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National campaign, "I Choose Love," kicks off in Omaha; State and Civic leaders sign the pledge

Pete Ricketts was the first governor to take the pledge
Posted at 11:37 AM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 12:37:02-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Sunday, Governor Pete Ricketts, Omaha Fire Chief Dan Olsen, Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer, along with other community members signed, a proclamation to “Choose Love.”

Omaha is the first city in what will soon become a nationwide campaign, which aims at helping our community heal while seeking justice.

"For is this not where we find our cities, where we find our communities, where we find our country; stuck in the muck and mire of division, distrust, racial tension, inequity," said Ellis Ray Leary, Keynote speaker.

I Choose Love is a campaign hoping to change the current state of tension among one another.

Campaign leaders called upon our government leaders to take the pledge to choose love. They feel that the violence we are seeing in the streets is a direct reflection of the chaos going on in our government.

"This is not a political thing, it's a people thing, it's a heart thing, it's a love thing. So, if we can change the leadership's mindset, then the streets will change," said Pee Wee Harrison, campaign organizer.

Pete Ricketts was the first governor to take the pledge.

"We all make mistakes. We have to come together and treat each other charitably and look for common ground if we are going to move together as a nation. That's why I am a part of this I Choose Love campaign because we are all Americans. We are all on the same team. We all have to move together to fulfill the promise of this great nation," Ricketts said.

"It may seem like a simple concept, but when these simple concepts get in your head and in your brain, get in your heart. That's how the world can start to change," said Schmaderer.

Former Harlem Globetrotter Pee Wee Harrison brought this campaign to life. Having Omaha as the first city to start this change was no coincidence.

"It was so perfect for it to happen in Omaha, Nebraska. Omaha being the heartland, um, Sacred Heart School that's where I went to school at, elementary school. It's the love month, the heart month, and in order for people to change their minds, their hearts have to change," said Harrison.

Statues of Responsibility were given to each leader in our city. There will also be a six-foot-tall Statue of Responsibility donated to the State of Nebraska by Gary and Lisa Price, which will serve as the anchor of this thought. This campaign aims to have leaders in every state sign this proclamation of love.

"The goal is to finish at the Washington Monument on the 4th of July with the I Choose Love concert and thousands and thousands of people there and get the people in D.C. to sign the proclamation as well. Maybe we can get the president to sign it," Harrison said.