A few months a year, the Urban Abbey, a coffe shop/bookstore/Methodist Congregation partners with OTOC as community partners. As community partners in June, OTOC receives 10% of the coffee bar sales in the month as well as hosts learning opportunities at the Abbey. This June was OTOC’s second Urban Abbey month of the year, and OTOC action teams hosted four great Issue Cafes to learn more about some issues they are working on.

How we can change the Narrative for Substandard Rental Housing on June 5



June 13th Issue Cafe at Urban Abbey was a successful discussion surrounding Medicaid Expansion in Nebraska. Medicaid Expansion Action Team co-chair Mark Hoeger gave an excellent presentation on why Nebraskans should be advocates for extending Medicaid Expansion on the ballot in November. The ballot initiative movement in Nebraska is strong, and this meeting inspired more individuals to sign and start gathering signatures themselves. Although the movement is strong, we need every signature we can get! If you are interested in hosting an event at your parish please contact Mary Spurgeon at (402) 292-1157 or [email protected] and to get a walk list for your neighborhood contact Paul Romero at [email protected] or (402) 881-2591. To learn more and view more resources go to https://otoc.org/otoc-hits-the-streets-for-medicaid-expansion/

June 19: A Merciful Alternative to Payday Lending.
OTOC Leaders gathered on June 19th to hear from Jerry Byers of Community Debt Solutions and Lending Link, a non-profit alternative to payday lenders that would offer short-term, small-principal loans to borrowers with limited access to credit. After only small steps made in the legislature this year to limit predatory payday loans with with LB 194, this alternative is a great resource for communities that do need small short-term loans without getting caught in the debt trap of traditional payday loans. Lending Link should be opening in October with it’s first location in South Omaha. OTOC’s Payday Lending Action Team will continue researching alternatives to predatory loans and the next steps for regulations. Email Kevin Graham at [email protected] if you would be interested in learning more about Action Team and how you can get involved.

What is the Ban the Bag campaign in Omaha?

Councilmen Gray and Festersen spoke about the Ban the Bag ordinance they are working on for Omaha. The ordinance will ban one-time use grocery bags, which is beneficial for the environment in many ways. In Omaha, plastics bags currently clog sewers, get stuck in trees, and create problems in landfills. Globally, they take more than 450 years to decompose and threaten wildlife. (learn more at Planet or Plastic)

To share your voice on this issue in Omaha, talk to your city council member (find their contact info here).