Referencing Catholic Social Teaching, the Methodist Book of Discipline and Lutheran social statements, Spurgeon announced that OTOC "does not care who is named after," it just needs to be in place before withdrawing currently available healthcare options.Read more
OTOC Challenges Proposed Utility Rate Increase After Fighting Blight and Increasing Rental Housing Inspections
On the dignified housing front, Omaha Together One Community (OTOC) not only succeeded in tripling the budget for demolition of blighted properties between 2012 and 2015, it persuaded the City Council to increase housing re-inspection fees levied on neglectful property owners, sufficient to increase the number of trained rental housing inspectors in the field to nine. In a move against slumlords who abandon their properties, OTOC compelled the Council to pass a vacant property registration ordinance requiring owners to pay $500 for every quarter a house lies vacant (up to $2,000 / year). OTOC succeeded over the opposition of the Landlord's and Nebraska Bankers associations.Read more
In one instance, conversation in the civic academy revealed that immigrant women are often not covered by their husband's health insurance policy (nor by CHIP which covers their children) and thus do not have access to affordable care. Subsequent sessions have been scheduled through the Spring to cover areas like healthcare access, domestic violence, housing and consumer credit.
OTOC advocated for increased demolition funding in the 2013 budget and as a result, approximately 93 structures will be demolished this year, nearly triple the number from 2012. OTOC expects that the $957,000 in demolition funding in the adopted budget will allow the city to demolish over one hundred dangerous, condemned buildings in 2014. "These demolitions will heighten the quality of life for neighborhoods, businesses, and nearby institutions like churches and schools like the one where I work " said OTOC leader Karen McElroy.Read more