Black Votes Matter working to address healthcare, economic development

Voter participation key to north Omaha’s development
Black Votes Matter is working to educate North Omaha on the importance of casting a ballot and making their voices heard.
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 4:14 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The north Omaha community is beginning to address the issues of disparities in healthcare and economic development.

But the founder of Black Votes Matter, Preston Love Jr., says there’s still concern about the issue of voter turnout.

“We’re not focusing or addressing our voter participation, and it’s time for us to focus and get that job done,” Love said.

Love believes poverty is one of the major factors that keep many in the minority community away from the polls.

“People that are poverty-stricken tend not to vote at the level of others because they’re focused on survival and not the issues that surround them,” Love said.

He points out that in 2008, when Barack Obama was running for president, there was an increase in north Omaha voters that went to the polls. But he says that emotional issue wasn’t enough to keep pace with the rest of Douglas County.

“We voted pretty good,” Love said. “We voted at 62% turnout — that’s pretty good... but the rest of the country voted at 72%. There’s a 10% gap.”

Black Votes Matter plans to hold a Black political summit next month to reach out to north Omaha’s diverse community.

“It’s also Sudanese, it’s also Hispanic, it’s also white,” Love said. “North Omaha is made up of all those pieces.”

The summit will lay out a strategic action plan and create a roadmap to bolster voter participation. Some lofty goals are set for 2024, with hopes of registering 15,000 new voters and boosting turnout.

Love says in order to make all this a reality, the community has to understand how important it is to cast your ballot.

“The first step is to fully make the community aware of how big of a problem we have, make them aware of what we need to do about it.”

Black Votes Matter is holding a summit next week to help promote voter participation in North Omaha.


The Black Political Summit will be held Saturday, Feb. 4, at The Venue at Highlander, located on North 30th Street.