Green Drinks in Omaha May 24

Here is a friendly reminder that Omaha Green Drinks will be taking place this upcoming Wednesday, May 24, at 5:30 p.m. at Whole Foods Market, 10020 Regency Pkwy, Omaha.

Carpool, cycle, walk, or ride the bus! This is a great way to network, inspire, share ideas, and catch up with other “Green” people!

Please RSVP on Facebook.

Sign the Petition: Single-Payer Medicare for All

From the Green Party U.S.:

The Green Party supports single-payer universal health care and preventive care for all. We believe that health care is a right, not a privilege.

Our current health care system lets tens of thousands of people die each year by excluding them from adequate care, while its exorbitant costs are crippling our economy. The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world without a national health care system.

Under a universal, comprehensive, national single-payer health care system, the administrative waste of private insurance corporations would be redirected to patient care. If the United States were to shift to a system of universal coverage and a single payer plan, as in Canada and many European countries, the savings in administrative costs would be more than enough to offset the cost of additional care. Expenses for businesses currently providing coverage would be reduced, while state and local governments would pay less because they would receive reimbursement for services provided to the previously uninsured, and because public programs would cease to be the “dumping ground” for high-risk patients and those rejected by health maintenance organizations (HMOs) when they become disabled and unemployed. In addition, people would gain the peace of mind in knowing that they have health care they need. No longer would people have to worry about the prospect of financial ruin if they become seriously ill, are laid off their jobs, or are injured in an accident.

Read more and sign the petition.

Learn about habitat loss and biodiversity May 23 in Omaha

From Nebraska League of Conservation Voters:

On May 23, we will host a discussion about habitat loss and biodiversity, featuring Dr. LaReesa Wolfenbarger and Dr. Chris Helzer.

  • What: Discussion about Habitat Loss and Biodiversity
  • When: Tuesday, May 23, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
  • Where: UNO’s College of Public Affairs and Community Service, located at 6320 Maverick Plaza, Omaha, NE 68182

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.

Habitat loss is the number one reason why species go extinct, and thus poses a major threat to biodiversity on our planet. When humans convert wild areas for agriculture, forestry, urban development, or water projects (including dams, hydropower, and irrigation), they reduce or eliminate its usefulness as a habitat for the other species that live there.

Dr. LaReesa Wolfenbarger and Dr. Chris Helzer are two of Nebraska’s top experts on biodiversity and habitat loss, so you won’t want to miss this event!

Learn more about Dr. Wolfenbarger and Dr. Helzer.

Space is limited! To attend the event, please register here.

Keystone XL public hearing May 3 in York

From BOLD Nebraska:

The Nebraska Public Service Commission has not yet announced any additional public meetings on the Keystone XL pipeline route other than  Wednesday, May 3, in York at the Holthus Convention Center. So this is your next opportunity to make your voice heard on KXL. Speakers are limited to five minutes; first-come, first-serve.

(The formal intervenor hearings Aug. 7-11 in Lincoln are also expected to include an opportunity for public testimony, at the end of the week).

  • Holthus Convention Center, 3130 Holen Ave, York
  • Wednesday, May 3, 2017
  • Doors open at 8 a.m.; hearing from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • A rally and press conference are planed for noon to 1:30 p.m.

RSVP through BOLD Nebraska.

Join the Facebook event.

Lincoln Climate March draws hundreds

From the Lincoln Journal Star:

More than 200 protesters gathered Saturday morning to voice their concerns about climate change and its lack of acceptance by the public and elected officials.

Participants marched from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Student Union to the State Capitol before gathering at The Bourbon Theatre. The event was one of more than 300 satellite marches across the globe.

John Atkeison, the lead organizer of the Lincoln march, said the protest was meant to get the attention of more than just elected officials.

“The main motivating force for dealing with change is at the grass roots,” he said. “The politicians that are in power now don’t address the problem. They’ve been doing little or nothing about it.”

Read the full story.

