Help Us Keep the Death Penalty Out of Nebraska

We are excited that the Journey of Hope…From Violence to Healing will be spending 10 days in Nebraska supporting the effort to RETAIN the end of the death penalty! From July 15 – July 23, murder victims family members, death row exonorees, and the family members of death row inmates will crisscross the state sharing their stories and why they support alternatives to the death penalty. Click HERE to check out the schedule to see who will be visiting your city!

During the 1990s, when the state of Nebraska last executed people, the executions were treated by some as a party. Senator Colby Coash, now a leading anti-death penalty advocate in Nebraska, recalls going to the Nebraska Penitentiary prior to an execution to find people “banging pots and pans and chanting ‘fry him, fry him.’” Recognizing the irony in celebrating the state-ordered murder of a convicted murderer, Coash first began to realize the death penalty may not be an upstanding institution. Motivated by a realization that the death penalty in Nebraska was an irreparably flawed institution, Coash and 29 other state senators—Republicans, Democrats and one Independent—came together in May, 2015 to replace the death penalty in Nebraska with life in prison without parole.

Unfortunately, some in Nebraska are trying to bring the death penalty back, making it important for Nebraskans for Peace to team up with the anti-death penalty movement to retain the state legislature’s decision to replace the death penalty with life in prison without parole.

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A Stark Nuclear Warning

Jerry Brown
The New York Review of Books
July 14, 2016 Issue

My Journey at the Nuclear Brink
by William J. Perry, with a foreword by George P. Shultz
Stanford Security Studies, 234 pp., $85.00; $24.95 (paper)

I know of no person who understands the science and politics of modern weaponry better than William J. Perry, the US Secretary of Defense from 1994 to 1997. When a man of such unquestioned experience and intelligence issues the stark nuclear warning that is central to his recent memoir, we should take heed. Perry is forthright when he says: “Today, the danger of some sort of a nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War and most people are blissfully unaware of this danger.”1 He also tells us that the nuclear danger is “growing greater every year” and that even a single nuclear detonation “could destroy our way of life.”

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Today is the Day to Stop Global Warming!

Today you can be an important part of our big push for action on climate change by calling your representatives. Tomorrow hundreds of our fellow Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers will be in D.C. to lobby for us, and our phone calls today will help underscore that we want Congress to act. We’ve been told that even a half dozen calls on the same day make an impression, so feel free to call tomorrow too!

Please ask your friends and family to join us in our efforts!

You can use this website to find your Members of Congress, their phone numbers, and a sample script for your call: http://cclusa.org/callcongress It will also log your calls so we know how many calls were made to each Member of Congress.

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Our Fifteen Minutes of Live-Streamed Fame Inside the Berkshire Hathaway 2016 Annual Shareholders Meeting

by Matt Gregory
NFP State Board Treasurer

It was a rainy and blustery day outside the CenturyLink Center in Omaha when I met up with the group that would eventually go inside the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting to present Nebraska Peace Foundation’s resolution on climate change.

We had a brief respite from the rain as BOLD Nebraska and Nebraskans for Peace held a rally outside and speeches were given by BOLD’s Jane Kleeb, NFP’s Tim Rinne and renowned climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, who was going to be one of the presenters of the resolution. Decked out in raincoats and ponchos, we waved colorful signs with arks and animals on them, playing on Warren Buffett’s “Noah’s Law” comment in his annual shareholder letter regarding the threat of climate change: “If an ark may be essential for survival, begin building it today, no matter how cloudless the skies appear.”

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Senator Patty Pansing-Brooks Visits Whiteclay, NE

The following article was sent out in a June newsletter by State Senator Patty Pansing-Brooks.  

One of the six Interim Studies that I introduced will examine and review the sale of alcohol in Whiteclay, Nebraska and the effects that these sales have on the surrounding Native American population and the nearby Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. As you know, there has been enormous controversy surrounding Whiteclay. Whiteclay is a non-incorporated town with 14 residents which has four beer stores located 200 yards south of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Each year, nearly 4 million cans of high alcohol content beer are sold at Whiteclay. Malt liquors are the most popular products. A 25 ounce can of these products contains 8-10% alcohol and has the alcohol equivalent of 2-3 regular beers. These products are sold for just $1.75 a can. Public drunkenness, violence, and human trafficking are rampant problems. The goal of the Interim Study is to develop recommendations for what should be done to address the many issues arising from alcohol sales in Whiteclay and to seek the input of the State-Tribal Relations Committee in finding a way to solve these issues.

This month, in conjunction with my Interim Study, I took a trip to Whiteclay, Nebraska with my new Legislative Aide, Chris Triebsch. I was invited to attend a conference on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which has become a public health crisis in the area due to the prevalence of alcohol abuse. In fact, 1 in 4 babies on the Pine Ridge Reservation is born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a birth defect caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol. Its developmental and neurological effects are irreversible.

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