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About the PSC

What is the Nebraska Public Service Commission?

The Nebraska Public Service Commission is a statewide executive body, comprised of five elected Commissioners serving six-year terms.

Originally created by the Legislature in 1885 to regulate railroads, today the Commission regulates telecommunications carriers, natural gas utilities, major oil pipelines, railroad safety, household goods movers and passenger carriers, grain warehouses and dealers, construction of manufactured and modular homes and recreational vehicles, high voltage electric transmission lines, and private water company rates. The Commission also oversees and administers the Nebraska Universal Service Fund, the Enhanced Wireless 911 Fund, the Nebraska Statewide Telehealth Network and the Nebraska Telecommunications Relay System Fund.

 

Why should we care?

The Nebraska Public Service Commission regulates a wide range of things that have an impact on our everyday lives. Every time you turn on a light, turn up your thermostat, go online, answer your phone, eat a meal, take a taxi, fill up for gas or call 911, the Commission plays a role to ensure these services are provided fairly, safely and affordably.

The Commission serves as your advocate regarding aspects of the telecommunication, transportation, healthcare, energy and agricultural industries.  

The Nebraska Universal Service Fund administers programs to ensure that all Nebraskans have access to quality telecommunications and information services at affordable and comparable rates. The Commission’s other programs provide support to help ensure that the costs and availability of telecommunications and information services are reasonably comparable between rural and urban areas. It provides grants to build towers and extend to unserved and underserved areas.

The Commission provides funding for telehealth services to connect rural and critical access hospitals to urban hub hospitals to expand the availability of healthcare services to rural communities as well as provide access to telecommunications services and equipment for individuals who are hearing, speech or visually impaired.

Why am I running?

I am passionate about public service. The Nebraska Public Service Commission is an opportunity to serve the people of Omaha and Nebraska in a meaningful and important way.  The Commission impacts people’s day-to-day lives, touching on many aspects of modern life. While technically a partisan position, the issues and policies it deals with are universal and bridge the divide between our parties.

Secondly, this position provides a platform to do more in the community.  I believe that we need to move our politics into a post-partisan era, bringing people of all political and social stripes together to solve issues facing our community and take advantage of opportunities to advance our city and state. I believe in policies that are fiscally responsible and socially progressive.

My goals for the Public Service Commission include:

  1. Next generation 911 service
  2. Affordable transportation options
  3. Development of a smart grid
  4. Universal wi-fi and broadband services
  5. Stronger consumer protection from unethical companies

What's next?

Our first task as a campaign is to raise awareness about the Nebraska Public Service Commission and share our vision for where we would like to take it.

We need your help. And, you can help in many ways, large and small:

  • If you haven't registered to vote, please register today. Your voice matters. If it's been awhile since you've last voted, now might be a good time to check your polling location. The primary election is Tuesday, May 13th. And if we are fortunate to win the primary and advance to the general election, we will be on the ballot again on Tuesday, November 4th.
  • If you'd like to volunteer with our campaign, we'd love to have you on board. Send us your contact info, and we'll get in touch.
  • Campaigns take funding and this will be a competitive race. If you'd like to make a donation to the campaign, every dollar can make a difference.
  • We believe that this will be an important election and that this position can have a real and meaningful impact on the lives of all Nebraskans. Strike up a conversation with a friend about it, attend a campaign event, talk about it on Facebook. Conversation can be one of the most powerful engines of an informed democracy.

Candidate Bio:

Jim is a lifelong Omahan whose career and volunteer work has been dedicated to building and strengthening communities, bridging partisan divides, and growing our local and state economies. 

In 2003, Jim directed the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership (GO!), and raised $15 million towards Omaha Chamber of Commerce efforts to attract more business, jobs and investment to the Omaha community.

In 2006 and 2008, Jim was nominated as the Democratic candidate for Nebraska’s Second Congressional District House seat, coming within 4 points of winning the seat in 2008.  

Previously, Jim worked at the Steier Group, a national consulting and fund-raising firm for non-profit organizations, helping numerous schools, churches and other not-for-profit groups raise over $5 million toward their causes. 
Jim has served on numerous boards and committees including the Siena Francis House, the Heart Ministry Center and the Black Student Catholic Scholarship Fund.  Jim is a founding member of VOICE Omaha, a grassroots, non-partisan community engagement organization and is a member of the Whiteclay Awareness Committee and Black Men United.   
Jim received his Juris Doctor in 2000 from Creighton University’s School of Law and completed undergraduate work at Creighton University as well, where he served as President of the student body.

Jim is currently a practicing attorney.