|Hello, everyone and happy fall! It’s my favorite time of year – I’m excited for the leaves to start their metamorphosis and the autumn chill to settle into the air. Speaking of changes, there is a lot going on at OPPD and I’m excited to share a few updates.
Town Hall Announcement:
I’m hosting another town hall on November 7 @ 7pm at UNO’s Community Engagement Center. We’ll be in room 127. I’d like to Facebook Live this one. If anyone is interested in helping with that, let me know. Otherwise, please plan to attend!
Updates to Strategic Directive 7: Environmental Stewardship
The OPPD board held a day-long workshop on August 29. Most of the day was dedicated to discussing a few of our strategic directives that the board will likely modify. (Click here to see all strategic directives + all other board policies.) As one might expect, SD7 received the most attention. The board had a lengthy discussion about how we might incorporate a net zero carbon goal into the directive.
Much discussion still needs to occur, but the pace for potential changes is much quicker than it was 1-2 years ago. Our Systems Committee could bring potential changes to SD7 to the full board as early as the November 2019 all committee (Tuesday) meeting, during which we would discuss and debate and then either 1) elect to seek public comments for approximately 30 days or 2) send it back to the Systems Committee for further revision. I’ll keep you in the loop as things progress. If you have any thoughts now, send them to me via email or at the Board’s contact form.
As mentioned in my June 2019 e-newsletter, there are three rates that are under consideration for changes. Nothing major to report in terms of potential changes, but I did want to summarize the schedule.
- Rate 464 – Standby Service, which is for any customer that generates in excess of 25 kW (e.g., onsite solar), is on pace to be modified in early-mid 2020.
- Rate 463A – Green Power Rider (AKA Green Power Program) allows customers to voluntarily pay a little more to support OPPD’s renewable energy programs. Updates anticipated in 1Q 2020.
- Rate 110 – Residential Rates. There are two elements of this rate. First, the declining winter block rate (the $/kwh decreases as consumption increases) could see a modification in late 2019/early 2020. The second, the fixed fee, will require much more study, and we anticipate any possible changes at the end of 2021.
- The electric scooter pilot is nearly over, and the Mayor is seeking feedback (survey here) on whether the program should continue. I, for one, have enjoyed using them, but I have concerns about safety (our City lacks good bike/scooter infrastructure) and their negative impact on walkability (given they’re often blocking sidewalks). I hope the program continues but is improved.
- Quick shout out to the folks in the Dundee Memorial Park Neighborhood Association for their tireless work aimed at fixing Farnam Street. I proudly have a sign in my yard and urge the City to make changes sooner rather later.
- It is fundraising season for some great nonprofits in Omaha. Emily and I attended the Immigrant Legal Center’s Food Truck World Tour, KANEKO’s Soiree and Filmstreams’ Feature recently. Upcoming events include Omaha Girls Rock on Oct 11, Amplify Arts’ Costume Party (Grave) Oct 18, and the Bemis Center’s Benefit Art Auction & Concert on Oct 25. These are some of Omaha’s hippest events, but there’s a new game in town. We attended the Union for Contemporary Art’s Moondance on September 13, and it was A.MAZ.ING! Great food, beautiful space, adult ball pit (you read that right!), and a light up dance floor. I’m already looking forward to next year! I hope you are out supporting your favorite nonprofits, too.
- Exactly 78 days ago, I started a new project: send one handwritten thank you note every day for 365 days. I felt the need to do a better job of expressing gratitude, and I know that people who express daily gratitude are often happier. So far so good. I’m still building the nightly habit but am on track.
- 100 years ago, Will Brown was savagely lynched in Omaha – unequivocally one of the darkest days in our City’s past. I witnessed the commemoration on September 28 and appreciated Ben Gray’s call to action. OWH story here. I am looking forward to seeing ‘Red Summer’ at the Blue Barn.
- I’m reading The Color of Law; I’m listening to Stuart Chittenden’s Lives Radio Show; and I’m watching The Newsroom reruns.
- Ukulele update: 0% progress. I need another hour in the day!
Money, money, money!
If you support the work I’m doing and would like to invest in my plans for the future, I would greatly appreciate a contribution to my campaign committee. I promise not to spend it lobbying Ukrainians.
Onward and upward!