebraska 2010” released by Nebraska Appleseed. “The Self-Sufficiency Standard… Read more →

A DREAM Denied

Despite majority support for the DREAM Act in the House, the Senate, and the American public, Nebraska’s Congressional delegation, to a member, voted against the bill, which was procedurally blocked from moving forward by a filibuster in the Senate on Saturday.  The DREAM Act would allow students who were brought to this country at a young age a means to… Read more →

Jobs Jobs Jobs

Jobs: they’re what’s on everyone’s mind as we work to build economic recovery.  What job opportunities are available in Nebraska?  What jobs are “good jobs”?  What jobs have growth potential?  What jobs pay wages that support families? Our “Nebraska Appleseed’s Top Jobs for Families in 2010: Jobs that Contribute to Economic Recovery and Family Success“ report is intended to contribute… Read more →

Filling the Skills Gap in Nebraska

In 44% of low-income Nebraska families, neither parent has any post-secondary education. In 2018, 66% of jobs in Nebraska will require post-secondary education. There is a skills gap in our state: too many folks lack high school and post-secondary credentials, and too many jobs require them.  This is a problem for workers now, and for our overall economy in the… Read more →

Smart Choices in Hard Times

Best practices for addressing state budget shortfalls have been identified by a group of ten nonprofit organizations today in a report entitled “Smart Choices in Hard Times: Best Practices for State Budgets.” “When budgets are tight, families are counting on smart budget choices that protect what matters most.  We have to look at the budget as a whole so that… Read more →

A New Month, A Small Reminder

It’s a new month: October. Fall is officially here bringing with it crisp cool weather and Halloween. But for many Nebraska families, the turn of the calendar page means much more. Public benefits programs, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps) and Aid to Dependent Children (cash welfare) “kick in” at midnight on the first day of… Read more →

Nebraska Poverty Rates Better than Nation but Nebraska Families with Children Still Struggle

In spite of poverty rates that show Nebraska faring better than the rest of the nation, data show thousands more Nebraskans are low-income, according to a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009“. One in ten Nebraskans (9.9%) faced poverty in 2009. This is equal to the rate of… Read more →

Clerkship: An Important Step Toward a Fulfilling Legal Career

While working as a summer law clerk at Nebraska Appleseed I have had the opportunity to be exposed to a wide range of public interest issues, as well as a number of strategies for addressing those issues. Every situation is unique, requiring creative thinking and hard work to reach the best solutions. For example, certain complex legal problems necessitate combing… Read more →

A Voice for the Needy

I came to Nebraska Appleseed knowing that many of the policies I would advocate would be under attack. I was right, and the common complaints were all present. If a benefits program wasn’t too expensive, it was creating incentives for illegal activity. It is easy for groups to attract support simply by shouting others down, but the quiet, untiring work… Read more →

Appleseed’s Summer Law Clerk Program

Each summer, Nebraska Appleseed’s law clerk program attracts some of the best and brightest public interest minded law students from Nebraska and across the country.  This summer was no exception.  We were fortunate to have eight students: three from the University of Nebraska College of Law, three from Creighton University Law School, one from the University of Iowa College of… Read more →

Nebraska Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Low-Income Parents Dropped from Medicaid

Last week Appleseed won a lawsuit in the Nebraska Supreme Court which restored Medicaid benefits to hundreds of low-income parents unlawfully dropped from the program by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In the suit, Davio v. HHS, 280 Neb 263 (2010), class members challenged HHS’ policy of terminating a person’s Medicaid benefits as the result of… Read more →

An Urgent Conversation: The 2010 Building Nebraska’s Future Workforce Forum

Nebraska is at a crossroads. The choices we make today about building and supporting our workforce will impact quality of life in our state for years to come. According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, Nebraska ranks 7th in the nation for future need for workers with post-secondary education, yet only 36% of our workers have… Read more →

Smart Choices in Hard Times

Nebraska’s budget should reflect Nebraska’s priorities. This seems like a simple statement, but really, it says quite a lot. It says that Nebraska values of family and community should drive our budget choices, it says that our shared resources should be directed at strengthening our families and workers, and it says that we should invest in opportunities that allow people… Read more →

Sometimes Historic Change Takes Heroic Acts

Last week, Nebraska student and wrestling champion Daniel Dominguez walked from O’Neill to Lincoln – covering 200 miles on foot – to raise awareness about the federal DREAM Act. To learn more about his incredible journey and the critical importance of the legislation, go to www.passthedreamact.org. The DREAM Act is federal legislation that would allow talented students without legal status… Read more →

