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Street & museum named after Ernie Chambers in North Omaha

Posted at 11:50 AM, Oct 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-30 12:50:52-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — If you’re driving down Florence Blvd, right off Ames St. that street now has a new name after a dedication ceremony on Friday for longtime North Omaha Senator Ernie Chambers.

“I wanted to do something for my father, so he could see it through his own eyes,” said Gayla Lee-Chambers, daughter of Ernie.

Ernie Chambers, who fought for North Omaha for 44 years in the Nebraska Legislature, now has a street in North Omaha in his honor.

“I’m not much on ceremonies, accommodations or any of that,” said Ernie Chambers.

While Chambers was reluctant, it was something his daughter Gayla Lee-Chambers had been seeking for a while.

“These emotions of happiness, of happiness,” said Lee-Chambers. “This sign should have been done many, many years ago.”

That was not the only thing dedicated to Chambers, who fought for decades for the Black community, against the death penalty and for collegiate student-athletes to be paid.

An arts, humanities and history museum named after Chambers was unveiled on Friday.

“I don’t want to try and enclose it with words because I don’t even know what all it’s going to be, but it’s not going to be a failure for sure,” said Chambers.

Chambers, making a rare appearance with television cameras, said he was happy to be there because it was something that made his daughter, Gayla happy.

“This will all be forgotten before the day is over. It will not mean anything, but the good you do to help individuals may mean the world to them and that we’ll find out is going to mean a lot to you,” said Chambers.

The day brought North Omaha leaders, state senators, activists and City Councilmember Juanita Johnson; she hopes the area around the museum will be revitalized, and decades from now, people will recall Chambers' work.

“People will remember the legacy, they will remember the laws that he provided in this district all for the benefit of inclusion, diversity,” said Chambers.

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