Nebraska Green Party State Convention: June 26 in Lincoln

The Nebraska Green Party will hold its 2016 State Convention on June 26 in Lincoln. Members will gather at The Meeting Place, 1239 South 14th Street. The meeting begins at 1 p.m.

Members will select the party’s choice for the U.S. presidential election and select delegates to represent Nebraska at the Green Party National Convention, held this year in Houston, August 4-7.

Read more about the two recognized candidates seeking the Green Party nomination, William Kreml and Jill Stein.

Read more about the National Convention.

 

 

Death penalty incompatible with faith, humanity

From the Lincoln Journal Star:

The death penalty has survived not in spite of Christians, but because of them, according to Shane Claiborne, social activist, author and pioneer in the New Monasticism Movement.

For a long time, Claiborne believed that scripture supported the death penalty: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth… But his gut told him something else. He believed it was not as simple as good versus evil, right versus wrong and life versus death.

“I went back to study Scripture, and I saw how complex it is,” Claiborne said during a recent visit from Philadelphia to Lincoln and Omaha, as part of Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and Retain a Just Nebraska — both efforts to retain a state law abolishing the death penalty.

More than 200 people attended Claiborne’s June 7 presentations, which coincided with the release of his newest book, Executing Grace: How the Death Penalty Killed Jesus and Why It’s Killing Us. The book examines the death penalty from all angles: religious, moral, just and practical. Many Nebraska stories are included in the 300-page book.

Claiborne’s appearance was the first in a series of guests invited to Nebraska over the coming months to help convince voters to uphold LB268 which calls for abolishing capital punishment in the state, said Dan Parsons, spokesman for Retain a Just Nebraska.

Read the full story from the Lincoln Journal Star.

Retain a Just Nebraska has two upcoming open-house events for faith leaders to discuss the death penalty:

  • In Lincoln June 14 from 6 to 8 p.m.: FUSE Co-Working Space, 151 N. Eighth St. (fifth floor).
  • In Omaha June 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Retain a Just Nebraska headquarters, 440 Regency Parkway Suite 234.

Learn more at Retain a Just Nebraska and Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

Petition: Allow wind development in Lancaster County

Last November the Lancaster County Commission on a 3 to 2 vote established excessively restrictive decibel standards that effectively prohibit the development of clean energy wind development in Lancaster County. A coalition of groups representing labor, agriculture, business, and the environment have launched a petition campaign to promote safe and sensible standards for wind development in the county’s rural areas. Please take a moment to sign this non-binding petition to express your support for clean energy and to encourage the phasing out of fossil fuels:

Learn more and sign the petition.

Celebrate with Marylyn in Omaha and support Retain a Just Nebraska

Join us for a Fundraising Birthday Party & Discussion With Marylyn Felion!

Marylyn is a board member of Nebraskans for an Alternative to the Death Penalty and and active volunteer for Retain a Just Nebraska. She accompanied the last person executed in Nebraska and has been a long-time activist for death penalty abolition. Today, she is working tirelessly to Retain LB 268.

To celebrate her birthday, we’re inviting you to attend her fundraising birthday party and give a gift to Retain a Just Nebraska in her honor. Your gift will help the effort to Retain LB 268 and keep Nebraska death penalty free!

Her no-host birthday celebration is open to the public and will be held at Mama’s Pizza in Omaha, 715 N. Saddle Creek Road, on Wednesday, June 8, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. We hope to see you there!

RSVP to the Facebook event.

LJS Editorial: Life sentences are safe alternative to death penalty

From the Lincoln Journal Star Editorial Board:

Nebraskans who want to keep the death penalty off the books in Nebraska took a proactive step last week to reassure Nebraskans that when a murderer is sentenced to life in prison, it means just that.

The anti-death penalty group included some Nebraskans who can speak with consummate authority.

Here’s what retired District Court Judge Ronald Reagan had to say:

“I want to make sure there is no legal confusion,” Reagan said. “Life imprisonment means life in prison, no chance of parole. Anything else is legal posturing and has no grounding in the legal realities.”

