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We are proud to endorse Heath Mello as a Bold candidate for Mayor of Omaha.

Heath has a demonstrated record of supporting environmental and sustainability issues as a former state senator. He has earned the endorsement of the Nebraska League of Conservation Voters, after also being named the group’s 2016 Conservation Champion.

Heath worked on proposals to improve recycling, support local clean energy initiatives, address water conservation, and create new green jobs. He also worked with his colleagues in the Unicameral to establish the LR455 select committee that produced major policy recommendations to address climate change in Nebraska.

As Omaha’s next Mayor, Heath would continue this collaborative work, and have our city create its own Climate Action Plan to implement our environmental element of the city’s master plan.

In addition, Heath is committed to enhancing and implementing alternative transportation options that improve Omaha’s physical and economic environment, including expanding bike lanes, light rail, and ride sharing.


District #1: Pete Festersen

Pete Festersen is an incumbent running for City Council in District 1. He believes “there are many things we can do to combat climate change on the local level.  Some examples include improving our approach to waste collection in our next re-bid of services so that we increase recycling rates, encourage composting, reduce volumes taken to the landfill, and capture the methane gas that is produced from the landfill for energy.  We can also continue to convert traffic and streetlights to LED for better energy conservation and start to transition our fleet of vehicles to be more efficient and/or operate on CNG for better fuel conservation.  Another area the city should continue pursuing is offering better alternative transportation options such as the bus rapid transit system to improve transit and reduce carbon emissions.  I also support restoring the position of sustainability coordinator so that we have an advocate for improving our practices as a major employer as well as having a seat at the table for sustainable development practices.  The city should be a leader in these areas.”


Maggie Squires

Maggie is a fourth generation Nebraskan from Valentine. She is a small business owner and Lincoln has been her home for fifteen years. She believes “solid long-term planning is essential to Lincoln’s future. Solar and wind development promise

well-paying jobs, energy savings and sustained growth. Pinnacle Bank Arena should be covered in solar panels, as well as all new developments, city buildings and schools.”

Leirion Gaylor Baird

Leirion Gaylor Baird is the daughter of two public school teachers. She worked her way through college at Yale University and lives in Lincoln’s Near South neighborhood with her husband, Scott, and their three children, ages 8, 12, and 14.

Leirion was elected to the Lincoln City Council in May, 2013 and currently serves as Council Chair. Prior to her election, Leirion was a Lincoln/Lancaster County Planning Commissioner. She states, “At the city level, we must be the best stewards we can of natural resources and keep the long-term in mind when making policy decisions.”

Bennie Shobe

Bennie Shobe works as a program analyst at the Department of Labor, and teaches a criminal justice course as an adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His career and experiences, Shobe says, are focused on employment and public safety, two issues he believes should be priorities for the Lincoln City Council. He believes in “continued city procurement practices which encourage the use of environmental sound and renewable energy sources.” and would like to “find ways remove barriers for residents to engage in recycling program.”