OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Kimara Snipes knows Omaha.
And she knows people in every part of it, including community activists and those leading the Omaha Police Department.
She's also the only Democrat in the field that has any experience in elected office, serving on the OPS School Board.
She’s looking to use those relationships, built over a lifetime to bring change to the city.
“I’m a go-to person. When somebody wants something solved, they will call Kimara and say who can I talk to and I appreciate being able to do that and I want to bring that with me to city hall,” said Snipes.
Snipes is the only person running for mayor that has served in elected office.
One major plank in her platform is bringing jobs, ideally good-paying new jobs to North and South Omaha, which are lower income than the rest of the city on average.
“You know there are pockets of zip codes that fluctuate much higher than that 3.2 percent. And regardless if the unemployment rate for African-Americans has gone down, there’s still a disparity and that needs to be addressed,” said Snipes.
She also says Omaha isn’t connected; people are confined to the part of the city in which they live.
She said she seeks to bring together neighborhood alliances for tough conversations with the goal of linking the entire city and bringing Omaha into the twenty-first century.
“It’s getting the right people at the table to have these conversations. And that’s just not something I’ve seen done,” said Snipes.
She also believes, especially after the 2020 protests, that there is a lack of trust in the Omaha Police Department.
To change it, she wants to lead the citizen review board that monitors alleged police misconduct, while also bringing in more mental health workers to help during a crisis.
“By having someone from the mental health community show up at stops. And when you look at the budget it’s not even taking a significant amount out. So we have to practice innovation and intellectual curiosity,” said Snipes.
If elected, Snipes would be the first black woman to ever serve as mayor.
She said she doesn’t want people to vote for or against her because she’s a black woman, but if she got into the mayor’s office it would send a strong message.
“Looking at somebody and knowing they can do this, I want someone to look at me and know, that they can live in poverty and rise from that,” said Snipes. “I think especially after last year, a lot of young people needed it. So I think it’s a beautiful thing.”