LWVNE Action Item:
League of Women Voters Lunch & Learn:
Registering to Vote 101
Lancaster County Election Commissioner Todd Wiltgen will provide detailed information about voter registration and how the voter registration system is maintained at the February Lunch & Learn.
The event is Thursday, February 1, from noon to 1:00 PM, and is free and open to the public throughout Nebraska via Zoom. Membership is not required.
For over 100 years, the League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, has encouraged informed and active participation in government, worked to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influenced public policy through education and advocacy. Membership is open to all. For further information regarding the League, go to www.lincolnleague.org.
Those wishing to attend, use this Zoom link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89137424915
Help Shape the Priorities of our League
Please join your fellow Leaguers for our LWVLL Program Planning Meeting
NEW DATE AND LOCATION
When: Saturday, February 3, 2024
Start time: Food and fellowship starts at 8:30 am. Meeting starts at 9:00 am
Where: Former AAA Nebraska building, Lower Level, 2900 O St. (northeast corner of 29th & O streets). Enter through the glass double doors on west side. Elevator and free parking available
It’s been a while since we have reviewed our local positions that LWVLL has developed over the years, so we want to take the time to do just that at this meeting. We also need to hear from you, our members, to help set the direction, priorities, and time commitments of our League for the coming 12-24 months as it relates to Voter Services/Education as well as Advocacy. And finally, we will take time to formulate our feedback to LWVUS on the proposed LWVUS Program that the League membership adopts at each biennial LWV National Convention.
- if you are new to the Lincoln-Lancaster County League and are trying to better understand the work of the League as it relates to Education vs. Advocacy, this meeting is for you.
- If you have a burning issue that you think the League should be working on, this meeting is for you.
- If you just miss meeting with your fellow Leaguers, this meeting is for you.
More information will be sent closer to the meeting date.
What we need from you:
Please RSVP your attendance to firstname.lastname@example.org
We need volunteers to bring “breakfast” finger foods. Please email email@example.com if you can help.
Right to Vote on Opportunity Scholarship Act Repeal Referendum is in Jeopardy
On Oct. 20, 2023, Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen announced he certified the referendum petition for LB 753 (Opportunity Scholarship Act), and it would be on the Nebraska ballot in November 2024. Certification means election officials confirmed that petition circulators met all constitutional requirements.
In early January, state Sen. Lou Ann Linehan (Elkhorn), the author of LB 753, asked Secretary Evnen to reconsider his certification and remove the issue from the November ballot. Linehan’s argument is that the Nebraska Constitution reserves the power to set and raise revenues expressly for the Legislature. Evnen has not rendered his decision as yet.
In reponse to Linehan’s action, the Lincoln-Lancaster County League of Women Voters submitted a public statement in a Letter to the Editor, which appeared in the Lincoln (Nebr.) Journal Star on January 18, 2024, page A7:
Voters deserve say on issue
The League of Women Voters has steadfastly championed public education and the principle that public dollars require public oversight in accordance with state and federal laws. In June 2023, Nebraska state and local Leagues partnered with Support Our Schools Nebraska on a successful referendum petition drive, amassing more than 117,000 signatures to place the repeal of the Opportunity Scholarships Act (LB753) on the November 2024 ballot.
In October, Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen validated 91,861 signatures and certified the petition for the ballot. The recent move by the bill’s author, state Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, threatens the essence of our democratic process.
Linehan contends the Nebraska Constitution exclusively reserves the power to set and raise revenues for the Legislature, thus nullifying the collective voice of 91,861 Nebraska citizens.
This blatant attempt to undermine the referendum process, a fundamental right of our citizen voters to check and balance legislative decisions, is an affront to democracy. Linehan’s plea to Evnen to reconsider certification jeopardizes a sacred Nebraska democratic principle that allows our taxpayers/voters to decide the fate of LB753.
We taxpayers/voters — those whom Linehan, Evnen, Gov. Jim Pillen, and countless others are entrusted to serve — may find our voices stifled in November. This is not just an attack on the repeal referendum; it is an assault on our constitutional rights in Nebraska.
We call on our fellow citizens to stand united in defense of our democratic values, urging Evnen to uphold the certification, thus letting the voters exercise their constitutional right in November.
Cynthia Peterson, president of League of Women Voters-Lincoln/Lancaster County, Lincoln
Renew your membership today!
Please renew your membership in the League of Women Voters Lincoln and Lancaster County! Our membership year runs from April 1 to March 31. The 2023-2024 memberships expire March 31st. The League is non-partisan and does not support or oppose candidates nor political parties. We strive to increase understanding of public policy issues and to increase voter participation in elections.
There are two ways you can renew your membership:
- Online at https://lincolnleague.org/join-us
- OR download the form from the web site, print it, add your information, and mail it along with your check ($50 per person and $10 for students or a second person in the same household) to:
League of Women Voters of Lincoln Lancaster County
P.O. Box 5054
Lincoln, NE 68505
LWVLL Annual General Meeting Save the Date: The Annual General Meeting is Saturday morning, April 20, 2024 in Lincoln. More details to come.
