Omaha mayoral candidate Snipes says OPS role prepared her for office

Kimara Snipes has served on the Omaha Public Schools board since 2018
Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 8:46 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Kimara Snipes asked 6 News to meet her at the first Scooter’s Coffee franchise owned by African-Americans at 30th and Ames. We chatted in the conference room built for community.

“I will intentionally listen to anyone,” she said. “We can always find a place where we overlap. We can always find someplace where we agree.”

Snipes has served on the school board for Omaha Public Schools since 2018. She says it has prepared her for the role of mayor.

“Omaha Public Schools is a city within a city,” she said. “There are only three cities in the state that are larger than that. Our budget that we deal with is larger than Omaha’s general fund.”

For years, Snipes has been a community leader. Sometimes in the background, sometimes shouting from the rooftops to make sure she’s heard.

Last year, during the early days of the COVID-19 crisis, as she was serving as head of the South Omaha Neighborhood Alliance, she shared her frustration over the government’s response.

“If we had more access to testing, we could better take care of our community — period,” she said to a 6 News reporter in May 2020.

In 2016, we caught up to her urging neighbors and strangers to make sure they’re registered to vote. She told us she has an “I can’t give up” attitude.

Snipes says her background sets her apart from the other mayoral candidates.

“People are able to see the work that’s been done for years. And people see that and know she’s serious. She’s authentic. She’s been doing this,” she said. “It’s about being connected to community, understanding what the community wants, and having the integrity to do the right thing, even though it’s tough.”

Snipes said that after last year’s protests calling for social justice reforms, more people have become engaged. She’s grateful the marches opened people’s eyes.

“It was traumatic last year, but the level of care and empathy and willingness to intervene was beautiful. It’s my hope we continue to capitalize on that.”

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