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Creating Caucuses with Ken Riter, DCDP LGBTQIA Caucus Chair


OMAHA , NE – The DCDP LGBTQIA Caucus is finally official. This afternoon, October 22nd 2016, we met the new, required quorum of 5 LGBTQIA Democrats, with 5 LGB people and 1 straight ally meeting to elect officers, approve a mission statement, approve a nondiscrimination statement, support a platform and adopt bylaws. We also discussed prioritizing support for challenger candidates, Jay Irwin (write-in) – Ralston School Board, Justin Wayne – LD13, and Tony Vargas – LD7. I want to thank Elena Salisbury, Ernest Vining, Chelsey Gentry-Tipton, Ford Brown and Keith Putzier for attending helping to make the meeting an outstanding success!

Officers elected were:

Caucus Chair – Ken Riter

Caucus Vice-Chair – Elena Salisbury

Caucus Secretary – Ernest Vining

Parliamentarian – Ford Brown

We are looking to fill 3 positions; Treasurer, and two Community Relations Director roles (one for gender identity and one for a queer or trans person of color) to help boost diversity participation. As the DCDP LGBTQIA Caucus grows, more positions may be created on the Executive Committee to ensure a sense of diversity and engagement.

The DCDP LGBTQIA Caucus is a Volunteer-led Grassroots Progressive LGBTQIA movement within the Douglas County Democratic Party, which focuses on ensuring the enactment of a Bold, Sensible Progressive Equality Agenda in the Democratic Party.

The Mission of the Douglas County LGBTQIA Democrats is to act as a go between for the Douglas County Democratic Party and LGBTQIA Democrats residing in Douglas County.  The Caucus will meet monthly on the second or third Saturday of the month at rotating locations. Please call Ken at 531-205-3193 for any questions you have.

Creating a Caucus to Protect WorkPlace Equality.


OMAHA, NE – On April 16th, 2013, a group of LGBT Democrats in Omaha met to discuss some issues that need to get done before the May 14th General City Elections. Among the topics discussed were getting LGBT people registered to vote, volunteering for the Suttle Campaign and forming an LGBT Caucus for the Douglas County Democrats to create a solid LGBT voice in the County level party.

Volunteering for the Suttle campaign is an important issue for the General City Elections on May 14th, Mayor Jim Suttle not only signed the Workplace Protections Ordinance into law, but he is also credited with getting a key swing vote to support Workplace Protections on the City Council!!!  The Suttle Campaign has many opportunities available for volunteers; canvassing, phone banking and data entry are the main ones.  You can call the campaign office at 402-933-0500 to find out more information.  The office is open from 10am-8pm Monday -Thursday, 10am-5pm on Friday and 12pm-5pm on Saturdays and Sundays.   The Suttle Campaign office is located at 347 N 76th St Omaha, NE 68114, which is near 76th and Cass, behind the KwikShop there.  The Firefighters are also hard at work canvassing for Jim Suttle’s campaign, meet them this Saturday, April 20th at 10am at the FireFighters Union Hall near 60th and Grover.  Here is the FaceBook Page for their event.

Another very important topic discussed is getting voters registered.  There will be voter registration applications available at Rebel Interactive on April 21st from 3pm-6pm. Here is the FaceBook Event Page.  They are located at 1217 South 13th St, just a couple of blocks south of 13th and Pacific.  Another opportunity for voter registration applications is the Milo Bail building at UNO, on April 24th, 11am-1:30pm.  If you cannot make those events there are many other opportunities where you and your loved ones can register to vote.  You can register at any public library and at the DMV until April 26th.  You can register in person at the Douglas County Election Commission until May 3rd.  Remember the election is May14th!!

Another item discussed is forming the LGBT Caucus.  The Douglas County Democrats adopted an amendment in November 2012 that made the county level party more LGBT inclusive, as well as creating the opportunity for minority communities to create county level caucuses. The adopted changes also added a Diversity Representative to the Executive Board, allowing a potential LGBT voice in the County party’s executive body.  We need participants for the actual caucus, we must have at least 10 people agree to be a part of it.  We need people to step and run for the office of chair.  Once we have 10 members and an elected chair, we can go to the Central Committee of the Douglas County Democrats and ask for approval and certification.  We must keep 10 members in the Caucus, the chair must attend all Central Committee meetings. The chair will have a vote in the Central Committee. If the Caucus falls below its membership requirements, and/or the chair doesn’t fulfill their duties the Caucus can become decertified and we would have start over again.

