Strengthening Democracy: Bob Reeves

Our 2024 Community Builder is recognized for his decades of advocacy – for his neighborhood, and for the quality of life of all Lincolnites.

Each year, Civic Nebraska’s Strengthening Democracy Awards recognize Nebraskans who embody the spirit of a more modern and robust democracy. Our 2024 honorees include educators, administrators, students, and everyday Nebraskans. We’ll officially honor the winners on June 27, but before then, here’s a chance to learn more about what makes them special. 

Bob Reeves, our 2024 Community Builder honoree.
Civic Nebraska honors Bob Reeves with the 2024 Community Builder award for his decades of advocacy for his neighborhood and the quality of life of all Lincolnites.
Bob, of Lincoln, is a retired Lincoln Journal Star reporter. He also is the longest-serving member of the Clinton Neighborhood Organization in central Lincoln – his official role is secretary. He has played an essential role in keeping the organization together, active, and growing.
That’s not lost on his Clinton neighbors, including Gloria Eddins, who nominated Bob for the annual Civic Nebraska award celebrating everyday heroes of democracy. The Community Builder is given annually to a Nebraskan who connects others, creates collaborations, or builds coalitions toward a shared goal or issue.
“As neighborhood organizations across our community struggle to keep members, it’s people like Bob that keep ours going, she said. “Bob shows up to every activity we have to help.”
That includes, Eddins said, lots of community-building legwork: Throwing tires at neighborhood cleanups, hosting neighborhood barbecues, going door-knocking, coordinating a neighborhood newsletter, doing History Walks, and managing booths at school events and park gatherings, to name a few.
“From ice cream socials to parking-lot sales, Bob has always been there,” she said.
Bob also is active in the larger community. He regularly engages in efforts to address his city’s housing affordability crisis, including support for a city ordinance to end source-of-income discrimination – refusing to rent to current or prospective qualified tenants with vouchers or other forms of public assistance.
Bob doesn’t ask for thanks or praise and doesn’t expect to see his name in lights, Eddins said. But the effect of his everyday acts are cumulative and, if you know where to look, self-evident: New renters feeling at home and welcomed among their neighborhood’s longtime homeowners; empowered neighbors taking on larger, more active leadership roles; and even newly repaired city sidewalks that he took the time to talk with local officials about.
“The Bobs in our communities are the backbone of grassroots neighborhood organizations,” Eddins said. “He truly wants everyone to be a champion.”
Meet Bob and his fellow Strengthening Democracy Awards honorees on June 27 at the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts.

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