John Ewing has a long standing history with UNO. Ewing and his wife, Viv, both received their bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UNO.
But Ewing’s UNO connection doesn’t stop there. He has also been a faculty member in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service.
After spending over 25 years with the Omaha police department and a run as Douglas County treasurer, the UNO alum is running against Lee Terry for Nebraska’s 2nd District House seat.
Ewing visited UNO’s campus earlier this semester to talk to students in classes taught by Richard Fellman and Abbie Syrek.
In those classes, Ewing talked mainly about education.
“I’m a strong proponent of education and making sure every young person who wants to go to school, whether it’s trade school, community college or a four-year college, can,” Ewing said.
Ewing said he is running because he believes Congress has let down the American people. Congress hasn’t produced a balanced budget or passed a comprehensive jobs bill to put Americans back to work, Ewing said.
“There’s nothing keeping them from doing their job except their own partisanship,” Ewing said.
Ewing faults Congress for not strengthening Social Security and Medicare programs.
“When you and my daughters are ready to retire, Social Security and Medicare should be there,” Ewing said. “It’s up to the leaders of today to make the hard decisions to make sure it is.”
Congress should make sure the educational system works to educate students for the jobs of today and tomorrow, Ewing said. It should also be affordable.
“We also need to look at continuing education and making sure people have the training they need to stay employable,” Ewing said. “It’s not enough anymore to get your education and then think you’re not going to need education in the future, as well.”
Ewing wants a closer relationship with the education system and businesses. By working together, they can train Americans for available jobs.
Ewing believes the Affordable Healthcare Act has good parts, like young people staying on their parents’ insurance until they are 26 and eliminating discrimination.
The bill would insure up to 30 million Americans who otherwise would be uninsured, Ewing said.
“There’s a lot of great things,” Ewing said. “Now, one of the things I say we need is to make sure we go back and look at the law and try to remove any unintended consequences.”
One part of the healthcare bill addresses birth control.
“The pill has been part of American society for 50 or 60 years and now some people want to say that it shouldn’t be,” Ewing said. “I disagree with trying to turn back the clock on those type of things.”
Through education and affordable, available birth control, we can reduce the number of abortions and unplanned pregnancies, Ewing said.
Ewing is pro-life, but said we shouldn’t take sides on the issue.
“I believe we solve the problem by respecting every person along that continuum rather than being judgmental,” Ewing said.
Ewing also discussed foreign policy and Iran.
“We should give the sanctions a chance to work,” Ewing said. “We should give diplomacy a chance to work.”
Ewing said the United States needs to work closely with Israel to define what warrants military action.
He also said we need to take care of our troops when they come home.
“We need to look very closely and think about the sacrifice we’re asking people to make,” Ewing said.
Talking to students is important; Ewing is committed to UNO and to public education.
“My motivation has more to do with students and young people than it does for people my own age,” Ewing said. “I believe we are supposed to leave this country better than we found it, certainly as good as we found it. So far, with some of the things Congress is doing, we’ve failed.”