Robin Richards is a sixth generation resident of District 12, and has been a state employee as an accountant and on the Ralston Public School’s Board of Education. She states that she was called by members of both the Democratic and Republican party and encouraged to run. She recently passed a bond levy for the Ralston Public School district that upgraded elementary schools to provide secure entry and technology updates. She is passionate about education and wants to make funding a priority.
Robin states that she frequently uses public services and programs, and that she has been able to see and appreciate how state agencies work together as a state employee. She states she can’t choose the most important public service, as all of them are important. She would like to see infrastructure improved across the state, and wants to improve the disparity between rural and urban areas. She states that she wants to ensure that fundamental services are where funding goes first.
Robin states that she will work to ensure public services are fully funded, and that agencies shouldn’t have to beg for funds.
When asked how federal infrastructure funding should be allocated, she emphasized the importance of ensuring citizens have access to clean water and electricity. Moreover, she states that parts of Omaha still have wooden pipes, and that infrastructure is severely lacking.
Robin states that she opposes privatization of public services, but that private/public partnerships can be extremely beneficial, such as the Johnny Carson Endowment for the Arts.
She supports the right of Nebraska State Employees to unionize, however, she states that she was not a part of the Nebraska Association of Public Employees when she was a state employee. She also supports state employee wages being equal to or greater than inflation, as well as access to paid parental leave.
To fill vacancies and end staff turnover, Robin states that Nebraska must invest in workers, and improve benefits and pay. She states that working families shouldn’t have to “make sacrifices for quality lives.”
Robin supports the election of committee chairs by secret ballot, and the current rules for the filibuster, although she states that the filibuster should not be used regularly.
When asked what differentiates her from her opponent, Robin cites her record on the school board. She states that her opponent, who serves on the same school board, voted against her efforts to improve school safety. She states that she is here for the kids, and while her opponent is focused on “correcting his own mistakes,” she is looking toward the future.
Merve Riepe did not respond to our invitation for an interview.