Local Election, National Discussion

From the Heath Mello for Mayor Case Study

The election was watched nationally as one of the first in this odd new Trump era. Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Keith Ellison were brought to Omaha to campaign for Heath as part the DNC’s Come Together Fight Back tour. While the event did energize the base, it unexpectedly spurred a heated discussion around being a pro-life Democrat in a conservative state. While some of the coverage was incorrect, this article in The Nation breaks things down well. The discussion is certainly an important one for Democrats to have, but it did detract from what the campaign wanted to be talking about in the final weeks leading up to election day.

Not getting a win is certainly disappointing. Having another 4 years of a harsh Republican mayor who lacks vision is very concerning for the city’s future mass transit needs, riverfront development, and the prioritization of equity for EVERYONE. 

But, the creativity and energy from the campaign is a hopeful sign for future citizen engagement. The tireless work of young leaders in our community mean the central idea of the campaign — creating a city that’s more welcoming, inclusive, and innovative — is still possible. Those of us who want a more progressive city aren’t giving up. In fact, we’re more determined than ever.

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