Kara Eastman


this is our hearts and they really need you to do are you looking at me hi everyone this is kelly with two broads talking politics i am talking today with the car eastman who is running for congress in twenty twenty in nebraska second district akara hi thanks for having me thanks so much for joining me so i'd love to start if you could just introduce yourself a little toes a little bit about yourself in in while you're running for congress sure well i'm born and raised in the midwest i've been living in omaha for about thirteen years my background is in social work and really a starting and growing nonprofit organizations i've been in the nonprofit sector for about twenty years i ran a children's environmental health organization in omaha that i helped the start in two thousand and six for thirteen years and then in twenty fourteen i ran corby metropolitan community college board of governors of an elected position park community college and won a position there and so then in twenty seventeen i made the decision to run for congress because of my mother's own healthcare bills and she was prescribed a prescription that was outrageously expensive and ended up not being able to afford it so i decided to run for congress men and then in twenty eighteen you know one day primary against a former congress person who was he really only democratic incumbent tobin's in congress and twenty sixteen and beat him by three point three percent who is not necessarily slated to beat him but did and then lost the election in twenty eighteen to be incumbent republican a just by one point nine percent so immediately after the election had a bunch of conversations and looks at the datta and just said i gotta do it one more time so i made the decision center on again and i haven't looked back all right so this district is an actual swing district it actually does seem to go both ways i it's i think raider does are plus four right now but that's pretty close to tell us a little bit about the district in in what you're hearing from the people on the ground there sure well it's it's an interesting district we gave an electoral college vote to obama in two thousand and eight did not do that in two thousand twelve so we we split are electoral college vote and as i mentioned there was eighty a democrat who wind in twenty fourteen and twenty sixteen prior that we had a republican i'm holding the seat first duty to for about twelve years i the district itself self is a you know it's urban suburban at ninety eight percent urban suburban and i think that's something that people don't necessarily know about nebraska i'm in the twenty eighteen election i one douglas county where omaha is and a but lost stay part of the county to the south of us that sarpi county and which is much more heavily republican district but what we're seeing is a real shift in the culture especially in omaha omaha is twelve percent african american in twelve percent latino we have the largest south sudanese population at five south sudan feel like we have a huge refugee population were in urban district and we're seeing of a cultural shift in the way that people vote and i think they were gonna keep seeing that the more the population grows more we have younger people moving into the city the more that are lgbtq i a community expand an end we have issues just like any other urban area we have substandard housing i'm too many people living in poverty and you know fewer african americans graduating from high school in any other large city in the country so we have real issues that need to be tackled by kennedy gonna stand up for them you mentioned you weren't necessarily predicted to win and they primary in twenty eighteen and i remember it being a you know somewhat surprising made national news you're fairly progressive and i think that's that's part of the the main conversation democrats are having right now the the tension in the challenges lynch's we think about congressional races in the presidential race is you know how how progressive democrats should be moderate they should be talk some about your your values you're issues and in why you think that that you had success as a certainly progressive candidate sure what the issue that i have been talking about since i started running in twenty seventeen are widely supported by the majority of americans and most people saver universal background checks on on guns example i mean at ninety percent of republicans and democrats a minimum wage is very popular polls at about sixty percent most people would agree that the wealthy are giving too many handouts in this country in that we need to level the playing field so and and obviously we have to do something about healthcare and under a lot of great debate happening right now i mean last cycle a the debates around medicare for all and single payer healthcare and fixing the affordable care act and then on the republican side just over peeling of the ac i with no replacement insight on you know those were the conversations were just getting started and now were having robust conversation about it which i think is really exciting i think it's great that the democratic credit party is moving back to be the party of ideas whereas it seems that the republican party is the guide is the party of of what i can't even i mean i can't say it without using things like sexism racism homophobia so i'm excited to be running at a time where were able to have these conversations on but i'm also listening to people in the district and hearing their concerns about the direction of the country is moving and most people are telling me that they feel like country of moving in the wrong direction that we need their readership the turnout in twenty eight teen in your district to was a higher than normal for a midterm year it was much closer to a presidential election year do you think that that high turnout is going to continue new