John Atkeison is a self-made man in the working class sense. He has received his training on the job as well as in University classrooms. In 2003 he gave up a career in software development to focus on public education and organizing around the issue of global warming. The greenhouse gas pollution that traps heat on earth that used to radiate into space causes climate change, which is warping climates in an extremely dangerous way. While he is a life-long activist in areas of peace, gender equity, racial justice, immigration, trade unions and others, his history of formal public service formally begins with that change of career.
John has been a campaigner, publicist, and lobbyist in the energy policy arena. Global Warming and the resulting climate changes have been his primary focus. John has worked professionally as a campaign manager at the congressional level, a publisher, and an information technology consultant. He has served as a volunteer television producer for the cable news magazine GreenViews and volunteer producer for the troupe Climate Action Theatre, both of which he initiated. He has also served as a speaker for community education and organizing efforts, a union negotiator, and a small business owner. He was a candidate for City Council back East. He served as Director of Climate and Clean Energy programs at the Alliance for Affordable Energy in New Orleans and was a sales manager for Mage Solar, a German solar power hardware manufacturer. He recently served as Energy Policy Director at Nebraska Wildlife Federation and as a writer and speaker at the Nebraska Farmers Union. He founded EnergyLinc in order to organize house parties and other events where neighbors can discuss the impact of global warming on their communities. John arrived in Lincoln via the Gulf Coast, Washington DC, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
In the past two years John has been very active in the Lancaster County Democratic Party. In the 2016 Caucuses he led his precinct’s caucus and set a high standard for transparency– he had a large chalkboard where all the math involved in choosing delegates was displayed as it happened in large figures for all to see. He was elected as LD46 Team leader at the 2016 County Convention. In the summer of 2017 he was selected by the County Central Committee to replace the newly elected City Council member Bennie Shobe as Associate Chair of the County Party. In 2016 he and others founded the new Climate Caucus of the Nebraska Democratic Party, and he was re-elected Chair of that body.
Currently John is a candidate for the District 1 seat on the Nebraska Public Service Commission. His activist and staff roles over the past decade have prepared him for this job. He began to take an interest in the technical issues in the generation of electricity because in the early years of this century power generation was the single biggest contributor of greenhouse gas pollution. He has represented his organization and coalitions before the Louisiana Public Service Commission and sought training to bolster his abilities. He attended a school for the regulation of natural gas and elctric utilities given by NARUC (the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners) which is the professional association of Public Service Commissioners. He enjoys campaigning across the eight counties of southeast Nebraska that form his district. He emphasizes two things: bringing the interests of ordinary Nebraskans to the PSC and serving with the intent to help adapt our infrastructure to our changing climate as well as preventing the worst of the climate changes.