2020 hit Omahans in every district hard and fast. Like communities throughout our nation, we found ourselves unprepared to handle the pandemic in a way that kept our families safe and our businesses thriving. As we collectively grieve the loss of friends, family, and community pillars, city elections offer us all the opportunity to engage in a new path forward. 

The responsibility of local leadership to guide Omaha through COVID’s current phase can’t be overstated. The residents of Omaha can’t afford, nor do they deserve, mismanagement of the pandemic any longer. Kate has a vision of an Omaha where City Council partners with community members + health experts to ensure the decisions we make create the positive outcomes we all are looking for. 

Ensuring the diverse voices of District 5 are represented in this critical conversation is a top priority for Kate during this campaign and her tenure in office. With an emphasis on personal and professional support for Omahans, Kate plans to demonstrate her ability to build coalitions around social issues + deliver on her promises.

  • Individuals/Community Members: The burden placed on community members in District 5 by COVID has been tremendous. We have seen record applications for unemployment, the requests for mental health support rise, and the increased need for rental/housing assistance. The first round of support received by both the County and City was underscored by confusion and lacked the detailed communication plan necessary to ensure Omahans were prepared to take advantage of the funds. Kate wants to make sure that the new CARES Act funding the city just applied for, which is specific to housing assistance, is well managed so as many Omahans as possible benefit. The city is estimated to receive $40 million in funding. District 5 and Omaha needs a representative that understands the seriousness of this issue and work to positively impact Omaha residents
  • Small Businesses: Kate loves District 5 and the small businesses that make it home. The variety of restaurants that have become staples and destinations for all of Omaha. Smart, innovative businesses that cater to the diversity of the district, ensuring we have what we need as residents. Banks, veterinarians, florists, fitness centers, and so much more. Kate plans to ensure that small businesses are truly supported so we don’t lose anymore of these local treasures. It is imperative that we advocate for the sustainability of small businesses while also making science backed decisions. 

With the events from this past summer, it is clear that OPD has been asked to go above and beyond the duties of their oath in providing services. This demonstrates an inefficiency in government. It’s the job of city council to help perfect the way our local government is run and to lead the conversation on public safety. While our current officials react to public opinion, Kate plans to guide it by working with police and community members to define community policing specific to her district and Omaha, while also engaging the full range of city + community services in response to the requests made by a diverse group of community members. 

  • Current Police Policy: The announcement of a settlement between demonstrators and OPD signaled two very important things; with clear goals and objectives from our community partners, changes can be implemented + OPD has acknowledged that it has room for improvement. We should be proud to have any public safety official take the voices of our community members seriously. Kate plans to support OPD in its efforts to increase partnership with advocates and activists in a way that is fiscally responsible and inclusive.
  • Redefining the Term: “Community policing is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies that support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.” Using this definition of community policing, Kate can assist, in a collaborative planning process, with creating a reasonable assessment tool to measure progress + impact. With an emphasis on partnerships, Kate plans to seek out established community organizations that can share the responsibilities of public safety through intentional city investment. 

City services are the most tangible way we experience effective or ineffective city government; dozens and dozens of systems working in tandem to make life easier for every Omahan. These systems employ thousands of our friends and family, who deserve to work with dignity and respect. As a resident of District 5, Kate recognizes that our services aren’t working, for anyone. Kate wants to bring her critical eye for detail to the city council. Omaha deserves a councilperson who takes immediate action to alleviate their constituents’ concerns, big or small.

  • Incorporating Resident Feedback: City Council meetings and emails can’t be the only way residents communicate how Omaha’s services are working for them. Hotlines don’t make Omahans feel heard. Kate believes with an intentional focus on participatory governance, we can ensure all voices are represented in how services are provided to residents. With a 48 hr email/phone call response policy, town halls, a newsletter, and a district survey, Kate feels confident that in her district, you will be heard.
  • Responsiveness + Reassessment: An essential part of leadership is the ability to acknowledge what isn’t working and make the changes necessary for improvement. If the new trash + recycling issues residents across the city are experiencing is any indication, that leadership is lacking in the city council’s current iteration. Kate wants District 5 to know that she has been paying attention because she has also been impacted by these problems.
  • Fiscal Responsibility + Inclusivity: Not only is bad government inconvenient, it’s expensive. Who has to pay when residents have a large amount of trash one week and it can’t fit into the bin provided by the city? You. Who is inconvenienced when recycling isn’t picked up week after week? You. Who is put in danger when the streets aren’t properly plowed, or left with potholes? You, and Kate. Just like the rest of District 5, Kate is fed up with negligent service and bad governance. Supporting Kate for Omaha City Council District 5 means you are ready for an elected official who will appropriate your tax money wisely and in a way that makes Omaha accessible.