Kimara Z. Snipe is a community servant. In addition to her work as a Youth Services Specialist for the Omaha Public library she serves on the Omaha Public School Board and is the current President of the South Omaha Neighborhood Alliance (SONA). She will also be our guest this Friday, July 17th at 8 a.m. for our monthly Coffee Chat. We will be talking about South Omaha and the work SONA is doing. We asked her five questions.
1. What are the areas and issues covered by SONA?
The mission of the organization is to enhance South Omaha Neighborhoods through communication, collaboration, empowerment and promoting positive perceptions. That being said, we focus on issues that affect the quality of living in different neighborhoods, which varies even within South Omaha. Our areas and issues range from addressing gang violence and graffiti, to acting as a liaison between our neighborhood members and the city and state governments. We have addressed issues such as violence, transportation, graffiti, police and community relations and more.
2. What is a transportation project or proposal you would consider a success in South Omaha?
This is a great question. I never want to speak for the entirety of SONA. I think that transportation is something that leaves a lot to be desired in both North and South Omaha.
3. What is a specific transportation challenge facing South Omaha neighborhoods?
This answer varies. I’ve had numerous complaints from people who live within the RE/CAP (racially and/or ethnically concentrated areas of poverty) that the elimination of bus lines has caused numerous issues. I would say that public transit is definitely an issue and needs major adjustments. I would also say we lack alternative modes of transportation. South Omaha is full of walkers – they need safe walkways and ways to bike and get around. South Omaha currently has 2.5 cars per home, this also causes major parking issues which can often lead to penalties, which are disproportionate for people of color as it is.
4. How can people get involved with SONA?
I’m so glad you asked. The first thing I would suggest is to sign up for our email list. This way they can receive our meeting invites and other news. We meet (currently virtually) every 1st Thursday of the Month at 7:00 PM. Secondly, I would suggest that any person living in Omaha find out if they have a neighborhood association and join. If they don’t have one, start one and I’m happy to help them get started. You can verify if you have a n.a. by checking the Mayors website. Third, reach out to me. I’m happy to meet up virtually or at a park practicing social distancing to explain the benefits of membership.
5. If you could magically change one thing in Omaha with regard to transportation what would it be?
I would invest in multiple modes of transportation.