Updated: Aug 13
Once you get to know Allison Heimes, our candidate for the State Senate in District 39, it’s hard to imagine her not winning. She is truly amazing. She is dedicated to her family, her profession and quite significantly to the rest of us. A lot of us try to do our part, but after the requirements of work and family, most of us don’t have much left over for ourselves or, parish the thought, people in need. But Allison is a real-life superhero. She does it all, and she does it well.
We all know that mental health is a big problem for our nation. Practically every day of the week we can watch the news or pick up a paper and see a tragic story that had its roots in our failure as a society to take care of those with mental health problems. They all read about the same. There were signs for years, big file on the progression and then “unexpectedly” someone is hurt or someone dies – sometimes a lot of people die. We don’t have the resources. Let’s just move them along. As long as we keep taxes down and can buy a gun, hell everything will be alright. Yeah, right.
Allison’s brother was such a victim. At age 23, a veteran, he took his own life. His family suffered, but rather than moving on, Allison dug in her heels and decided to make a difference. She decided to run against Lou Ann Linehan, a State Senator with a reputation for being a great deal more concerned about keeping taxes low than taking care of the needs of people.
So, Allison plopped her two toddlers, Max and Finn, in their wagon, and headed out across the neighborhoods in the district to get to know her voters. It was certainly a good photo op for her campaign, but not such an easy operational reality, especially with two boys on the go! That in itself should be a good indicator of what kind of woman Allison is – smart, dedicated and completely capable of multitasking to get the job done. What’s more, her husband is a career soldier. When he’s there he’s great. When he’s not, well, he’s not, but she gives him complete props for being supportive. He fully recognizes her commitments to him when he’s deployed, and sees his support for her as a worthy compliment.
A graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha political science department, Allison will tell you straight away that she is a poly sci – history nerd. We had a nice discussion about Aristotle and his writing on virtue ethics, and the lack thereof within our political establishment these days. She went on to complete a Master’s degree in Government Organization at Creighton University, as well as her law degree. In addition to taking care of her boys, her military husband and her many public service efforts, she is a practicing attorney who specializes in immigration.
There is so much to her story, I feel as though I’m shorting her. There is no way to do her justice in the space available, so I’m going to zero in on what she specifically wants to accomplish in the legislature. Essentially, she believes that if the State of Nebraska would put a mental health professional in every school, private as well as public, we would go a long way to heading off the carnage that inevitably follows the failure to catch such problems before they blow-up into something more serious.
“Especially now with the pressures of isolation brought about by Covid, all kids need access,” she says. “There needs to be an open door to get kids the help they need. The results of failure are catastrophic.”
And don’t think for a minute that with all this going, Allison is a mile wide and an inch deep. She constantly takes time to support and care for the people around her, but balance is very important to this story. Along with being an exceptionally compassionate person and dedicated to worthy liberal causes, she also considers herself a fiscal conservative. She has clear parameters of what makes sense and what does not when it comes to government spending. It was refreshing to hear someone really think through all the phases of getting something done in government and not just throw pie-in-the-sky. Then her naked son ran through the background of her zoom screen. A woman after my own heart!
Photo courtesy of Campaign.