in twenty twenty did you get the sense from people that that they were really excited devote or or anxious devote a that that voting was becoming something people were thinking much more about yeah absolutely i mean when you when you were very proud are we not two hundred thousand doors and the district and so we know that that helped to increase turnout and we heard from a lot of people down if they were excited to go out and vote which is not necessarily something you hear people say and so this time i mean it's funny even the day after the election i had people coming up to me saying oh i didn't vote because i just thought you had it so but all you know but although redux time if you read again so i do think that we will see a un a more significant increase in turn out i think people are a bit more energized and and one of the things that were working on is 'em is talking to groups nationally that are focused on voter turnout and making sure that were going into the parts of are city where people don't traditionally vote because they just they must have with the process when they feel like their vote doesn't matter and they feel like it doesn't matter who rep who's in that office because they don't think anything will change the were going out and having those conversations you are among the we love when moms run for office can you talk about what what being a mom has has brought to you're you're worldview should to the kind of politician that your show i have a a a i'm gonna say seventeen eighteen year old daughter she just turned eighteen then she's about to go to college in the fall and she's leaving nebraska's 'cause she's going to southern california actually going to my alma mater pitzer college you know what i think back to when i had her and the most significant conversation at my husband and i had about her was what we're gonna do with her we were both working parents and my husband's in academia so he has a little bit more flexibility but it's not you know at that time i you know i've been working a nonprofit and didn't necessarily have a a flexible work from home or an end not with the conversation that we kept having with how he's going to be able to stay home rays are kid afford childcare what were the you know weighing do just one of us quit a job do we even get a job knowing that all of the money that one of us is making would be going for a day terribly tests of academics and social workers we don't necessarily make a ton of money and and i think that is a significant issue that so many people face and as more and more women 'em work we obviously they do that's one of the issues that i think we need to be tackling it so challenging for working parents and and i saw this in my own nonprofit we had a woman in the diet who worked at organization organization who is pregnant and i actually had her create are family medical leave policy with the board because i thought she's gonna be more invested in this and anybody else at the time and that's one of the things that we just need to make sure that were that were creating policies that work for families these teddy's instead of moving backwards and and you know living as if it's not the the fact that you know both women and men parents work v republican incumbent in near district is not particularly friendly to climate change policies did you talk about the way the climate change is is affecting nebraska and the kinds of things you would like to see the federal government doing yeah absolutely i mean i think you know climate change is is the number one moral issue that are kids are facing right now have or just leaving this for them to deal with and and we have to do something about it in nebraska we've been impacted significantly by flooding and it's really hurt are farming community and i think that despite the fact that this district is urban district will we rely heavily on agriculture for our food supply one in four jobs in her state are related to our agricultural economy and and if we don't do something about this and we don't take some bold steps you know i don't think there's anything else for us to be talking about like we are we are seeing changes obviously across the planet but in particular in this district that are impacting people in real ways and i've spent a lot of time working in the district on energy efficiency in homes and thinks it that is one way and that's all part of a of an economic development plan that actually impacts climate change but also has has david they impact on people so when they see that their utility bills are going down because especially for people living in poverty they're paying so much more of a percentage of their income on their utility bills then wealthier people that's when they you get the buy in and so we need to be focusing pissing on local jobs but the tie economic development on climate change together and i think you know that's a win win where if we go in and we replace windows and we increase efficiency and people's homes again all those jobs are local right you can't outsource that other countries and we fix people's time which results in increasing the tax base with those community decreased utility bills in a significant way of actually impacting people's carbon footprint which is really important i believe we also need to be investing heavily in renewables and i have some bold plans to get their main overseeing the presidential candidates to but nebraska could be a champion for windows and solar and the end we need to be investing in those ways i've also been fairly outspoken about being against the keystone pipeline because i've seen environmental impact that we've had here in nebraska where at omaha is actually the largest residential superfund site in the nation because of lead contamination shen and i worry about the environmental impact that on things like pipelines having communities you mentioned that it's you're community has