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Organizations plan ‘people of color’ virtual convention to stir interest in Omaha elections

Published: Mar. 12, 2021 at 3:28 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A group of Omaha-area organizations is holding a virtual convention this weekend in an effort to keep the momentum from the presidential election through the upcoming Omaha city elections.

Voters including people of color went to the polls in the presidential election in record numbers and there is a concern that the line will dwindle for the Omaha primary April 6.

“Historically for the municipal election, that turnout falls off by 30-35%. The same people months ago who came out to the polls are not coming out to vote for mayor and city council,” Preston Love said.

A number of community groups are teaming up in an effort to keep African American voters in the game by organizing the People of Color Convention in an effort to educate and to create excitement about the upcoming city election.

Precious McKesson was the first woman to cast an electoral college ballot for a Democrat in Nebraska. Nebraska and Maine are the only states to award electoral votes based on the winner of each congressional district.

Some in the state would like to change the split to a state winner take all and there are other states that also want to change the rules of elections.

“Now that we are voting in the masses when it comes to people of color, you now have people who are trying to suppress that vote and now they’re trying to change the way that voting is and how it’s done,” McKesson said.

Organizers point out that city officials make decisions that affect day-to-day life, from the kind of roads we drive on to how our garbage is picked up.

“The best thing you can do is have the best representation that you can get to represent your part of the community, as well as the wider community needs,” Love said.

“Those are impacting our kids, those are impacting our taxes, those are impacting our city streets, all kinds of different things. So I think people understand the importance of city elections,” said McKesson.

McKesson says the best way to educate the public is to focus on the issues that impact the community. She hopes that will make people realize how important it is to make your voices heard, by voting.

The People of Color Convention is a virtual event, scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.

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