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2nd Congressional district Democratic debate preview: Kara Eastman

Nebraskans will go to the polls May 15
Posted at 7:28 PM, Apr 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-24 07:50:27-04

Kara Eastman wants to bring a fresh perspective to the race as a political newcomer. 

Eastman moved to Omaha in 2006, when her husband got a job at Creighton University. Since then, she's been working at nonprofits and says the experience of balancing budgets and problem solving would help her in Washington. Eastman started the nonprofit Healthy Kids Alliance and is on the Metro Community College Board

Now, she hopes to represent the second district in Washington. 

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"It's been a lot of fun so far, we're having a great time," she said. "I love that fact that we get to go out and talk to people every day, and more importantly, listen to their concerns."

On healthcare: Eastman said she's running because of her mother who was battling her fifth bout with cancer and the high cost of healthcare and prescription drugs were insurmountable.

Eastman believes healthcare is a right. 

"It occurred to me at that point that when were hearing about the repealing or replacing of the Affordable Care Act, that we weren't talking about people, and the impact that these policies have on actual people," she said. 

As a result of her involvement with a community college, Eastman supports debt-free tuition, "I believe that our student debt is a huge issue in this country and we see finances as a barrier to certain students wanting who still want to go to metro who still want to go to a community college and yet the financial barriers are still there". 

On DACA, Eastman supports a pathway to citizenship.

"We need to protect the DREAMERS and we need to pass a clean dream act and stop using these kids as political playing cards."

The major piece of legislation to come out of Washington in the past couple years is the tax reform package which Eastman said she would have voted against it, "What we have done is given out corporate welfare and it's going to cripple our economy and it's increasing our debt, it's increasing the deficit."

While her primary opponent Brad Ashford has experience in Washington D.C., touting his bi-partisanship, Eastman said she's the only life-long Democrat in the race. 

"I think there's a difference between bi-partisanship and just voting with the other side, and what we saw from my primary opponent was that the majority of his votes in Congress were with the Republican party, we need someone right now who will stand up for Democrats and we don't need another Republican in office because we have that already."

Other topics

How does working in nonprofits help being a Congresswoman? "I've worked in a lot of different things and my reputation is in solving problems and getting things done and I worked in policy, I've raised money."

On the environment: "Climate change is the number one moral issue facing our kids."

On equal pay for women: "Especially for women who are facing discrimination or harassment, and finding that other people are surrounding them and saying we're going to support you and number one making sure you have access to the same rights as everybody else."

On current Congressman Don Bacon?: "I believe that our current Congressperson is not representing the values of the people of the district."

On the nationwide 'blue wave': "I think it is giving us hope and you're seeing a lot of enthusiasm from a lot of different kinds of groups popping up to either be part of the resistance or just champions for change and I'm excited to be a part of that."