Learn About Courts and How They Affect Nebraskans: Courts Matter

In this episode of Go Vote, Omaha!, Rebecca Langle, host and Vice President of the League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha, talks with Robert McEwen, J.D., Legal Director at Nebraska Appleseed, about the Courts Matter Coalition of Nebraska.

The Courts Matter Coalition of Nebraska works to educate the public about the importance of federal judges, provide information about the judicial nominations process and mobilize communities to speak out and take action on federal judicial nominees. The Coalition monitors and takes action on federal judicial nominations because of the immense power held by the individuals who hold lifetime seats on the federal bench.

You can also listen to this episode via our podcast.

Go Vote Omaha! is our locally produced informational television program. Watch Go Vote Omaha at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday nights on Cox channel 22 or CenturyLink channel 89 or anytime on YouTube. You can also listen to these episodes as podcasts on Podbean.

Voters’ Guide: Douglas County Sheriff

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha contacts candidates during each election cycle and invites them to participate in the print and online editions of the Voters’ Guide. Candidates provide their biographical information and their positions on selected issues. Candidates are aware in advance that the biographies and answers will be printed exactly as submitted without edits for content, spelling, punctuation or grammar.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that never supports or opposes any political party or candidate for office.

PDF of Douglas County Voters’ Guide | Find voter information specific to your ballot at vote411.org.

Everyone living in Douglas County, Neb., is represented by this office.

Candidates for Douglas County Sheriff

Timothy F. Dunning (R):  http://www.sherifftimdunning.com. Current Public Office: Douglas County Sheriff since January 1995. Past Public Office: None. Education: BS UNO Criminal Justice, MPA UNO Public Administration. Military experience: None. Volunteer experience: Mid America Council Boy Scouts, Coalition on Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, Red Cross Fight Crime Invest in Kids Major, County Sheriff’s Association Foundation Board, Nebraska Sheriff’s Associ Better Living INC., Explorer Scouts.

Mike Hughes (D): Web Site – http://Hughesforsheriff.com, Current Public Office, dates held – None, Past Public Office, dates held – None,
Education – Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice – University of Nebraska at Omaha Master’s degree in public administration – Columbia Southern University, Military experience – U.S. Army – Corporal Awards Army Commendation Medal Army Achievement Medal (3 times) Good Conduct Medal National Defense Medal Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/ bronze star Global War on Terrorism Medal Army Service Medal Overseas Medal NATO Medal, Volunteer experience – 100 Black Men of Omaha (Mentor) Assistant High School Basketball Coach (Sophomore level) Various guest speaking ventures Multiple community events to include career fairs and homeless advocacy

Douglas County Sheriff Candidates’ Responses

How can law enforcement officers engage with the community in ways that will gain the community’s trust?

Timothy F. Dunning:  Law Enforcement Officers need to be visible to the public and engage with them as frequently as possible to gain trust and familiarity. My agency is involved in the NETS (Neighborhood Engagement Thru Sports) and has proven to be very effective in interacting with youth in a positive manner. Our SRO’s (School Resource Officers) take advantage of a great opportunity to interact with kids by being available to them throughout the day and in after school activities. Shop with a Sheriff, Coffee w/

Mike Hughes: I believe that community involvement from a law enforcement perspective plays a vital role in helping to combat crime. I would recommend that the Sheriff’s Office in particular initiate community oriented policing. This would take the form of hosting back to school drives to provide young people with the essential tools necessary to be successful early on in the school year. Hosting bike rally’s, baseball, football, and or basketball events that can bring all members of our community together.

If elected, what two things do you hope to have accomplished by the end of your first year?

Timothy F. Dunning:  I have already had my first year so I would like to remain active in the community and on Boards that address community concerns such as: Opioid Crisis, Human Trafficking and Cyber Crimes.

Mike Hughes: I hope to focus a great deal of energy building relationships with other city and county leaders to bring a more collaborative effort to the Sheriff’s Office in order to bring more effective and efficient public safety to our citizens. I would also like to create a culture that emphasizes community oriented policing that can help bridge the gap between community and law enforcement. There are many issues that our community faces from the Opioid crisis, to gang violence.