Reagan ought to know. He’s the judge who sentenced John Joubert to death. John Joubert, a sadistic serial killer convicted of stabbing two boys to death, died in the electric chair in 1996. He was one of the last people to be executed in the state.

“I have seen the worst of the worst cases in Nebraska and I have studied the laws very carefully,” Reagan said. “Let me be perfectly clear about what happens when someone is sentenced to life imprisonment in Nebraska – they die in prison.”

Read the full editorial.

Sen. Ken Harr: Planning is better than name-calling on climate change

From the Lincoln Journal Star:

Instead of engaging in demagoguery around climate change like (George Will in his April 25 column), Nebraska scientists and policy makers are taking steps to address climate change. This session I introduced LR455, which created a special legislative committee to address both the risks and the opportunities from climate change for Nebraska’s people. This committee is composed of seven members from all across the state representing a wide spectrum of political views. The committee will create the framework for a Nebraska Climate Action Plan based on a consensus of scientific evidence, including input from nationally recognized experts from UNL who assembled the 2014 report on the impacts of climate change in Nebraska (Climate Change Implications for Nebraska).

Read the full Local View op-ed.

Former Nader campaign manager: Revolution is difficult and necessary

From Theresa Amato writing for Vox:

Every four years, we come to this point: Dissatisfaction with the major party candidates cries for alternatives, and then reality comes crashing in. As an initial matter, the problem can be squarely laid at the feet of voters themselves as they are unwilling to take a risk outside the two parties once their nominees lose inside the two major parties.

I know because I tried twice to open up the system to candidacies outside the two parties: first, in 2000 as the national campaign manager for Ralph Nader when he was the Green Party nominee, and then again in 2004, when Nader ran on a potpourri of third-party and independent ballot lines.

Until we fix our Byzantine ballot access system, our partisan electoral administrations, our campaign financing system, our inexplicably exclusive Commission on Presidential Debates, and a media fixated on horse-race politics, it is a myth that anyone can run — successfully — for president outside of the two parties.

Read the full First Person essay at Vox.

Jill Stein: We Need a Constitutional Right to Vote

From Jill2016.com:

The 2016 primary season is exposing a crisis of democracy in America.

The prevalence of voter suppression, from voters forced to stand in line for five hours in Arizona to over one hundred thousand voters purged from the rolls in New York, is inexcusable.

Meanwhile in North Carolina, a federal judge has upheld new voting restrictions, including a voter ID law that will disproportionately block poor and minority voters from the polls.

It’s no secret that reducing voter turnout benefits the political establishment.

It’s time to bring real democracy to America by eliminating unfair barriers to voting and ensuring every vote counts.

Voter suppression across the United States has reached crisis levels, largely because the Constitution does not explicitly guarantee our right to vote. An explicit Constitutional right to vote would empower Americans to challenge systemic voter suppression and restore the integrity of our elections.

Stand with Jill Stein’s call for an explicit Constitutional right to vote today!

Read more and sign the petition.

Action Alert: Climate rally at Berkshire meeting April 30 in Omaha

From BOLD Nebraska:

Join former NASA climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, Nebraska Peace Foundation, and Bold Nebraska on Saturday, April 30th outside the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Meeting in Omaha to deliver our petition and urge shareholders attending the meeting to VOTE YES on the Climate Resolution. Introduced by Nebraska Peace Foundation, which owns a voting share in the company, the shareholder resolution asks the company to do a climate risk assessment.

The rally will be Saturday, April 30,  from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the CenturyLink Center, 455 N 10th St, Omaha.

Warren Buffett has urged shareholders to vote against the resolution. In his letter to shareholders, Buffett writes that he understands that climate change keeps people up at night, and he thinks people in low lying areas should move.

Said Buffett: “Call this Noah’s Law: If an ark may be essential for survival, begin building it today, no matter how cloudless the skies appear.”

Buffett sees climate change causing disasters, but he doesn’t see any risk of his insurance companies experiencing “significant losses” from them yet.

It’s time for Warren Buffett to build a #ClimateArk — starting with the climate risk assessment for his companies outlined in the shareholder resolution proposed by Nebraska Peace Foundation.

Read more from BOLD Nebraska and RSVP for the rally.