OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – How the Nebraskans are represented in Washington and how every person across the state is represented in Lincoln over the next decade is the goal of the redistribution. And ahead of a special session called by Nebraska lawmakers, the League of Women Voters was busy reaching out to citizens and politicians.
“We’re all about civil discourse,” said Linda Duckworth, co-chair of the League of Omaha Women Voters. âMake good decisions, pass good laws, and do it in the most civil manner possible. “
âWe have a track record that we try to educate, we aren’t partisan, we don’t support parties, we don’t support candidates,â said MaryLee Moulton, League of Women Voters Nebraska co-chair. “So we are really working on issues, like redistribution.”
âWhat we were really looking for was some sort of compromise where our non-partisan legislature came together,â Moulton continued. âNobody was a winner in this, and that’s probably good, because everyone had to give up something. This is how we make sausage and this is how we pass a law.
During this special session, a big sticking point arose over Douglas County whether or not to divide the region, including Omaha, into separate districts.
âWe are happy that Douglas County has been left untouched,â said Duckworth. “We are also very happy that lawmakers have come together and done this in the special sessions organized for this and that it is not something that they would have to take up again in January because we all know there is a lot of work to do in the coming session.
State government redistribution compromises have come at a price for some western districts, but give-and-take is what the League is trying to facilitate so that things can get done.
âThe redistribution that we have now is going to be the maps that we will live for the next ten years,â said Moulton. âThe population of Nebraska has moved east, and that is obviously something that the representatives of western Nebraska were uncomfortable with. They didn’t want to give up performing and it really took a bit of negotiation to find a plan that would work for them.
She went on to say that while the new district may have leaned east, she sees a compromise that will shift funds and resources west in future legislation.
âAs Nebraskans, we all need to be aware of the unique needs of Nebraska,â Moulton said. “Maybe (there will be) legislation to maybe give the senators in the west who have these large areas extra staff to help them, and hopefully a real investment in developing western Nebraska.” . It’s in the best interests of all of us that business thrives there, the people thrive there, because we want Nebraska to thrive as a whole.
She also says that the state’s unicameral government is enjoying unique success, working to bring down some partisan walls that exist in other states.
âI don’t think it’s really non-partisan, but if you aspire to be non-partisan, at least it makes a big difference,â she said. âIt allows people to talk to each other. For us, we are a completely voluntary organization and we have been committed to this for a long time. Over the past two weeks, we have been heavily involved in hundreds of hours of work with all these volunteers to make sure the Nebraskans knew what was going on.
“I think it helps make the state more non-partisan, because it allows more people to be involved,” she continued, highlighting the positive results of these volunteer efforts. “I think the larger your group, the wider the web of voters involved in this type of process, I think the more likely you are to be more impartial.”
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