Editor's Note: This is part of a series of blog posts by Nebraska's term-limited senators reflecting on their time in the Nebraska Legislature. We thank them for their dedication and service to Nebraska. In this post, Senator Kathy Campbell looks back over her eight years representing District 25.
I made it a point to begin each Legislative day by entering the Chamber and walking down the center aisle as a reminder of the honor and privilege it is to serve. One of the most enduring lessons learned as a Senator is to protect, preserve and cherish the unique institution of our one-house, non-partisan unicameral. A place where the voices of Nebraskans can be heard—especially voices articulating the needs of children.
Having spent nearly 35 years advocating for children’s issues, it was the emphasis of my agenda during my Legislative career. Certainly some of the most memorable moments were connected to children’s legislation—retaining pre-natal care for undocumented women, addressing the child welfare privatization failure, creating the Step up to Quality program for early childhood development centers, increasing the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) maximum payment and encouraging “normalcy” for our foster care youth. All of this accomplished through partnerships with senatorial colleagues and Nebraska advocacy organizations. Their reach throughout Nebraska brought citizens’ support and advocacy as the critical difference in passing legislation.
The past eight years have been an incredible experience. It is difficult to articulate how grateful I am to have been a part of the public policy discussions and decisions shaping our future in Nebraska. As a freshman senator you do not fully appreciate the responsibility vested in the 49 members nor how meaningful the work is. By far, the most memorable are the relationships of colleagues and staff as well as the countless Nebraskans who testified, wrote or visited with me. I once read, “… our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” Certainly lessons learned as a senator enriched my life’s journey and are never to be forgotten.
Senator Kathy Campbell