This has been a busy legislative interim. The Government Committee has held several study hearings. We continue to hold meetings about potential legislation, and of course we spent much of September in a special session for redistricting.

Relationships matter a great deal in politics, and relationships between some senators have gotten pretty raw over the past year. I was elected to promote conservative principles in the Nebraska Capitol. I cannot do that job well without building relationships with as many of my colleagues as possible.

As you read this, I along with four other Nebraska senators will be in Tanzania climbing one of the seven great summits of the world, Mount Kilimanjaro. We come from different parts of the state. We come from different career backgrounds. We do not all look the same. We often disagree on legislation. We are not all members of the same political party.

In spite of these differences, we agree on something very important: Nebraska works better when we work together.

It is no simple task to go from the highly structured daily grind of the Legislature to the wild, unpredictable weather, terrain, and difficulty of the mountain ascent. Climbing Kilimanjaro is physically and mentally challenging. We have trained hard to prepare for those challenges. What we set out to accomplish is bigger than the feeling of standing on top of the world.

We believe that enduring this trial together will ultimately pay off as we strive to serve the people of Nebraska in the Legislature.

Doing something very hard as a team, where everyone is dependent on one another, is the single best experience to build trust among each other. We are all in agreement that we need more trust in the Legislature, so we are going to do this climb together and, quite literally, take the first step upward to build a better Nebraska. We are using our own private resources for this trip and will not be spending a dime of taxpayer money.

We are traveling in Africa, but this trip is a uniquely Nebraskan experience. It is our hope that the teamwork that we put into this adventure will be something that pays off when we are back on the job in Lincoln.

While we are away, our staff members are still working hard on constituent issues and preparing legislation for the 2022 session.

I am excited to see what we will be able to accomplish for Nebraska when we return.

Tom Brewer represents dist. 43 — most of the Sandhills — in the state legislature. Contact his office with any comments, questions, or concerns. Email tbrewer@leg.ne.gov, mail a letter to Sen. Tom Brewer, Room #1423, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509, or call (402) 471-2628.

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