Senator Rob Clements (Incumbent)
Senator Rob Clements declined our invitation for an interview, but stated, if elected, his door will be open to discuss NAPE’s priorities in the future.
Sarah Slattery has branded herself as the “Lunch Lady for Legislature.” She is a native of Cass County, where her family owns and operates a vineyard. Sarah is trained as a professional chef, and is dedicated to feeding her community, especially the kids. In her years in the service industry and in public education, she has seen firsthand the effect that free school lunches have on working families, and she wants to bring back that program in order to provide for the children of Nebraska. She sees the legislature as an opportunity to continue her career in the service industry, and wants more representation for school employees in the Unicameral.
The public services she uses most include services such as public roads and licensure renewal at the DMV. She states that one “can’t do anything in this state that isn’t affected by state employees.” As a single mother of a child with a disabled father, she has often utilized the Department of Health and Human Services for support, and states that it was a “life-saving” service for her family. Moreover, Sarah’s father is a public employee, having served as the Cass County Public Defender. Sarah also states that her district contains some of the “best state parks in the state.”
When asked what public services she would like to see added to or expanded upon, Slattery stated that she was an advocate for expanding broadband internet access into rural areas. She emphasized that there are many spots between Lincoln and Omaha that lack access to broadband, which leads to the suffering of both business and education within those regions. Moreover, she states access to broadband could help to attract younger generations to more rural areas. She would also like to see progress in the mandatory sentencing policies, as well as the corrections system as a whole.
Regarding federal infrastructure grants, she believes that broadband should be prioritized. She also states that many communities in her district lack paved roads and parks. She believes that the funds should be invested into communities to make them viable.
Sarah opposes privatization of public services, and she states that it’s not in the best interest of the state. Instead, she states that Nebraska must fund and invest properly, especially in the education sector, as well as pay public employees higher wages to improve retention. Moreover, she states that privatization disallows transparency, and can lead to shady happenings behind closed doors, as what happened with St. Frances Ministries.
When asked her opinion on public/private partnerships, she stated that they could work if they have proper oversight and can be held accountable.
Sarah supports the right of Nebraska State Employees to unionize and collectively bargain, and says that “everyone should be able to unionize.”
Sarah supports ensuring state employee wages are equal to or greater than inflation, and she supports paid parental leave.
In order to end staff turnover in state agencies, Sarah states that employees must be paid a livable wage and offered good benefits. She says, “if you work 40 hours a week, you should not be living anywhere near the poverty level,” and that jobs can be filled if pay is competitive. Moreover, she believes that we should incentivize people to move to Nebraska through upholding people’s rights and making the state welcoming for all communities.
When asked her opinion on legislative procedure, Sarah states that she supports the election of committee chairs through secret ballot, and she supports the current filibuster rules.
Sarah states that she is the best candidate for her district because she has been working in the service industry for her entire adult life, and views Nebraska Legislature as a service position. She consistently donates and gives back to her community, through volunteerism, donating blood, and more. She believes that she is the best representative of the people who live in her district, and wants to fight for working families. Moreover, she admires the nonpartisanship of the Unicameral, and would like to promote collaboration.