FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mayor Jean Stothert announced her candidacy for an unprecedented third term today, promising a dynamic discussion about ideas, respect, a united Omaha and the honor of public service. Her campaign theme is “Omaha Together.”
“I’m running for another term to continue the work I love; in a city I love even more,” said the mayor. “We are successful because it’s a team effort. Every citizen contributes to the remarkable transformation of our city.”
While past announcements have been held in front of large and enthusiastic audiences, this year was different. Because of pandemic safety concerns, only reporters and photographers attended while following COVID protocol.
Before outlining her administration’s accomplishments and her vision for the next four years, Stothert acknowledged that people are tired of elections, division and mistrust, and promised that hers will be different. “As we always have, our team will run a campaign worthy of the city we represent, and the people we wish to serve,” she says. She added that she welcomes opponents and hopes they will take the same vow.
Mayor Stothert’s record includes eight balanced budgets, stable city finances, a reduction in serious crime and a record number of police officers on duty. The mayor championed the $200-million “Road Map to Better Streets” bond which voters approved last spring. Implementing the new program will be one of the most significant financial and community improvement initiatives in Omaha history. Omaha has bounced back faster than most areas during pandemic, and economic development projects continue all over the city. In 2019 alone, the city issued building permits valued at over one billion dollars. During this administration, property tax rates have been cut twice so far.
Stothert says she’s proud of the national reputation Omaha has earned over the past twenty years, and she’s eager to see that leadership continue in business, medical services, transportation, finance, insurance and amateur athletics. To continue moving the city forward, she outlined next steps and further progress she seeks for her third term:
Public Safety – the mayor will work to “make a good police department better.” This includes giving citizens a better way to voice issues regarding police conduct, expanding the department’s mental health co-responder program, providing the best equipment possible, including body cameras, hiring a more diverse police force, and building stronger community/officer relationships. Firefighters will have more and better protective gear and more modern equipment and facilities, including a new fire station 31 in South Omaha. More diversity and training for both police and fire.
Transportation – Implementing the “Road Map to Better Streets” means doubling road construction projects, with more competitive and reliable bids. An additional six million dollars and a more streamlined process will go towards development of unimproved streets, many in high poverty areas. Just this week, we launched the ORBT bus rapid transit system, a high-quality transportation option that is critical for a growing city.
Managing Taxpayer Dollars. “We will work to keep all tax rates as low as possible while still providing the responsive services citizens expect,” says Mayor Stothert. One example is the new solid waste collection contract with F-C-C Environmental that starts November 30. This new and efficient system will deliver the industry standard to citizens without raising taxes.
Economic Development – Mayor Stothert wants Omaha to become a more welcoming city for all people and all lifestyles, “Our younger workforce is especially focused on a more inclusive city that welcomes everyone, and where everyone feels at home.” The mayor wants to continue expanding job training, employment, housing, and retail in economically-challenged areas of Omaha, plus focus on providing expert support and services to the large scale projects happening all over the city:
- The redevelopment of Crossroads
- The Blackstone District
- 75 North in North Omaha
- The Southside Terrace redevelopment
- Heartwood Preserve at 144th and West Dodge Road
- Avenue One at 192nd and West Dodge Road
- Downtown core projects: Millwork Commons, Builder’s District, and Capitol District.
Tourism and Entertainment – The mayor wants to host more regional and national conventions and events in 2021 and expand entertainment and recreation activities, especially downtown. She pointed to the potential of “The Riverfront,” which rebuilds the Gene Leahy Mall, Heartland of America Park and Lewis and Clark Landing. One of the showcase projects of “The Riverfront” $400-million plan is the Kiewit Luminarium, an impressive science museum that opens in 2023. The mayor expects “The Riverfront” to be a defining landmark for the city, on the same scale as the Arch in St Louis or Millennium Park in Chicago.
Mayor Stothert underscored that Omaha’s success is a community effort, but there is still much to do. She says while the pandemic has challenged all of us in many ways, we must remain vigilant to keep everyone safe as possible.
Next spring’s primary will be on April 6, 2021, with the general election on May 11, 2021.
Contact: Bev Carlson