This summer the Center for Rural Affairs staff has been traveling Nebraska to visit with state legislative candidates. June marked the kickoff of visits.
We began our visits with the candidates for District 15 - Lynne Walz and incumbent Sen. David Schnoor.
Staff Paige Dietrich and Johnathan Hladik took to the rural roads of northeastern Nebraska to visit Sen. Schnoor and his wife, Nikki, on their farm and cattle feeding operation near Scribner, Neb. Sen. Schnoor talked about one of his major priorities as a senator: finding a solution for high property taxes. He also wants to find a better way to retain state employees, and suggested using incentive pay as an option.
Dietrich and Hladik sat down and had a cup of coffee with Ms. Walz on a warm June morning and talked about her priorities as a candidate. At the top of the list is economic development and bringing more small businesses to the area. She talked about making more grants and programs available to help businesses get started. She also talked about providing good education, creating more of an inclusive community for new Americans and focusing on Health and Human Services.
Center staff are seeking to meet with every candidate running for State Senate in rural Nebraska between now and the election to discuss issues important to us and to them.
Building relationships with elected leaders and key stakeholders helps us make the most of opportunities to improve policy outcomes. A sense of cooperation toward a shared goal helps us shape policies for the better. Good policy demands collaboration.
Each meeting provides valuable perspective. Spending time with candidates helps us better understand each leader as an individual with their own set of experiences and expectations. This allows us to discover common ground and shared priorities, paving the way for a collaborative relationship.
We look forward to visiting more candidates and hearing their priorities.
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