Bills Could Help Nebraska Community Gardens, Seed Libraries

State Senator Burke Harr's LB 544, "The Community Gardens Act," seeks to pave the way for community gardens to exist in public spaces -- not just on private property. As the following Lincoln Journal Star article notes, "Community gardens currently sit on private property, primarily land owned by churches. The bill designates a task force to explore ways to repurpose open lots such as public-school grounds or right of ways purchased by the Nebraska Department of Roads." Urban agriculture is critical to developing a safe and reliable food supply in a world that is increasingly being impacted by climate change. Even in an agricultural powerhouse like Nebraska, we need to be focusing on food security. LB 544 provides "an opportunity for city people to start getting engaged in the food production process so they begin to get an appreciation of how complicated agriculture is," Nebraskans for Peace state coordinator Tim Rinne stated in his testimony on the bill. "This is our opportunity to start pulling our weight in the food production system."'

Please contact your NE Legislator and ask them to support LB 544. You can find the contact information for your senator at http://nebraskalegislature.gov/senators/senator_find.php

By Anna Groenwold
The Associated Press

Read more

URGENT ACTION ALERT | NFP's Statement on ISIS

The State Board of Nebraskans for Peace has issued the following statement about ISIS and the actions the United States needs to take to constructively address this crisis. We are asking our membership to please contact their federal elected officials and urge them to oppose President Obama's war authorization. You can find the contact information for our Nebraska federal officials by clicking HERE.

“Every act, whether it be individual or corporate, must be judged as right or wrong based solely on whether it enhances or diminishes the life of another. If our actions diminish another, it also diminishes us." John Shelby Spong, a retired American bishop of the Episcopal Church. 

Nebraskans for Peace opposes the authorization to go to war against ISIS submitted by the administration and presently being considered by Congress. For some time now, many NFP members have displayed yard signs, which say, “War is not the answer.” We do believe that war is not the answer in this context, despite the brutal character of ISIS and its very public killings of prisoners and hostages, contrary to international law. ISIS is an insurgency that has taken over in areas of the Middle East that the United States and Europe have destabilized – especially northern Iraq, eastern Syria and parts of Libya impoverished by the West’s destruction of the areas’ economic, social, and life-sustaining infrastructures (water treatment, sewage treatment, electrical grids, roads, bridges, industries, hospitals) by bombing and a long period of sanctions. In the case of northern Iraq, the United States initially destabilized the area with our war on Saddam Hussein and then helped to install and support the Shiite al-Maliki government that favored the Shia over the Sunni and failed to provide fair government to the Sunnis in northern Iraq.

Read more

NEBRASKA LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

LB 111

The Government Committee has advanced LB 111 out of committee and it has been placed on the legislative agenda. Debate on the bill has begun. Read more HERE.

LB 111 would require all persons to show a current, valid, photographic ID at the polls in order to cast a ballot. The Nebraska constitution clearly states “there shall be no hindrance or impediment to the right of qualified voters to exercise the elective franchise.” LB 111 does just that.

Read more

Tar Sands: Signature of the Oil Junkies

by Bruce Johansen

By the time this column reaches print, our newly Republican Senate and more-Republican House of Representatives will be convening in Washington, D.C., and doubtless making a political object of pressuring President Barack Obama to sign off on the Keystone XL Pipeline. This political pantomime has by now become well rehearsed: friends of the Earth versus the Oil Junkies.

Read more

ACTION ALERT | Ending Employment Discrimination

Below find the testimony of George Wolf, long time NFP member and gay activist, concerning LB 586. We are asking all NFP members to call their legislators and ask that they pass LB 586 in the name of fairness, in the name of justice, and in the name of John Taylor and all of the other gay members of Nebraska society who have contributed greatly to our social welfare and who, for being open and caring about justice, were driven from their jobs. Click HERE to find your legislator.

LB 586

My name is George Wolf, I live in Lincoln, NE, and I’m speaking on behalf of Nebraskans for Peace, a peace and justice organization long committed to opposing employment discrimination on any grounds extraneous to job performance.

Read more