The problems of gun violence are in the news. What do you think can be done, if anything, to improve safety in Douglas County?

Timothy F. Dunning:  I think the key ingredients is to encourage people to report crimes directly to Law Enforcement or through Crime Stoppers. The better Law Enforcement increases it’s dialogue with the Community the more apt people are to report. The stigma of being a SNITCH or a RAT needs to be translated into wanting to better your community and more safety for your family and neighbors.

Mike Hughes: Along with the enforcement of written laws and created tasks force to eradicate violent offenders law enforcement must work in conjunction with the community to provide opportunities for young people. Gun violence and socioeconomic status go hand and hand. With that if law enforcement officials can build rapport with the community I believe that this will assist in reducing gun violence (community-oriented policing). I would like to work with education agency to help promote higher education…

Transforming the Hustle After Incarceration: Join Us for Our April Dine & Discuss

Join us from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 23 at Valentino’s, 5022 S. 108th St., for our April Dine & Discuss event. The topic is life after incarceration and improving the lives, and supporting the community re-entry, of returning citizens.
Our guest speaker is Jasmine L. Harris, MPH, Post-Release Program Manager,  Defy Ventures Nebraska.
Jasmine is a public health professional who is passionate about criminal and juvenile justice reform, social justice issues and women’s rights. Jasmine has been effecting change in the Omaha community through advocacy and civic-engagement efforts that heighten awareness of the barriers people with criminal histories face.
A bit about Defy Ventures:
Defy Ventures recognizes that many former drug dealers and gang leaders can become successful, legal entrepreneurs. We “transform the hustle” of our currently and formerly incarcerated Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) by offering intensive leadership development, Shark Tank-style business plan competitions, executive mentoring, financial investment, and startup incubation. We give our EITs a legitimate chance to succeed and equip them to become profitable entrepreneurs, stellar employees, engaged parents, and committed role models and leaders in their communities. We intentionally build life-giving, authentic community between EITs and our executive volunteers as they bond in their humanity.

Support LB 869, A Benefit to Juvenile Justice

The Leagues of Women Voters of Nebraska and Greater Omaha support LB 869, introduced by Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks. The bill would change provisions relating to sealing of juvenile records.

Read testimony in support of LB 869 from LWVNE president Sherry Miller and policy director John Else: Else_Miller Letter LB 869 020918.


Coming in March: The First Annual Kim Culp Juvenile Justice Forum on the State of Juvenile Justice in Nebraska

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha is proud to present an annual forum on juvenile justice, dedicated to long-time LWVGO volunteer and juvenile justice advocate.

Kim Culp was the founding Director of the Douglas County Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC) by engaging and developed a myriad of programs through the JAC and nonprofits in Omaha, always with an emphasis on relationship building, cultural competence and understanding the impact of the child welfare system on children’s lives.

After retirement, Kim was active in the League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha, serving as Vice-President at the time of her passing in May 2017.


The Kim Culp Juvenile Justice Forum on the State of Juvenile Justice in Nebraska will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 22 in Room 201 at the UNO Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, 6001 Dodge Street.

There will be a panel presentation by these key individuals working in the juvenile justice field:

Chris Rodgers, Douglas County Commissioner

Jeanne Brandner, Assistant Deputy,
Probation-Juvenile Division

Anne Hobbs, PhD, Director, UNO Juvenile Justice Institute

Juliet Summers, JD, Juvenile Justice Policy Coordinator, Voices for Children

Julie Rogers, Inspector General, Child Welfare & Juvenile Probation

Download the info sheet. Find out more on our Facebook page.

The Innocence Project

The Innocence Project works to free convicts who are wrongly imprisoned using DNA. In this episode of Go Vote, Omaha, Geri Simon talks with Tracy Hightower-Henne, the director of the Nebraska Innocence Project about their work.

Go Vote Omaha! is our locally produced informational television program. Watch Go Vote Omaha at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday nights on Cox channel 22 or Centurylink channel 89 or anytime on YouTube.