The Mission of the Greater Omaha LGBT Democrats:

1. To sensitize Democratic candidates and officeholders to the political needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.
2. To promote the Democrats’ message of economic justice and social progress in the LGBT community.
3. To encourage LGBT community participation in the campaigns of Democratic candidates and at all levels of the Democratic Party.
4. To facilitate the election of Democratic candidates to public office by maximizing the Democratic turnout in the LGBT community.
5. To educate voters concerning fundamental information about LGBT issues, with the purpose of encouraging them to vote for LGBT supportive candidates.

We need volunteers to help out with campaigns of LGBT friendly candidates.  We need LGBT friendly candidates in office to defend the protections we have won, and to vote for and sponsor new legislation! We are looking to bring in a county or state level chapter of the National Stonewall Democrats!!!  Until we formerly organize and elect a chair, Please contact Ken Riter at 402-686-6389 for more information.

Additional items discussed:  Getting the group to attend the Douglas County Election Commission’s Deputy Registrar classes so we can conduct official voter registration drives as well as know everything we need to know about registering to vote in Nebraska.   Organizing an event to galvanize and motivate LGBT voters with a MILK viewing is also an option discussed.  A couple of people said they would discuss the possibility with Aksarben Cinema, FilmStreams and Flixx Lounge about viewing the movie at one of those places. Additional suggestions are welcome, please call Ken at 402-686-6389 for help with any questions or suggestions you have!

Douglas County Democrats To Vote On LGBT Inclusive Measure!


OMAHA, NE – This Thursday, Nov 15th, the Douglas County Democrats will be considering an amendment to their Constitution and Bylaws, hopefully ensuring an inclusive County Level Democratic Party. The measure will include the LGBT community when it comes to electing officers in the Douglas County Democrats’ Executive Committee. The measure, if approved, will begin the creation of several County Level Caucus Organizations for 8 different identified groups, including African-American, Latino and LGBT.

I am very excited for this! I  have helped push for this since the County Convention back in June 2012. We have been hashing this out in the Inclusive Task Force Committee since July.  We have now finished a proposal that will introduced to the Central Committee for the first time. I am a member of of the Central Committee from LD9, and all 4 original committee members from LD9 have been in involved in some manner.  I’m very proud of my LD district for that involvement!  A total of 15 people were involved in the Inclusion Task Force Committee.  As fellow activist and friend, Mika Covington, says, “Great things happen when Queers step up!!”  The meeting is this Thursday, Nov 15th at 7pm at the IBEW at 8946 L Street Omaha, NE 68127 near 90th and L.

I hope this will help people understand that political parties, especially the Democratic party, will listen to us as a people.  We just have to put ourselves in a position to talk where we will be heard. Many Democrats won election because they support the LGBT community, and because they had the support of great organizations like the National Stonewall Democrats.  The creation of a county level LGBT Caucus would give us a nice stepping stone in creating a Stonewall Democrat chapter here in Omaha.

You can view the proposal here, Inclusion_Task_Force_Proposal_Presentation_Packet

LGBT Community Meets with NE2 Congressional Candidate John Ewing.


OMAHA, NE – Members of the LGBT Community met with John Ewing, candidate for Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District on Wednesday, August 8th.  Many of the issues discussed related to LGBT issues, marriage equality, education, jobs and Lee Terry’s consistent lack of leadership. The meeting was organized so John Ewing could have a chance to listen to members of the LGBT Community and their concerns. Sadly, one attendee mentioned that this was the first meeting any Congressional candidate had with the LGBT Community since Peter Hoaglund. I think this demonstrates the kind of leadership we will see when we elect Ewing to office, a candidate who will make that effort to listen to his constituents.

John Ewing did mention that the most important things he wants to do in office for Omaha is ensure people are treating with respect and dignity, as well as bringing jobs to the area. If you missed this chance to meet John Ewing there will be a  Joint Obama-Ewing Block Party near the Ewing HQ at 343 N 76th St in Omaha. That is near 76th and Cass, right behind the KwikShop! Don’t forget to like John Ewing’s FaceBook Page!

John Ewing Supports LGBT Issues, Please Support Him Today!

John Ewing Supports LGBT Issues, Please Support Him Today!

LGBT Democrats Go For Gwen Howard.