a refugee population could you talk about the ways that the the trump administration station policies are affecting the people in your community in the ways that you would like congress to to stand up to that sort of thing sure well well first i mean immediately you know when trump got elected in in parts of the muslim ban i mean people here are afraid an angry as they should be and we need policies do not discriminate against people have one cultural one religion when it comes to immigration you know what we've seen is is now we've had ice raids in nebraska and were seen people who have lived here the whole live who are afraid people who are afraid to go out and vote it's which is really scary but also just told their live her fear of having their families further torn apart and so it's it's the the the the policies that this administration has enacted unsupported are some of the most immoral and despicable things but i think as americans we've seen in our own country and it's time for us to stand up against them and make sure that we are creating policies that work it's a the republicans have commandeered this whole idea that democrats are against border security which is not true but we have have to invest in people we have to invest in smart technology and we have to reform are system so that we give dreamers a pathway to citizenship and so that people can come to this country seeking refuge because that's what america was built on are there lessons that you think you've learned from you're you're previous run the that will help you this time around as you're as you're running again for congress he had quite a few it's funny whenever whenever yelled organizers denies there's a says the last time the trial run the race we learned we learned a lot but we learned a lot about are messaging we learned a lot about are strategy you know in in are sealed effort 'em we learned you know this time we know we have some data that we can go back to we have ideas of people who voted for me we have we know what what concerns people have and we also know that we need to do and even better job of going out and talking to people and making sure that they know who i am and what i stand for because if you look at the last election the republicans spent one point two million dollars attacking me attacking me personally attacking me professionally attacking even my daughter and a democratic groups spent about thirty seven thousand dollars pointing out the bad voting record which a you know the incumbent had so that discrepancy in spending was huge and so this time we know that we need people come in and help bus point out incumbents horrible voting rights are now that he's in the minority i mean his recor he's still aligning himself ninety five point three percent of the time with donald trump and the republicans and he's simply just not representing this district he claims to be bipartisan bipartisan is actually working west colleague not just voting with their own party all the time and and basically you know compromises and he talks about compromise but for him compromising values and i'm i'm not and i knew that i i believe that we need to work together but right now we can't have somebody get in there and difficult what the republicans all the time because some of those policies are significantly harming people in this country i know the nebraska doesn't usually get a whole lot of attention in need presidential elections with the possible exception of obama targeting the the second district but do you think their presidential candidate should be spending time in nebraska do you think that the the people in nebraska want to to feel like they're they're hurt by those kennedy's i do absolutely i think that we've had maybe two visits from presidential candidates this time and and i imagine will be more especially as things get closer and people look at that one electoral college votes at this district and but but i think nebraska has been overlooked in general by by the party and by you know candidates are running for president and so i it's time for people to start taking seriously were in incredible state with rich resources and a and we do things you know maybe maybe to the beat of are owned draw which is a great thing about nebraska and so i hope that more candidates come here and actually talk to us i think sometimes they go over across the river council bluffs and thinks that's enough but we actually want people to come here and and see what's going on here because there's a lot of amazing things happening on the killer and omaha our i living in tech companies coming here incredible advancements when it comes to a you know some of the ways that we do think there's a city and a lot more democrats seven people give credit for people would like to help out you're campaign winter some ways they can do that well we we're always looking for people especially locally common knock doors with a walk and parade with us make phone calls we've got some interesting field strategies this time i feel director at how they might have been ashley organizing and academy adamy her volunteers the train them in not just working on the campaign but also just in community organizing so we have opportunities there as well and we wanna start bringing are canvassing out to neighborhoods rather than having people come to us and so people can always get bob locally obviously candidates like meeting need donations i do not take corporate pack money so i rely on those small dollar donations and people can donate it it's been for congress dot com and even just following up on on wide on social media yeah it's really helpful and spreading the work that other you know a progressive democrat running in nebraska wherever real shot at winning love it all right we'll put links to our website and you're social media up on her website so people can find you

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