LINCOLN — Nonpartisan Nebraska, a grassroots organization dedicated to preserving the nonpartisan structure and traditions of the Nebraska Unicameral, was formed this week following what organizers labeled the most partisan legislative session in recent memory.
The idea of Nonpartisan Nebraska was formed nearly four years ago by Nathan Leach, 24, of Kearney, who saw firsthand the destructive nature of partisan politics while working as a page in the Arizona State Legislature in 2015.
“Everything lawmakers did was determined by the ‘D’ or ‘R’ next to their name, not what was best for their constituents,” Leach said.
He said Nebraska’s unique one-house Legislature was designed to be nonpartisan, but “it is close to a breaking point, and once broken, it will not be easy to put back together.”
Leach will serve as Nonpartisan Nebraska’s executive director. Among the Nebraskans who will serve on the board of directors are former state Sen. Al Davis of Alliance and Kearney City Councilwoman Tami James Moore of Kearney.
“The political division nationwide is alarming and the nonpartisan strength of our Unicameral has reflected that in recent sessions,” Moore said. She is a registered independent and first woman on the Kearney council in more than 20 years.
Nonpartisan Nebraska will be an educational based 501(c)(3) nonprofit. A virtual launch meeting is scheduled for the end of October. Guest speaker will be Charlyne Berens, a UNL journalism professor who authored “One House.” More information about Nonpartisan Nebraska is available at nonpartisanne.com.