Lincoln Coalition Wants to End Source of Income-Based Discrimination Faced by Many Renters
The League of Women Voters of Lincoln/Lancaster County, alongside 13 community organizations and 514 individuals, strongly advocates for the introduction and passing of a Lincoln city ordinance. This ordinance aims to prevent source-of-income discrimination against potential renters relying on housing vouchers, disability benefits, etc., to contribute to their rent payments.
On December 18, 2023, member organizations and community advocates gathered outside the City/County building at 5 PM in a show of support for the proposed ordinance during a news conference. Jean McGuire, VP for Action, and Cynthia Peterson, President, represented LWVLL.
During the news conference, Kasey Ogle, senior staff attorney for Collective Impact, highlighted the damaging impact of source-of-income discrimination on Lincoln’s housing crisis and its contribution to racial inequalities within our community. Ogle emphasized, ‘Rental assistance is a vital resource for low-income families striving for stability and an escape from poverty’s cycle. Unfortunately, Lincoln lacks safeguards, enabling landlords to reject tenants solely based on their rent payment method. Ending source-of-income discrimination is crucial to provide a baseline protection for those diligently working to improve their lives.’
While 23 states and 134 cities have successfully implemented legislation prohibiting source-of-income discrimination, Nebraska has yet to follow suit.
After the press conference, supporters reconvened in the City Council chambers. In the council’s public comment session, a petition endorsing the new ordinance, signed by over 500 individuals, was formally presented. Multiple advocates voiced strong support for this ordinance, sharing poignant stories of individuals enduring housing struggles.
The City Council holds the next course of action, with their next meeting scheduled after January 1, 2024. LWVLL members are encouraged to express their opinions to their City Council representatives about the proposed ordinance.
The Lincoln League welcomes 28 new members!
The League of Women Voters of Lincoln/Lancaster County has welcomed 28 new members so far in 2023. We are excited they chose to contribute their time, energy and talents to our nonpartisan, grassroots organization as we work together to protect and expand voting rights, and ensure everyone is represented in our democracy. Our new members are: Ann J., Barbara A., Bethany A., Bob E., Christine M., Cinnamon D., Constance K., Dylan C., Heather S., Heidi U., Judith K., Kathryn B., Lauren C., Leslie R., Marianne D., Martha H., Maureen H., Melanie L., Oliva B., Pamela E., Patricia B., Rachel K., Richard D., Scott L., Sophie W., Susan U., Thomas B. and Zita S.
If this sounds like a worthwhile use of your time, click the ‘Join’ tab on this page to learn more about membership in the League of Women Voters of Lincoln/Lancaster County.
League of Women Voters Lunch & Learn – Solving the Climate Challenge
The event was on Thursday, Dec. 7th from noon to 1:00 PM.
The December League of Women Voters Lunch & Learn welcomes the Citizens’ Climate Lobby to its continuing series on issues affecting Nebraskans all across the state. The Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a non-partisan, volunteer organization empowering everyday people to work together on climate policy. Supporters of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby are organized in 420 chapter around the U.S., with three chapter in Nebraska: Lincoln, Omaha, and Chadron. The presentation will address priority climate solutions and how to engage in climate advocacy. The speaker is Becky Seth, co-leader of the Lincoln league. Before retirement, she was head naturalist at Pioneers Park Nature Center. Seth is a member of the Mayor’s Resilient Lincoln Roundtable and the Coalition for Environmental Improvement.
Lincoln LWV members learn more about the implications and procedures associated with Nebraska’s new Voter ID law from Becki Gaston-Wise, Lancaster County Deputy Election Commissioner.
Things to know about Nebraska Voter ID:
About 35 League of Women Voters of Lincoln-Lancaster County members, guests and others got an early look at identification requirements for Nebraska registered voters, effective April 1, 2024. Becki Gaston-Wise, Deputy Election Commissioner for Lancaster County, was the keynote speaker at the League’s fall meeting, November 2, 2023 at Walt Public Library.
Gaston-Wise shared that the majority of Nebraska’s registered voters already possess accepted Voter ID in the form of a Nebraska driver’s license or state-issued ID card. IDs issued by the federal government, including a U.S. passport, are acceptable, as are photo IDs issued by any post-secondary institution in Nebraska. There are other acceptable IDs as well.
Popular types of IDs that are NOT accepted include out-of-state driver’s licenses; state IDs or postsecondary IDs; IDs from private organizations, or any ID without a photo, such as a Social Security card.
Key to remember is the new Voter ID law does NOT change Nebraska’s existing voter
registration process. If you are already a registered voter in Nebraska, you do NOT need to
register again. The primary on May 14, 2024, will be the first Nebraska election under this
new Voter ID law.
Click here to register to vote online!