Neary And His Proposal For Changes if Elected
By Bre Smith
May 7th, 2021
OMAHA – RJ Neary has been a businessman in Omaha for forty years. That gave him a lot of time to learn things, and a lot of time to recognize problems the city has faced.
Neary says that what really drove him to run for mayor was the fact that there are so many changes to be made, but Mayor Stothert hasn’t done enough.
You can always tell when things aren’t getting done right once we talk about them all the time. We’ve been talking about streets for eight years, and even the current mayor even said well I’d known if people really want to bet that would have passed the bond issue earlier that’s not leadership.
While the streets are fairly high on Neary’s list of priorities, racial equity is also something he is hoping to work towards.
His experience in real estate is something he believes has given him a unique perspective. He talks about the practice of redlining and the role that has played in perpetuating systemic racism here in Omaha.
I know what I’ve benefitted from in my life and I know that other people haven’t because of those things.
In the interest of racial equity, Neary also has plans for police reform should he be elected. He acknowledged that while Omaha has seen problems with police shootings in the recent past. This has contributed to a distrust of police officers in general, and Neary says he believes he may have a solution to that as well.
If there is a citizens’ review board, it’s not onerous and it doesn’t keep us from public safety, but it starts to measure how we’re doing and building trust within the community, especially communities of color.
Neary is confident in his platform of bringing new ideas to Omaha. Among other things, he has proposed offering $5,000-$10,000 grants to people relocating to Omaha from larger metro areas, like Chicago, New York City or Los Angeles. He’s seen this practice work in other places, he says, and sees no reason why it couldn’t be implemented here.
I think we need change. We need change now. I think people are tired of people in city hall for 12 years and I think it’ll be fun. I think people would be happy that they made the change.
The general election for Omaha’s mayor and city council will take place on May 11 and early-voting ballots are due that day by 8 pm.
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