I’m a native Omahan currently serving as a State Senator in the Nebraska Legislature and running for Mayor of Omaha.
Here is just a little bit more about me.
An Accomplished Leader
As the South Omaha Senator from District 5, I currently serve as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee in the Nebraska Legislature. In this role, I’ve worked with my colleagues in guiding state fiscal policy, helping make government work better for taxpayers, and passing a balanced state budget for the past four years.
I also serve on the Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee, Legislature’s Planning Committee, Building Maintenance Committee, Legislative Performance Audit Committee, Rules Committee, the Legislature’s Executive Board, and a number of select committees and task forces involving intergenerational poverty, prisons, economic development, and behavioral health.
Works with Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to Get Things Done
During my time in the Unicameral, I’ve worked extensively with my legislative colleagues, other elected officials, business leaders, community leaders and residents to build consensus and get things done for Omaha and for Nebraska.
Highlights of our work include:
- Crafting balanced state budgets that invest in education, economic development, and transportation, while responsibly reducing the tax burden on middle class families;
- Leading the effort to fix our broken prison system and enhance public safety;
- Building consensus among teachers, retirees, and school districts to reform public pensions;
- Spearheading landmark legislation that allowed for the creation of the Omaha Municipal Land Bank;
- Creating the legal framework to allow Uber and Lyft to operate in Nebraska.
Representing the State of Nebraska and Omaha in several national legislative organizations has truly been an honor. I currently serve on the Executive Committee and as the Co-Chair of the Economic Development Committee within the Midwestern Legislative Conference of the Council of State Governments. I’m also a member of the Budgets & Revenue and Labor & Economic Development Committees within the National Conference of State Legislators. In 2013, I became an active member with the New Deal Leaders, a national network of rising pro-growth state and local elected leaders.
Earlier in my legislative career, I was fortunate to participate in the American Swiss Foundation Young Leader Conference and to be named a 2011 American Marshall Memorial Fellow by The German Marshall Fund of the United States.
As a testament to my hard work in the Unicameral, I have been recognized with the 2016 “Friend of Education” Award from the Nebraska Council of School Administrators, the 2016 “Don Wagner Award for Leadership and Service” from Metropolitan Community College, the 2015 Legislator of the Year Award from the Nebraska Community Health Center Association, the 2013 Champion of History Award from the Nebraska State Historical Society and the 2010 Nebraska Legislator of the Year Award from the American Institute of Architects. Additionally, I was honored to receive The ARC of Nebraska’s “Harold Sieck Public Official of the Year” Award in both 2009 and 2016.
A Vision For Omaha’s Future
I am running for mayor because Omaha needs a strong, clear vision for the future.
My blueprint to make Omaha the city of the future includes:
- Making Omaha the national leader in high-wage, high-skill job growth in advanced industries, manufacturing, information technology and biomedical research.
- Rebuilding Omaha’s streets, riverfront, airport, housing and parks to not only attract and keep workers and businesses from leaving Omaha, but to inspire our children to want to stay and help shape Omaha’s future.
- Focusing on creating safer neighborhoods and stronger families through strategic city partnerships with our schools, social service providers, universities, and employers.
- Working with Republicans, Democrats and Independents to rebuild the consensus-building approach that has led to successful public-private partnerships with Omaha’s business and philanthropic community.
Husband, Father, Community Leader
I’m a proud graduate of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (Go Big Red) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.
Professionally, I currently serve as the Executive Director of the Nebraska Career Education and Innovation Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit foundation that develops career and technical education public-private partnerships and initiatives. I also serve as Senior Advisor to the Holland Children’s Movement, an organization that focuses on children and families in poverty.
My wife Catherine and I live in the Robin Hill neighborhood with our daughter, Angelina, and son, John and attend St. Thomas More Catholic Church.
Working with our community to solve problems and improve our quality of life has always meant a great deal to me. Currently, I serve as an active board of director’s member with the South Omaha Neighborhood Alliance, South Omaha Business Association, Q Merchants Association, and inCOMMON Community Development. I’m also honored to serve on the Executive Committee of Heartland 2050, a multi-county, multi-state regional planning initiative.