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!