Economic Independence and Access to Health Care Go Hand-in-Hand

For many years, Nebraska Appleseed has worked to protect access to health care for low-income families in our state. We continued to strive towards this goal recently in the Nebraska Supreme Court, by representing a class of over 400 low-income families that had lost Medicaid health care coverage. In the case of Davio v. Nebraska Department of Health and Human… Read more →

Moving the World Along

“I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as if they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.” – Helen Keller This quotation has hung on… Read more →

Our Friends and Neighbors

What does the economic downturn and emerging recovery mean to Nebraskans? Specifically, what does it mean to our friends and neighbors, the folks we sit next to at church or PTA meetings at the high school track meet? Over the past few years, we’ve heard multiple answers to those questions. We hear that times are getting better and that times… Read more →

Common Ground

I’ve been fortunate this week to participate in meetings with Jay Connor, Executive Director of the Collaboratory for Community Support. This organization is dedicated to helping communities break down silos and work together towards positive outcomes. He uses a quotation from movie director Frances Ford Coppola to discuss the need for collaboration in community initiatives. When asked what the difference… Read more →

Time to Take the Nebraska Education & Welfare Model Nationwide

Education is one of the clearest pathways out of poverty. Nebraska Appleseed has been repeating this statement nearly since our inception, and our work has paid off:  Nebraska welfare recipients are able to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree full time, and recently, our state expanded the time frame that recipients can pursue an Associate’s Degree from 12 months to 36 months.… 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 →

The Right Choice for Nebraska Workers

Nebraska Appleseed has been a long time advocate for working families.  In particular, we are supportive of programs that are responsive to family needs in difficult economic times.  Unemployment Insurance is one such program, and last week Nebraska’s State Senators gave first round approval to a bill (LB 1020) that would make it even stronger. Unemployment Insurance is paid into… Read more →

A Bumpy Ride

Increasingly, the economic downturn is leading Americans, and Nebraskans, to access public benefits programs such as Child Care Assistance and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  In fact, the New York Times ran a recent story about “the new poor” entitled “Millions of Unemployed Face Years without Jobs”.  The story chronicles the experiences of folks who never imagined they would… Read more →

Changing the Odds

Last week, we launched our Economic Opportunity Campaign, which is a values based policy agenda to build opportunity in the state.   The Campaign puts forth a vision where programs and policies change the odds for working Nebraskans. The vision includes job training, adult education, child care assistance, and access to health care. In that spirit, we are celebrating five fantastic… Read more →

2,100 People

Think for a minute:  Who do you know that lost a job in 2009?   Chances are that you can think of someone.  I can think of many: The wife of an old friend, a caller to Nebraska Appleseed’s Intake line, a parent I know at a local school…Job loss has been difficult for many families this year.  Nebraska has a… Read more →

National Summit on Jobs and Economic Growth: An Ongoing National Conversation

This Thursday, December 3, the Obama Administration will hold a Summit on Jobs and Economic growth. The summit will bring together business leaders and financial experts to talk about ideas for expanding the economy and creating jobs. This is an important step in moving forward the national conversation about jobs. Across the nation, this is the worst economic crisis since… Read more →

Kitchen Tables

I love Thanksgiving.  My Dad (my favorite farmer) cooks for us, and this year, I have not one but two beautiful nieces to giggle with at the table.  This is what valuing family means to me.  I am grateful for a good meal, for family, and even for the baby drool and stuffing that will inevitably end up on my… Read more →

Learning (Aprendizaje)

Last week, I was lucky enough to sit in on an adult education class in a small Nebraska community. The first assignment was to write a simple letter to a friend. Many of the students were attending the class in order to learn English. In an attempt to see what the class might be like for the students, I took… Read more →

The Floor Is Yours

Last week I attended a town hall meeting hosted by the State Senators representing Lincoln and Lancaster County about the current budget shortfall and the upcoming special session of the State Legislature to address the gap. I was genuinely touched by the number of Nebraskans speaking out on behalf of low income families.  Person after person stood up to speak… Read more →

How Can Nebraska Come Out Ahead In The Economic Recovery?

