News & Views
from vision to reality
Jeff Spiehs | President, South Omaha Neighborhood Alliance | January 31, 2018
I’ve heard many times from a wide spectrum of leaders in Omaha say something to the effect of “our most precious asset in Omaha is our neighborhoods.” I’d say I agree in the abstract, but neighborhoods are strong because they are made up of people who are working to ensure that their communities stay strong and vibrant. Neighborhood leaders are busy folks who are often balancing their professional and personal life with their community interests.
When I look around the room at a SONA meeting I see a dynamic mix of leaders in the South Omaha community. Long before I came to a SONA meeting, a culture was formed to continually develop new leaders and empower them to move the alliance ahead, facilitate the building of coalitions to speak as a unified voice to advocate for the interests of the people.
Perhaps SONA is an outlier in that it has been able to (at times) achieve a balance of emerging leaders with leaders who have a long history of community activism that younger leaders can learn beside. But most of what I see throughout Omaha is that we are heading to a burnout of the neighborhood leaders who have been standing strong for Omaha neighborhoods. The need is urgent to develop new leaders and the next wave of neighborhood advocates.
At the 2016 IN the neighborhood conference a district visioning workshop occurred. I was able to participate in the workshop for South Omaha. Many themes came up around public safety, public transportation, infrastructure improvement and so on. Throughout 2017 our SONA meetings were centered around those themes that were shared at the neighborhood conference. Being able to provide context for our alliance meetings around those themes helped orientate our vision, frame up funding opportunities for SONA, encourage the neighborhood leaders and be a conduit for conversations between community leaders and projects occurring in our city.
As I reflect on 2017 I can see the value of going through the visioning workshop. It led to better decision making on funding neighborhood projects, outcomes to be held accountable to, and a commitment to identifying new leaders that can add to the vibrancy of our neighborhoods. The vision from the workshop is never fully achieved to reality, but it sets the direction for the alliance. I am looking forward to what 2018 will bring to SONA that provides even greater clarity of the vision. I guess we’ll know it when we see it in the increase in the number of people who continue to be motivated to make their place better for all.
Vinny Palermo | Omaha City Councilmen, District 4 | February 22, 2018
I wore through several pairs of shoes when I was out knocking on doors during my campaign to represent South Omaha on the City Council. Walking the neighborhoods was the most effective way of hearing from residents. Some areas were certainly more easy to walk than others. The conditions of our sidewalks vary from street to street.
As an able bodied adult, I was able to traverse without much effort. It made me think about those who may be elderly or have a disability. How can we make our streets and sidewalks safer for everyone. In my district, somewhere between 10 and 15% of households do not have a vehicle. So they are either walking everywhere, carpooling or taking the bus.
In the SONA boundaries there are two projects underway that have an objective to make sure that our streets and neighborhoods are safe for everyone. South 24th Street and South 13th Street are both under study to look at improvements to make the streets accessible for all and promote local economic activity. We need your voice and ideas for these projects so they can be replicated throughout South Omaha.
South Omaha has several vibrant neighborhoods. I look forward to working proactively with neighbors and organizations like SONA to make stronger connections between the neighborhoods so that we can maintain a high quality of life for everyone!
southeast precinct advisory council
https://police.cityofomaha.org/ | February 22, 2018
The Omaha Police Department established the Precinct Advisory Councils (PAC) to solve problems in neighborhoods that relate to public safety and/or quality of life issues. Members of PAC work closely with the command of the Omaha Police Department to foster positive relations, addressing matters of public safety and communication. Members from OPD uniform command are in attendance to discuss the latest crime trends affecting their neighborhoods and members of the PAC also share matters of concern in their respective neighborhoods.
Meets the 1st Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm at the Southeast Precinct, 2475 Deer Park Boulevard.
save the dates
June 7, 2018 | South Omaha Banquet | https://sonaomaha.org
May 12, 2018 | Spring Clean Up | www.wasteline.org/cleanup/
May 19, 2018 | Spring Clean Up | www.wasteline.org/cleanup/
neighborhood associations meeting schedules
If you would like your South Omaha neighborhood associations meeting listed, please contact Michael Van Sant at email@example.com.
Aksarben/Elmwood Park Neighborhood Association
3rd Thursday of January, March, May, July, September and November | 6:30-8:30pm | St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church (1725 South 60th Street)
Beals Neighborhood Association
Held quarterly | Hanscom Park United Methodist Church (4444 Francis Street)
Columbus Park Neighborhood Association
3rd Thursday of the month | 7-8pm | Columbus Park Community Center (1515 South 24th Street)
Dahlman Park Neighborhood Association
1st Wednesday of the month | 7-8pm | Chef Hattam Catering (1228 South 6th Street)
Deer Park Neighborhood Association
2nd Wednesday of the month | 7-8pm | Steel Metal Workers Hall (3333 South 24th Street)
The South Omaha Neighborhood Alliance is dedicated to enhancing South Omaha neighborhoods through communication, collaboration, empowerment and promoting positive perceptions.
Join us for our monthly meeting the first Thursday of every month, except January and July. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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c/o ONE Omaha
Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center at UNO
6001 Dodge Street
Omaha, NE 68182