LB 461: Regressive tax cuts that fix nothing

From Open Sky Policy Institute:

LB 461, the tax-cut package put forth by the Revenue Committee, is first and foremost an income tax cut for wealthy Nebraskans and the proposal does little to truly address property tax relief. In fact, LB 461 is fundamentally flawed in a way that makes it more likely to exacerbate, not help, Nebraska’s reliance on property taxes to fund K-12 education. Furthermore, some Nebraskans would actually pay more in overall taxes under LB 461.

Read the full policy brief.

Liquor Commission denies licenses for Whiteclay beer sellers

From the Omaha World-Herald:

Frank LaMere finally got the decision he’s been waiting for.

For two decades, he’s called for an end to alcohol sales in Whiteclay, Nebraska, due to the dreadful consequences.

On Wednesday, a state liquor board voted 3-0 to end the long-controversial beer sales in Whiteclay, an unincorporated village known as the “Skid Row of the Plains” that sells millions of cans of beer each year to residents of the officially dry Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

“I think today that the Oglala Lakota people won. I think Nebraskans won. We’ll be better for it in this state,” said LaMere, a Native American activist from South Sioux City.

Read the full story.

Upcoming marches: Support science and climate action, demand Trump’s tax returns

Tax March: Demanding the release of President Trump’s tax returns.

Lincoln Tax March

  • Saturday, April 15, 2017, 12 p.m.
  • Nebraska State Capitol Building
  • 1445 K Street
  • Lincoln, NE  68508

Omaha Tax March

  • Saturday, April 15, 2017, 1 p. m.
  • Turner Park
  • 3101 Dodge Street
  • Omaha, NE 68131

March for Science: Supporting the scientific method and evidence-based policies.

March for Science – Lincoln

  • Saturday, April 22, 2017, 3 – 4 p.m.
  • Nebraska Union, 1400 R Street
  • Marching from the Union through Centennial Mall to the Nebraska State Capitol

March for Science – Omaha

  • Saturday, April 22, 2017, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Marching from Elmwood Park to Stinson Park

March for Science, Climate, and Social Justice – Hastings

  • Saturday, April 22, 2017, 12:30 – 2 p.m.
  • Hastings, NE

People’s Climate March: Standing up for the climate, for jobs, and for justice.

People’s Climate March, Lincoln

  • Saturday, April 29, 2017, 10:30am
  • Nebraska State Capitol Building
  • 1445 K Street
  • Lincoln, NE

People’s Climate March, Omaha

2016 Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate Ajamu Baraka has accepted our invitation to speak at the Omaha event, starting at noon. The march will start at 2 p.m.

  • Saturday, April 29, 2017, 12:00pm
  • Gene Leahy Mall
  • 1302 Farnam
  • Omaha, NE

Tell the Nebraska Public Service Commission: Consider climate in KXL decision

From 350.org:

In Nebraska, there is still no permitted route for Keystone. Eighty-five landowners are refusing to give up their land to make way for the pipeline, and thousands more people are rallying to deny TransCanada their Nebraska permit for Keystone XL. They’re asking pipeline fighters from across the United States to support these efforts by submitting comments to Nebraska’s Public Service Commission urging them to include climate in their assessment and oppose the permit.

If built, this pipeline would poison our climate, air, water, land and communities, and violate Indigenous rights. Take action now to urge the Nebraska Public Service Commission to consider climate in their assessment of whether Keystone XL is in the public interest and to deny the permit for the project.

Send a message to the Commission via 350.org

Nebraska voter ID proposal harms democracy, solves nothing

From the Lincoln Journal Star Editorial Board:

There is a common phrase employed in legislative debates: This is a solution looking for a problem.

Cliches become clichés precisely because there’s a kernel of truth at their center. In this case, a voter ID measure — LR1CA offered by Sen. John Murante of Gretna, requiring a photo ID to participate in Nebraska elections — is a solution looking for a problem.

Secretary of State John Gale has stated plainly that there’s been no evidence of voter fraud being a problem in Nebraska. An earlier Local View from Kristie Pfabe noted that impersonation, the type of fraud an ID plan aims to stop, is the least efficient way possible to sway a race. It comes with a high cost criminally, and that high potential cost yields but one vote.

Murante argues that the bill is necessary to restore Americans’ confidence in the voting process.

But the plan creates more problems than it solves and does more harm to our democracy than it helps.

Read the full editorial.