Brain drain, a high proportion of low-wage jobs, and the current economic downturn all negatively impact the well-being of Nebraska’s families, communities, and economy. At the same time, our workforce is one of the most dedicated in the nation and, in spite of recent increases, our unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the nation. So what do we… Read more →

Ending Childhood Hunger in Nebraska

September is Hunger Awareness Month. As a part of this nationwide effort to draw attention to the issue of hunger in America, Nebraska Appleseed is releasing a report tomorrow entitled “Ending Childhood Hunger in Nebraska: Strategies for Improving and Maximizing Child Nutrition Programs.” The report shares the unsettling finding that one in seven children in Nebraska is food insecure, meaning… Read more →

The Good News

In these times of economic struggle, it’s tempting to focus only on the difficulties facing our state and our families. While the Low Income Self Sufficiency Program will continue to address issues ranging from unemployment to increased poverty rates, this week, we’re taking a hiatus from the problematic to bring you some good news. And, in fact, there’s plenty of… Read more →

More than Numbers

One in ten Nebraskans currently lives in poverty according to new Census data released last week. One in ten…One in ten folks driving down I-80 on your commute to work this morning…One in ten parents at your PTA meeting…One in ten people attending your church service on Sunday… The truth is that the recession is taking a toll on our… Read more →

The “Good Life Index”

What is “The Good Life”? We Nebraskans love to talk about it, but I don’t often hear people define it. Think about it for a minute – what does “The Good Life” mean to you? This term means different things to different people, but generally, it refers to a high quality of life that involves healthy people, safe communities, and… Read more →

Back to School Breakfast

Today many children across the state don new backpacks, sharpen their pencils, and begin the giddy walk to the first day of school.  Thinking about the first day of a new school year always makes me remember the nervous feeling I would have in my stomach on the first day, accompanied by a series of questions running through my mind:… Read more →

“Know Your Rights” Video Premier!

[kaltura-widget wid=”o1s82qbvqo” width=”400″ height=”365″ style=”margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 5px;” addpermission=”” editpermission=”” align=”right” /]Recently, I attended a great event entitled “Tools for Education” at an organization that is doing excellent work in Nebraska, the Center for People in Need. In addition to sharing backpacks and notebooks to prepare kids for the upcoming school year, the Center for People in Need gave folks… Read more →

Valuing Work, Valuing Workers

In recent months, the economic downturn has strengthened the value that Nebraskans place on a hard day’s work.  Now, more than ever, we recognize and appreciate the opportunity to earn a living to support our families.  This is, in part, why we can celebrate the recent minimum wage increase from $6.55 to $7.25 which will provide a much-needed boost for… Read more →

“The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.” MLK Jr.

In the next few months, it will be my job to tell people about a recent Nebraska Appleseed “win.”  This year, Nebraska Appleseed, along with Senator Harms from Scottsbluff and numerous advocates and supporters, worked to pass LB 458, legislation that allows families that participate in the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) program to pursue an education for 36 months.… Read more →

Hidden Heartache in Nebraska’s Unemployment Numbers

Nebraska newspapers recently reported that our state has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 4.4%. Certainly, this is a positive sign for Nebraska’s economy – and it’s good that we are not seeing the record breaking unemployment rates of over 10% in Nevada, Oregon, Michigan, and California. However, in our role as an advocates for low-income Nebraskans, it’s… Read more →

Being the Change

What does a good public assistance program look like? From the Appleseed point of view, basic principles would apply:  Folks would have all the information they need to make good decisions, clients would have opportunities for choice and self-determination, and all people would be treated with dignity and respect. Our legal and public policy reform efforts continually work to create this vision… Read more →

I Left My Heart in Scottsbluff County

Visionary.  Strategic.  Innovative.  These are a few of the words I would use to describe the folks that attended our Town Hall meeting in Scottsbluff, Nebraska http://www.wehavejobs.net/ last week.  Scottsbluff may be considered a small community by some, but the leaders I spoke with had big ideas for their community and for the state. The meeting addressed three major issues:… Read more →

Multiple Choice

One in ten Nebraska adults does not have a High School Diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED). Startling, isn’t it? In our evolving, knowledge-based, technology-driving economy, the lack of basic skills is a real barrier – not only for workers in need of jobs that pay family supporting wages, but also for employers in need of skilled workers. In spite… 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 →

Who is your “One in Four”?

The next time you are at a t-ball game, or a parade, or at the local pool, take a good look around. One in four working families in Nebraska is low-income, meaning that they have difficulty meeting their basic needs and struggle to get ahead. Maybe it’s the high school janitor, whose kid plays third base. Maybe it’s your neighbor,… Read more →