IPL working with community leaders to put reasonable limits Pay Day Lending

IPL is working with leaders of Omaha Together One Community (OTOC), the Women’s Fund, Nebraska Appleseed, Voices for Children and others to educate members of the public and the Unicameral about the impact that Pay Day Lending has on working families.

Pay Day Lenders are currently allowed to charge interest and fees reaching 461% APR in Nebraska, one of the highest in the country. For instance, if you went to a Pay Day Lender to borrow $300 to fix your car or purchase medicine, it would cost you $530 in interest and fees to borrow that $300 for just 5 months.

Rev Shreve
Pastor Scott Shreve of St. Paul UMC testified on behalf of OTOC and other faith leaders about how churches have to help working class borrowers pay their bills because all their resources are consumed trying to pay back their pay day loan.
Richard Blocker Right
Rich Blocker testified how we became trapped in a Pay Day Loan he had to take out in order to purchase medicine so he could work

Some Nebraskans have paid as much as $10,000 in fees  for a $500 loan which they were not able to pay back over several years. Borrowers must pay back all of the principal, interest and fees in two weeks or renew the loan and pay only the interest–no partial payments  of principal are allowed. This is a trap for desperate families who have no other options.

IPL helped OTOC and community leaders learn about LB 194 sponsored by Senators Vargas and Linehan that would have reduced the allowable fees so that borrows could actually pay of the loan instead of becoming caught in an endless debt trap. LB 194 is currently caught in the Banking Committee and will not receive a vote this year at the Unicameral.  IPL and our partners will continue to educate around this issue.

Clergy Caucus
Members of OTOC’s Clergy Caucus met to discuss how they could educate their congregations about the negative impact of Pay Day Loans on our community


500 people attended Celebration of Community 2017 at Kaneko

Institute for Public Leadership (IPL) helped OTOC leaders prepare for their 8th Annual Celebration of Community which took place on Saturday, April 1 at Kaneko (1111 Jones St).full house framed by heads

This annual OTOC event brought together 500  OTOC and community leaders for an evening of good food and desserts, great music and a terrific silent auction with over 300 items for any budget.



Kyle Knapp–Acoustic Folk

 St. Benedict the Moor Gospel Choir

 Juan Carlos Veloso–Spanish Ballad

Juan Carlos close upSt Benedict Choir from distanceConversation of CSM student

chow line
Tasty Food and Desserts
crowded entry
300+ Silent Auction items

    Fabulous art of Jun Kaneko Admiring Art


Short Month, A lot of Action

Short Month, A lot of Action



February was a busy month at Institute of Public Leadership. We helped organized 6 events at Urban Abbey in collaboration with OTOC-Omaha Together One Community. Over the course of the month, over 200 engaged citizens attended either an Issues Café or a game night of playing Mexican Bingo (La Loteria).


The Issues Cafés covered a wide range of topics and were engaging and educational. The Issues Cafes were hosted by OTOC action teams, but we invited numerous other friends and community leaders to learn and teach with us. The topics ranged from the changing landscape of immigrants and refugees, to transportation. The Transportation Issues Café was the only café that was not hosted by an OTOC action team. Sarah Johnson and Angie Eikenberry, from Mode Shift Omaha, informed us on how we can benefit individually and as a community from embracing alternative transportation options.

Follow OTOC and IPL on Facebook to see pictures and recaps of these events, and to find out about future events of a similar nature. Join us as we learn and teach, so that we can be agents of positive change in our communities.


The Following OTOC Action Teams hosted events

  • Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization
  • Pay Day Lending
  • Immigration and Refugee
  • Mexican Bingo (La Loteria)
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Transportation (Hosted by Mode Shift Omaha)