The words Smart Growth are in white text in a gray box, overlaid on a teal and coral box with gradiated colors.

Campaign Priorities: Smart Growth

November 12, 2020

Naomi’s campaign priorities include Public Health and Safety, Smart Growth, and Equity and Dignity. The campaign routinely invites input from District 6 constituents, as these platform priorities are ever-evolving.

Development and Growth – Strategies are the formal tool of the government and tactics are the process by which we ask the community and residents to respond and engage. Our government silos have served Omaha well enough up until now (planning, public works, etc.), however we will need to redefine what success looks like in terms of clear returns for the development we have prioritized in West Omaha. Oakview Mall, Crossroads Mall are just two examples or a need for our future growth to be designed better, smarter. We can explore the “customer journey” and user experience for those that live in our City and implement a “both, and” mindset to utilize the traditional efforts that have worked for us in the past while also introducing smart and new approaches.

Garbage + Recycling – I support the recent actions of the City Council in delaying the vote to approve the recycling contract. We must be good stewards of not only our budget but our reliance on companies who are held accountable to respect our environment. I also support examining the procurement standards of the City to explore single-use packaging and unnecessary waste, as we seek to be better stewards of our responsibility to recycle and care for our environment.

Transportation + ORBT – Too often, we think of transportation simply as roadways and bus systems. While prioritizing safety for our cyclists, we also need to include pedestrians, wheelchair users and those who use other mobility aids to ensure we have equal access to our transportation for all residents (including improving accessibility and equity for MOBY, the transit system made available for the disabled community in Omaha). Our public transportation is reliable and accountable to the people of Omaha, however we need to be sure we are consistently keeping innovation like lower fares for bus routes, or true accessibility for new transit like ORBT top of mind as we continue to grow Omaha into an economic hub for all. Free transportation alone will not address the inequities of access in our city however, we must also look at opportunities for new routes that service larger parts of our city, before we can talk about new and innovative transportation options.

Conventions + Tourism – It is going to be a big undertaking for city officials to address the hit to our convention and tourism revenue in 2021. We need to elect leaders who will bring innovative ideas and collaboration. Inner-tourism can be utilized to invite folks from neighboring communities to explore the various parts of Omaha. We can increase the accessibility to farmers markets, food trucks on rotation (on a bolstered schedule), using empty business parks with ample space for additional community gathering and entertainment opportunities.

Workforce Development – The City of Omaha currently supports workforce development opportunities, and youth job programming. I support these programs, and believe we can increase our collaboration with local nonprofits to offer more jobs that offer a livable wage. In addition, I support the City Council being more responsible to managing buildings and properties where small businesses could help contribute to economic growth by eliminating barriers to ownership or leasing opportunities.

Our labor force keeps our city functioning, operating and thriving. We must continue to protect and expand the rights of our workers as they represent a large number of families in Omaha. I support collective bargaining and equitable workplaces. As we navigate through covid and post-covid recovery, it is important we also ensure our workforce is prioritize and protected with a living wage, and good, safe working conditions.

Housing Equity and Homelessness – For residents who desire homeownership, we must be proactive in removing barriers. With innovative rent-to-own education, better utilizing the nonprofit homeownership programming we already have in Omaha, and looking for developer incentives for renovation and new construction, we can accomplish great things. For our renters and folks transitioning into new housing needs, we must be ever-mindful of access to safe and affordable housing. At the core of any housing focus should be stable and safe homes for the children of Omaha, including making sure we stay aware of mobility issues so we can set all children up for continued success in our community.

Thank you to our team of neighbors, policy experts, community leaders, elected officials, business development groups, organizers and academics for your help in pulling together the following ideas, thoughts and solutions. Additional campaign priorities: Public Health and Safety | Equity and Dignity.