Celebrating Veterans. All across America we prepare to celebrate our Veterans on November 11, 2019.

Veterans Day in the United States began in 1921, in a memorial involving burial of an unknown World War I American soldier in Arlington National Ceremony. Similar ceremonies had previously taken place in England and France, where an unknown soldier was buried in each nation’s highest place of honor. Each took place on November 11, the anniversary of the end of World War I fighting.

The day became known as “Armistice Day,” officially receiving its name through Congressional resolution and became a national holiday by similar Congressional action. After WWII, where 407,000 Americans died in service, the singular focus of Armistice Day changed to Honor All Veterans, and In 1954, Congress passed the bill that President Eisenhower signed proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day. https://www.va.gov/opa/publications/celebrate/vetday.pdf

Here, in Legislative District 17, I wish to extend my personal and most heartfelt appreciation to all who have served and who continue to serve. And, I am not the only one. There are celebrations of gratitude and recognition taking place throughout the district through this month. One such event taking place on November 8, 2019, is the proclamation of Freedom Park Day by the Mayor of South Sioux City. As you may recall, Freedom Park is the home of the Vietnam Veterans’ half-scale Memorial Wall. I will also have opportunity to speak at the Veterans’ Day celebration at the Hy-Vee in South Sioux City on Monday. If you have the time, please try to attend one of these or other celebrations in the District, or wherever you might find yourself.

Committee Hearings: In other happenings in Legislative District 17, the Legislature’s Urban Affairs Committee held public hearings October 22, 2019 as part of its inquiry into the regulation of solar energy and cross-border issues and/or concerns for municipalities sharing a border with other states. The Committee also held hearings in other parts of the state and I appreciate the Committee offering the opportunity for participation by those municipalities sharing borders in the Northeast part of the state.

Nebraska Supreme Court: I was delighted to attend oral arguments in front of the NEBRASKA SUPREME COURT, in the South Sioux City Middle School Auditorium on Friday November 1, 2019. The Court regularly holds oral arguments at High Schools and Law Schools throughout the state as part of an effort by the Court and the legal community to raise awareness of the processes and importance of the Court’s role in our state and society. After oral arguments, the Court took questions—not about the cases being argued of course, but questions from attendees about the Court’s processes in scheduling, hearing, and deciding cases before it. We are fortunate in Nebraska to have a Court that engages community members across the state.

On Friday, November 1, 2019, the Rural Broadband Task Force created by LB 994 in the 2018 Legislative session released its report and recommendations. They will be discussed at the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee hearing in Lincoln on LR 166 at 1:00 p.m. on December 4, 2019. Rural broadband has been a priority for me, with discussions and various meetings taking place during last session and over the interim. I look forward to the upcoming hearing and on sharing thoughts with constituents about the topic and the meeting contents.

As always, it is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage you to contact me and I look forward to hearing from you. You can reach me by phone at 402-471-2716 or by email at jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov

In other news

When a 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson sat down in a rented room in the heat of the Philadelphia summer to write the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution had already begun. On one level, Jefferson was simply putting the reasons for independence into words. The first shot had bee…

It was good to have my office opened and fully staffed this past Wednesday. We were able to meet with representatives from First Five Nebraska, University of Nebraska, and the Chamber of Commerce to discuss their focus and ideas as we move forward into the remaining 17 days of the 2020 Legis…

Since 1949, the month of May has marked Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States. This campaign aims to draw public attention to the sobering fact that in any given year, one in five Americans will suffer from mental illness. Perhaps even more strikingly, more than 50 percent of us…

This past week was one of some good news for the nation and for Nebraska, even in the midst of civil unrest. Riots and civil unrest dominated the media, mostly drowning out the good news that as the economy in many states begins to reopen, jobless claims are down and there is reason for opti…

Like so many Nebraskans, I am horrified by the tragedy in Minneapolis, the killing of George Floyd — and I am angry. I am also saddened that so many of our citizens still lead lives of terror and trepidation based on the color of their skin, despite decades of hard fought change. That fear m…

The Legislature has been called by the Speaker to reconvene on Monday July 20, 2020.

As the school year draws to a close, I am thinking about all of the Nebraskans who are graduating this month. Even in the midst of COVID-19, this time of year is cause for celebration. Whether you are finishing high school, college, graduate school, or a vocational program, graduation marks …