January 15, 2011

Leave Our Homeless Shelters Alone! NO MEANS NO!


I've known about this recall for awhile. At first I was reluctant to sign the petition to recall Mayor Suttle because I know how costly and damaging they can be. I have to wonder if maybe I should have signed the recall petition anyway in light of what has gone on recently here in Omaha.

Suttle may face recall

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Noelle Obermeyer, a spokeswoman for Forward Omaha, a group opposed to the recall said she believes many of the signatures will not be validated. She said her group observed the petition circulators, and videotaped violations. Many, she said, gathered illegally.

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Really? I'm starting to wonder just how "forward" Forward Omaha really is when they have been told repeatedly to leave the city's homeless alone! How dare they try to involve our Omaha homeless shelters into their political game when they know full well it's wrong to EXPLOIT the homeless and to repeatedly put our homeless shelters at risk!

Donors all over Omaha are upset and want no part of donating to NON-PROFIT area shelters who are trying desperately to stay out of this political tug-of-war between those who want Jim Suttle out of office and those that want Jim Suttle to stay in office.

Really? You would put the funding of our homeless shelters and their donors at risk in order to lie, cheat, and steal just so you can have your way? Yes "Forward Omaha" I'm directing this at YOU!! Just how "forward" do you think you are being EXPLOITING our homeless and those families who are in NEED!? SHAME ON YOU!!

Mayor, Supporters Welcome Investigation

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Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle spent Thursday night in damage control, issuing apologies while trying to rally supporters leading up to a recall election January 25th.

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Wednesday, his anti-recall group Forward Omaha, bused homeless residents from the Siena/Francis House to the Douglas County Election Commission to vote early in the recall election, and offered the people a chance for a job and money if they completed training.

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A statement released by Mayor Suttle’s office Thursday called the decision to combine transportation help and campaign worker recruitment an unacceptable conflict of interest and an error of judgment.

The statement also noted the importance of making sure the city’s least fortunate citizens get their rights to vote, but adds that any effort to inappropriately acquire votes from the homeless is inconsistent with Mayor Suttle’s core values and will not be tolerated.


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It's called EXPLOITATION and it's WRONG!!!

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The Siena/Francis House, one of the shelters Forward Omaha stopped at, said people were pulling donations Thursday, accusing the shelter of taking sides in the recall fight.

Executive Director Mike Saklar said he had no prior knowledge of the plan, and was angry and upset over the circumstances.

"I would encourage them to vote it's just that we would not allow partisan activities on our campus and that's what this was," said Saklar.

The Open Door Mission also expressed frustration with the group’s actions.

President and CEO Candace Gregory told KETV the Open Door Mission told Forward Omaha no, twice, when contacted about busing residents to the Douglas County Election Commission. Gregory said as a non-profit organization, the Open Door Mission cannot take part in any political campaign effort.

Gregory said the buses showed up Wednesday anyway, and Thursday, she also took numerous calls from angry donors.

“I feel dread for those people that were given this opportunity because it's unethical,” said Gregory. “Second, the promises that were made did not follow through and people were exploited.”

The man behind the recall effort also sounded off against Forward Omaha. Jeremy Aspen with the Mayor Suttle Recall Committee described Wednesday’s effort as unsavory and unethical.

“If it is in the mayor's endeavor to remain in office and the expense has to be born by the Siena/Francis house that is really unfortunate,” said Aspen.


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E X P L O I T A T I O N ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

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Thursday, Forward Omaha expressed apologies to both the Siena/Francis House and to the Open Door Mission.

“We didn't mean to cause any problems,” said Obermeyer. “We greatly apologize. We hope that donors who have stated that they're upset are going to change their minds.”

Mayor Suttle said he plans to call Mike Saklar at the Siena/Francis House personally to apologize. Suttle added that he’ll call the shelter’s donors and ask them to reconsider their position.


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I would just like to say that Jim Suttle needs to back off at this point. He doesn't have any right to any list of donors. It's none of his business who the homeless shelter donors are. SERIOUSLY!? It's NONE of his business!!!!

Open Door Mission: Forward Omaha Won't Take 'No' For An Answer

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Omaha, NE - Forward Omaha came Open Door Mission, a homeless shelter, not once, not twice, but three times, even after the mission said no. Each time, the mission says Forward Omaha had a new pitch.

"This has actually put our mission in jeopardy, my leadership and our integrity is in question," said Candace Gregory, President and CEO of the Open Door Mission.

The Open Door Mission claims it's been victimized after Forward Omaha refused to take 'no' for an answer. The anti-recall group came to campus Monday wanting to talk with residents about early voting. The Mission, a non-profit that takes no political stance, said no.

Tuesday Forward Omaha came back with a new pitch to offer residents training for a possible election day job. The Open Door Mission says no, again.

Wednesday, Forward Omaha comes back, again, with three buses to take residents to the polls and train them. The Open Door Mission says no, and asks Forward Omaha to leave for the third time.

Gregory calls Forward Omaha's persistence inappropriate.

"What they were asking us to participate in was borderline unethical and exploitation," Gregory said.

Forward Omaha issued a media statement apologizing to the shelters for the mix-up, but the non-profit group to help the homeless, says it's not enough.

"Unfortunately, it's a little too late," Gregory said. "Our image, our integrity has been questioned in the community and we've had supporters that have sent their message strongly to us that they're not going to support us any longer."

Forward Omaha says it stands by the apology it gave the homeless shelters last night.


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Forward Omaha needs to leave our homeless shelters alone!

NO MEANS NO!

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