OTOC (Omaha Together One Community)
Did you know that First Unitarian Church is a member of OTOC along with 25 other congregations
What is OTOC? It is a local Omaha organization which “teaches people to become effective leaders,
while exploring their legitimate interests, doing solid research, engaging in tough, but always respectful
public discourse, holding elected officials accountable and creating positive change through collective action.”
OTOC’s Vision: To create a connected community that bridges race, social and economic status that works together to influence policy about issues that we care about.
OTOC Mental Health Action Team will be testifying at this Oct 4th meeting. How the County’s ARPA funds will be spent will be decided at this meeting (3 OTOC asks are listed below). We need members of our First Unitarian Church congregation to be there to show we
care about this issue. Please sign up and be part of how the County uses this money for a much needed new mental health facility. https://otoc-otocipl.nationbuilder.com/dc_mental_health_town_hall
Where: Douglas County Town Hall
When: Tues. Oct. 4th @ 5:45pm at Douglas-Sarpy County Extension Office, 8015 West Center Road, Room A & B.
The County is hosting 4 town hall meetings to get the community's input on this project. OTOC will be testifying at the Oct. 4th meeting to ask the board to consider the following actions:
1) Since this center will serve both general public and those incarcerated, we suggest NOT building the center near the correctional facility, to both reduce stigma for the general public, and the patients who are currently incarcerated
2) A location that could help reduce stigma AND decrease the project's budget would be on County owned land in the 42nd street health corridor
3) With significant shortages in mental healthcare workforce, including in the County's own facility which is currently unable to operate at full capacity due to lack of workforce, we're suggesting that 5% of the budget for this project (~$2.75 Million) be invested in scholarships for those pursuing training or education in the mental health field.
We've been told that usually there are no more than 20 people that show up to these meetings. We'd like to turn out 50 people to represent OTOC and to display our organized people power.
Action & Research Team Reports:
Environmental & Sustainability Action Team, Status Update – January 10, 2022
ESAT meets on the 1st Tuesday each month by Zoom.
Persons interested in attending should contact Clyde Anderson at
ClydeLAnderson@cox.net for the Zoom link.
About a year ago The Environmental & Sustainability Action Team (ESAT)opposed the City of Omaha awarding its recycling processing contract to Nebraskaland Recycling because its facility had inadequate capacity with much of the materials to be recycled exposed to the weather reducing its value. We supported Firstar Recycling, the processor used by Waste Management.During 2021 Public Works did a study and concluded that Firstar was the best choice. On Dec. 7th the City Council approved the 5-year contract with Firstar, and FCC now takes 100% of the household recyclables collected to the Firstar facility for processing.
Last Fall OPPD was developing its decarbonization goals. ESAT member Alan Vovolka testified before the OPPD Board
supporting an aggressive decarbonization goal. In December OPPD announced it had committed to reach net-zero carbon
emissions by 2050. Two OPPD Board member positions will be on the ballots in this year: Subdistrict 4 (South Sarpy and SE
Neb.) – Rick Yoder (announced that he will not run for another term), and Subdistrict 5 (Central Omaha) – Craig Moody
(announced that he will run for another term). ESAT is considering including candidates for these two positions in an OTOC
Candidate Accountability Session if one is planned.
ESAT continues to encourage Omaha to develop a Climate Action Plan. On Nov. 23rd the Omaha City Council voted 6-1 in
favor of Resolution 2021-1237 expressing support for the development of a climate action plan for the Omaha metropolitan
area. ESAT members Mark Loscutoff and Elaine Wells testified in person supporting the resolution, and Kathy Jeffers and
Alan Vovolka participated by Zoom. The next step is the City hiring a consulting firm to assist with development of the Plan.
Hopefully there will be public meetings later this winter that ESAT members can attend and participate.
Clyde Anderson, ESAT Convener – January 7, 2022
Report Immigration and Refugee Action Team for January, 2022 Steering Committee
In Nov., leaders met with Mr. Tom Venzor, Nebraska Catholic Conference. The Catholic Conference will make LB 298 a
priority bill. Currently, NE is the only state that does not allow immigrants with work permits to apply for unemployment
insurance (even though employers have paid into the program). We also met with Mr. Bryan Slone, President of Nebraska
Chamber of Commerce about the state’s labor shortage and the need for immigrants with work permits. We will reach out to
the Omaha and Lincoln Chambers to co-sponsor a public forum on Nebraska’s labor shortage and immigration reform. We
joined with Appleseed to celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 12) at Sacred Heart Church with stories of the immigrants
that call Nebraska home.
Current OTOC Action Teams:
Housing and Revitalization
If you would like to receive the OTOC Newsletter go here: https://otoc.org/newsletter-sign-up/
Questions? Need more info about OTOC?
Contact Sharon Conlon at email@example.com
The OTOC website has several resource pages for you specifically about dealing with Covid-19.
Check them out at https://otoc.org/covid-19-action-site/?blm_aid=8131585
Minutes from OTOC meetings: