Jane Kleeb

We the People Get Things Done
Dear Convention Delegates and County Chairs,

I stand today ready to take on a new challenge, one that requires all hands on deck.

We stand today, on the beginning of a new time in our state.

I heard loud and clear from grassroots progressives and respected party leaders that now is the time for me to run as Chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party.

Over the past several years, Nebraskans have defied the naysayers, stood their ground and created local change.

An unlikely alliance of farmers, ranchers, Tribal Nations and environmentalists moved history when they protected their land and water from the Keystone XL pipeline.

Moms in North Omaha helped shut down a coal plant that was making their babies sick.

Teachers dared to stand against corporate influence and declare “I love public schools.”

Nurses and doctors continue to find ways to serve their patients despite Governor Ricketts refusal to expand Medicaid, a simple, cost effective solution.

Two dads and their adorable daughter went to court to protect a fundamental right we all have—to marry the one we love.

Union members are protecting workers from more of our jobs being shipped overseas with their strong opposition to the unfair TPP trade deal.

The Omaha Nation stood their ground at the highest court to protect their homeland while Frank LaMere continues to inspire us to address the injustice of White Clay.

And young people — some not yet even old enough to vote — stood against Governor Ricketts outdated stance on immigration and showed the incredible power of a name: Dreamer.

This new energy is inspired by the heroic campaign of Sen. Sanders that brought progressive issues and new voters into our politics.

This new energy is also inspired by the historic campaign of Sec. Clinton that showed every little girl in America the power of equal.

But mostly, the energy in our state has been inspired by thousands of new people, new ideas, new passions, and new resolve all across our state.

People who have decided to make their own history.

People who decided to look the naysayers in the eye and simply say, “We the people get things done.”

This huge (or dare I say yuuuge!) progressive energy is bringing new people to our party ready to volunteer, donate, vote and change the political landscape.

It is our job as party leaders to make sure new people have a seat at the table—even when some rightfully so think the table should be flipped over.

It is our job as party leaders to recruit diverse candidates and to put in place the resources to elect Democrats up and down the ballot.

For too many years we let Republicans define the direction of our state.

As Democrats, we must show up in our small towns and big cities making the case for the issues our party’s values and platform are founded on.

When I work in rural communities, landowners know that I am progressive Democrat. They may tease me on issues but they always tell me “I respect you because you stand your ground and you show up.”

For too long Republicans have taken voters support for granted. We are the party of the people. We intend to show up in communities across our state and earn their votes.

Underneath the party and ideological labels are Nebraskans who believe that the Good Life is a birthright for people and it is the duty of elected representatives to stand with the people, not turn their back on us for the next campaign donation.

Gov. Ricketts recently attempted to shame Senators of this own party because they dared to cross party lines for the good of our state. He said he was keeping the process transparent and the politicians accountable.

This is one area we agree with Gov. Ricketts.

I look forward to every single moment as Chair that I will keep him accountable for protecting Big Corporations over the people and for standing with his buddy Trump who can not get thru a day without being a bully rather than a leader.

Let me close this first letter to you with a story about why I got involved in and stay working in politics. When I was a teenager, I almost lost my life to an eating disorder. The treatment was not covered by insurance. My mom and dad did not have the money for the intensive treatment required to help me recover. So, my grandmother stepped in to pay for my treatment. I would sit in the recovery center watching women forced to leave way too early because their insurance company would not pay for treatment. Some women lost their lives because of this.

I have a deep sense of responsibility to my family to put this life that they helped save to good use—for me that means electing folks who put people first and give a damn about the issues we face as a state and country.

As Chair of the Democratic Party I will ensure we all show up in the streets, at the doors and in the voting booth to win elections and to put people first.

This our party. This is our moment. Let’s get things done!
-Jane

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