107TH LEGISLATURE INTERIM
One of the things I cherish most about living in America is the privilege of thinking for myself, living and voting according to my beliefs and value systems as a Nebraskan and being a member of the “Second House.” Our Founding Fathers displayed a God given wisdom in extraordinary ways as they wrote the greatest document ever in the history of mankind, our Constitution. Never in the history of the world has a document been so forward-thinking with an answer to problems yet seen. We are at one of those times now. Our Founding Fathers foresaw growth of the great experiment called America and knew a time would come for our very government to be adjusted to accommodate an increase in population. It’s time for our redistricting to take place as prescribed by our Constitution in Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Enumeration Clause.
Next week begins a special Session in the Legislature for Redistricting. It is a process that takes place every decade for the purpose of ensuring that all Nebraskans are equally represented as they cast their votes for the Representative of their choice in Congressional, Legislative, Supreme Court Judicial, Public Service Commission, University Board of Regents or the State Board of Education Districts of Nebraska.
I have received several phone calls and emails from the District this week with questions and concerns regarding the redistricting process and the assurance that every voice will be represented well and its voice heard for Congress, the Legislature and the different governing boards elected in each reflective District.
The Legislature’s redistricting committee decided Thursday to take both Republican and Democratic proposals to public hearings already scheduled in three cities next week. The Linehan/Republican plan would split Douglas County, moving portions of the county into the 1st Congressional District, represented by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Lincoln. Under both the Republican and Democratic maps, the Northeast Nebraska counties of Dakota, Dixon, Cedar, Knox, Pierce and Wayne would remain in the 3rd district, while Madison would stay in the 1st District. The Democratic map would keep Thurston County in the 1st district, while the GOP map would shift Thurston to the 3rd District, which is one of the nation’s most Republican districts. Nebraska’s unique Unicameral Legislature relies heavily on the “second house” – the citizens of the State of Nebraska. Ensuring that members of the public have the opportunity to have their voices heard is vital to the Legislative process, and it is vital that the great citizens of Nebraska express their views as the “second house”. There are three ways to make your voice heard; giving testimony in person, writing a position letter, or by submitting a comment online under the specific bill at www.nebraskalegislature.gov. I strongly encourage everyone to plan to get involved in one of three public hearings to be held in different areas of Nebraska next week. If you send written documentation, please cc me a copy of your testimony to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can use your information in my floor debate.
Redistricting Public hearing schedule:
- Tuesday, Central Community College, Grand Island, 1:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, State Capitol, Lincoln, 9 a.m.
- Thursday, Scott Conference Center, Omaha, 10 a.m.
It is always refreshing and inspiring to see and hear from you. My spirit is renewed with each and every call or contact from the Constituents of District 17. Your input helps me know how to effectively serve you in the Legislature. If you have any comments or concerns, please contact me at 402-471-2716 or email@example.com.