Putting in the Work.
Ben Gray has been a bridge-builder for his constituents and has worked over a decade to grow the relationships necessary to accomplish the goals of District 2. He believes collaboration is the key to getting things done and has grown his capacity throughout his entire career. His record of accomplishment over the last 12 years is proof.
As a member of the Omaha City Council, Ben has been a part of leveling the playing field for small and emerging contractors, secured funding for the Step Up summer jobs program, and championed a 30-year master plan for north Omaha. Since 2009, $2.5 billion has been invested in the community’s rebirth.
$2.5 Billion in Capital Investment in North OmahaSince taking office, Ben’s disciplined, no-nonsense approach and visionary leadership resulted in:
Equal Employment Ordinance for the LGBTQIA2S+ Community
Ben fought for the civil rights of the LGBTQIA2S+ community. His leadership has resulted in Omaha becoming the only city in Nebraska to pass an LGBTQIA2S+ ordinance that prohibits discrimination in the workplace, public accommodations and housing.
North Omaha Business Improvement District
An opportunity for area businesses to contribute a small amount of money which, when combined with city and state dollars, funds streetscape projects, sidewalk improvements and more.
Omaha Municipal Land Bank
Ben also championed the newly-formed Omaha Municipal Land Bank to turn abandoned lots and land to investors who would seek to build them up for the betterment of the community. This initiative has created a path to land ownership for the community.
Public Funding for Nebraska Medicine’s $370 million Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center
Ben fought for a 4.5 percent occupation tax on Omaha’s tobacco vendors to help generate $35 million for campus construction.
Today, the world-class Cancer Center allows patients to receive the best care close to home and acts as an economic driver for the city, state and region.
Founder of NONA
North Omaha Neighborhood Alliance, N.O.N.A.
Brought the national event of Neighborhoods USA which financial impact brought approximately $3M to $4M in revenue to Omaha.
Increase in Black and Latino Omaha Police Officers
Ben was involved in changing how the Omaha Police Department tests applicants.
When he first came on the City Council in 2009, the makeup of the Omaha Police Department was 4 percent African American.
Today, it is 11 percent.
This is a significant move to increase the cultural competency and familiarity and trust of the community with OPD.
Increased Affordable Housing and Senior Living Communities
Ben developed a relationship with Habitat for Humanity that’s resulted in the construction of 70-80 houses in District 2, and a relationship with Holy Name Housing that’s resulted in another 30-40 affordable houses.
He led a push to tear down Spencer Homes and build north Omaha’s second purpose-built community in ten years.
Small and Emerging Business Ordinance
Ben’s strong stand against Nebraska’s discriminatory affirmative action ban.
Good Neighborhood Policy
We had a problem with increased littering in the community, as well as a growing number of people driving under the influence. This came from convenience stores selling single cans of beer and liquor, as well as airplane shots of liquor. So I started the “Good Neighborhood” policy also made for safer, cleaner neighborhoods. If an establishment does not follow code the City can revoke their certificate of occupancy.