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Date: 2/15/2021
Subject: Jane Kleeb video and takeaways
From: JOCO Dem Women

As promised, here is the follow-up for the JCDW North meeting, from February 4th, 2021, with Jane Kleeb, the Nebraska Democratic Party Chair. 
A talk and discussion on strategies to engage rural citizens and communities.

Johnson County Democratic Women North hosted Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb on February 4.  Jane Kleeb is an experienced grassroots organizer, manager, political strategist and nonprofit entrepreneur. Recently profiled by PBS in a film called “Blue Wind on a Red Prairie,” Jane is a leader who deeply understands the need to connect issues that rural and urban communities are facing to politics in order to win elections in Nebraska. Jane Kleeb started her term as the Nebraska Democratic Party Chair in December 2016.


Leading the statewide healthcare reform project called Change That Works, Jane brought together grassroots advocates and allied groups such as AARP and Nebraska Appleseed. While more work must be done to bring down the costs of heathcare for families, the effort was successful in helping ensure pre-esxiting conditions are a thing of the past and that all Nebraskans have access to heath care. In 2010, Kleeb founded the grassroots group Bold Nebraska leading farmers, ranchers and Native allies in an effort to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. Jane’s organizing style earned her the title “Keystone Killer” and she was featured in the NY Time Magazine. Bold Nebraska expanded into the national Bold Alliance focusing on protecting property rights, water and the clean energy transition.

The following video starts at 1:22. Thank you for your patience as we add video editing to our list of volunteer skills! 

jane kleeb

We want to thank Jane Kleeb for coming to our JCDW meeting February 4, 2021. She had a lot of information and ideas, and was very encouraging. See all the great advice, stories and lots of Q & A by watching the video.
In the video, Jane gave some details about the Block Captain Program, a part of the Nebraska Democratic Party. The information about the program as well as the Block Captain Manual can be found by clicking here.
The following is a bulleted list of some take-aways from the meeting:
  • Continue to show up and continue to engage rural people, not just during election
  • Listen to them.
  • Develop actions to do together by finding common goals, working through
    differences, and setting aside issues like guns and abortion. Be authentic about
    abortion and gun rights but focus on areas you can work on together.
  • Never ridicule those who are anti-choice 
  • Commit to help deal with community problems, such as natural disasters.
  • Create paths.
  • Find unifying themes such as roads, water, or sewers. Get specific. The Ogalalla Aquifer was suggested as a possible commonality in Kansas.
  • Concerning green energy, we need an outreach to find ways for rural wealth creation and placement of wind and solar farms in a fair and equitable way.
  • Bringing broadband with green energy would create something for the community. Green energy companies should not behave the same way Trans Canada (Keystone pipeline) has behaved, when they intimidated farmers, ranchers, and indigenous Americans, and abused eminent domain. 
  • Implement block captains who will commit to staying in contact with 50 voters 3 times a year. (see block captain manual attched!)
  • Local papers and radio stations are a good way to communicate with rural voters.
  • Write letters and be a guest on conservative radio. You can't communicate if you don't show up!
  • Rural areas are getting more racially diverse. Ask community leaders and activists of those groups to run for office, ie Hispanic meat packers.
  • Send welcome post cards to new Democrats. They work! 
  • We may need legislative action against flagrant lying to the public.
  • County parties are encouraged to tell state parties and the DNC what they need.

Contact JCDW  for more info
To see more details about the Johnson County Democratic Women, go to our information page, HERE