Gwen Howard

Gwen Howard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OMAHA, NE – On April 22nd the Greater Omaha LGBT Democrats had their most productive meeting so far.  The group of people in attendance discussed many things to move the group forward, including attending the Douglas County Democratic Convention to formalize the LGBT Caucus at the County level, including writing bylaws to establish the group in the County party and most importantly to put a priority on getting Gwen Howard to the November election. It was decided to organize events around Gwen Howard’s campaign and two events that came out of the discussion is a table for Gwen at the bar scene and marching with Gwen’s campaign in the Cinco de Mayo parade.

The first event is the Cinco de Mayo parade, Saturday May 5th.  Instead of marching as a separate group, the LGBT Democrats will march with the Howard campaign. It will be a great time to meet Gwen as well as members and volunteers of her campaign.  The Cinco de Mayo parade starts at 10am, but the lineup will begin at 9:30am near Highland Park, 25th and D.  Also, Gwen Howard WILL BE at the parade event!

The other event, LGBT Democrats for Gwen Howard, is at The Max, 1417 Jackson St on Friday, May 11th from 7pm to 10pm. It is a very important event because it is the Friday before the May 15th Primary and is a great chance to find out more about Gwen’s positions on issues that concern our LGBT Community.

On Gwen Howard’s campaign website is important information on her stance on various issues affecting the US, including the LGBT Community. Gwen points out that “she has introduced more successful legislation in 7 years than Congressman Lee Terry has in 7 terms“. We need a capable person who supports LGBT issues so we can finally get legislation passed like ENDA and the repeal of DOMA.  With at least 7 people running for Congress in Nebraska’s 2nd District, Gwen Howard is the only candidate who even acknowledges the issues of LGBT Nebraskans. On her campaign site she says. “We should respect the rights of all Nebraskans, including members of the GLBT community.  These Nebraskans should be treated as equal members of our society and allowed to contribute and participate fully in our economy and community. Gwen Howard will vote to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and repeal DOMA.

Not only does Gwen Howard support direct LGBT issues, she also supports legislation that affects women, working families, students, and housing for example. These aren’t primarily LGBT issues, but they definitely affect those in the community.

Second Meeting Minutes from March 25th 2012.


OMAHA, NE – Greater Omaha LGBT Democrats held a second meeting, on Sunday, March 25th at 13th Street Coffeehouse. Just a few of us were there, but we discussed and went over some example bylaws and party platforms that we may use for helping to establish the bylaws and platform for our new political organization. We also discussed the necessity of forming the initial steering committee ASAP,as well as steering committee officers; Chairman, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.   What we really need right now are more members so we can fill the positions. So, if you are interested in helping to start a new political organization with the mission of forwarding LGBT issues on a political basis please come to a meeting.  You can contact the group’s Facilitator, Ken Riter at cell phone #4o2-686-6389 or email at omahamaverick(at)yahoo.com with the subject Greater Omaha LGBT Democrats with any questions you may have.  You can also check out the Greater Omaha LGBT Democrats FaceBook Page.

The next meeting is scheduled to be Sunday April 8th at 7pm at 13th Street Coffeehouse. To expand opportunities for members of the community to attend a meeting, additional meetings will be scheduled throughout the week. Additional meetings scheduled so far are Saturday April 7th at 6pm, or Friday, April 13th at 7pm all at 13th Street Coffeehouse.

First Meeting: 11 March 2012


OMAHA, NE – The Greater Omaha LGBT Democrats held their first meeting Sunday night, March 11th, 2012 at the 13st Coffeehouse.  An informal meeting was conducted, and informal minutes were taken, but I will summarize our discussion.  The meeting had 6 attendees, all males. We are definitely in need of a wider variety of attendees! I’d like to see all letters represented, including lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered, as well as straight allies and any questioning types and intersexed individuals, if they are in the area.  Increased racial diversity would also be a plus.  If are going to stand up for LGBT issues, as many people as possible in the LGBT Community should be represented!  We discussed some of the things the group would be involved in, for example: voter registration drives, collectively choosing an LGBT friendly candidate and assisting those candidates with their campaigns. I also believe the group could become a very important source of information for the local LGBT Community for politics as well as educating the community in the democratic process.  The group could also be instrumental in organizing volunteers for our chosen candidates as well as doing work within the local Democratic Party.  I did mention that I would like to see the group grow into a local Stonewall Democrat Chapter, but that is NOT the primary goal.  Right now, we need to grow our numbers and network so each attendee agreed to bring 2 people with them at the next meeting which is scheduled for Sunday March 25th, 2012 at 7pm at 13st Coffeehouse.

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