NOISE Report - April 1

The County Board of Commissioners is pressing ahead with a colocation plan for their justice reform effort, which brings juvenile detention downtown.

A resolution identifying $114 million in revenue bonds for their one-stop model was approved by a 6 to 1 vote.

Community members once again attended the morning meeting enforce to voice concerns that factors such as trauma and discrimination be addressed before proceeding with plans.

Minority youth are overrepresented in secure detention—11% of Douglas county population is African American but 55% of youth in detention are African American.

Regarding juvenile offenders, commissioner Chris Rodgers of North Omaha, explained:

“I feel like I have to make this disclaimer to some people out there because they’ll run with this, that poverty should not be seen as this underlying cause…the whole system is on mitigating risk. The detention center is built on risk and making sure that the kid don’t --  that the kid shows up in court and does some other things.”

Commissioners James Cavanaugh and Mike Boyle implored their colleagues to provide county resources of up to $20,000 for developing an alternate design that they say is trauma informed.

That amendment was voted down by the other five commissioners on the board.

A resolution to amend the county board’s rules to remove citizens comments is on Tuesday’s (April 2) agenda.

I’m Luis Jimenez.


Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law, a book that explores the untold history of how government policy explicitly segregated cities, gave a lecture at Creighton University. His speech described how decisions made over 80 years ago maintain much of the racial inequity we see today.

“African American wealth is ten percent of white wealth, and that enormous disparity between the 60 percent income ratio and the 10 percent wealth ratio is entirely attributable to unconstitutional federal housing policy that was practiced in the mid-20th century and that’s never been remedied.”

We spoke to attendees to get their perspective on Rothstein’s lecture. Angela Hardin with the National Black Catholic Congress of the Omaha Archdiocese, shared her thoughts:

“I think for me, the major takeaway, as a black woman, and knowing how things were then and how are things are now, is that there’s things we can overcome and no matter what there’s gonna be segregation but it’s always up to us to do better and do the best that we can and try to get ahead on our own and not rely on the federal government for that.”

Mr. Rothstein also participated in community discussions at two venues along North 24th street. You can hear a recording of Rothstein’s full lecture on the NOISE website. I’m Dawaune Hayes.

What’s up this weekend?

Saturday, from 4pm to 6pm, First United Methodist Church at 7020 Cass street facilitates meet your neighbor-workshop. Learn why thousands of Central Americans are coming to the us border seeking asylum. meet those who have temporary protective status and how they may receive permanent status.

Saturday, April 6, I Be Black Girl Omaha throws their first mixer of 2019! Come network, eat, drink and listen to good music from 2pm to 5pm at AIM Institute 1905 Harney Street. Invitations go out to any black identified woman or girl twelve and older. Get your tickets on their facebook event.

You've got the power! Join the NOISE team for POWER Hour Saturdays from 2 to 4 pm at The Study, 2205 North 24th street. A community newsroom, help us bring you news you can use. come on out and let’s make some NOISE.