Dave Pantos
Metro Community College Board District 3
Keeping Metro accessible and affordable for all District 3 residents.

Dave Pantos

I’ve lived in both Washington County and West Omaha, I’m married to Jill, who is a Navy veteran and a nurse serving daily at the VA Hospital, and I have twin 13-year-old boys who attend Kiewit Middle School.

I’ve been an attorney for about 25 years, with extensive service to the nonprofit sector, including Legal Aid of Nebraska, the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands and Autism Action Partnership. Currently, in addition to my consulting work for local nonprofits and small businesses, I am campaign manager for Kara Eastman’s U.S. Congressional campaign.

MAY 12, 2020

Vote Dave Pantos

I am running for re-election to the Metropolitan Community College Board of Governors in District 3, which includes West Omaha and Washington County and am asking for your support.

I’ve been proud to serve as a board member during a time of incredible growth and opportunity at Metro. I am currently serving as vice chair of the board. The board is a tremendous group of leaders, and our partnership with MCC’s president is one of the most effective and successful among community colleges in the nation.  


Since I began serving the board, we’ve had the following amazing things happen at Metro:

  • Opening of the amazing new buildings at the Fort Omaha Campus: Career and Academic Skills Center; Construction Education Center; and, the Center for Advanced and Emerging Technology Center for Advanced Manufacturing development at the South Omaha Campus

  • Increased opportunities for learners in Washington County

  • Federal designation of MCC as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Two-Year Education by the US Department of Homeland Security

  • Tremendous growth in dual-enrollment programs at high schools throughout the district, saving families thousands of dollars

  • Innovative creation of face shields to protect health care workers from COVID-19

  • Expansion of opportunities at MCC for individuals re-entering society from incarceration

  • No increase in tax levy for all four years

  • No tuition increase in the 2019-2020 academic year


Looking forward, here are crucial issues we need to focus on in the near future:

  • The Trump administration, according to its 2021 budget, would cut more than $2 billion next year in federal student financial support, mostly by bringing back proposals to eliminate programs like subsidized Stafford Loans, freeze the maximum Pell Grant for the next decade and cut $630 million from the federal work-study program. I am opposed to these dramatic cuts in aid to students and call on anyone who is running for MCCNEB's Board of Governors to do the same.

  • The federal budget proposal would make incarcerated prisoners eligible for Pell Grants. I support this. But experts who have analyzed this said only prisoners due to be released within five years would be eligible. They say that the five-year limit would disproportionately exclude younger men of color. I oppose that limit.

  • The federal budget also proposes a nearly $900 million increase in career and technical education (CTE). On its face this would seem to benefit MCCNEB so I support it.

  • The proposed budget includes eliminating the Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant programs — I oppose this, especially the PSLF program elimination, which targets nurses, social workers, and others who serve the nonprofit sector, many of whom have graduated from or studied at MCCNEB.

  • There does seem to be language supporting the extension of Pell Grants to include "short term" Pell grants. This would benefit most community colleges because currently Pell only applies to students in longer programs and not short-term certificate programs. I support this, although it seems like overall funding for Pell is being capped or cut, see #1 above. We need to extend Pell to short term grants.

  • Many students at MCCNEB rely, unfortunately, on SNAP benefits (aka food stamps) and other welfare programs. The MCCNEB Board and administration has determined that food insecurity is a major problem at MCCNEB to the point that we've started a supplemental food program. Significant elements of the President's budget make drastic cuts to these food and welfare programs and I oppose those because of their impact on MCCNEB students, especially given the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Most importantly, how does MCCNEB re-orient given the COVID-19 crisis and the changing economy in our community that has resulted from this huge shock.

Thank You for your support
It’s been a privilege to represent District 3 on the board and to serve the community by working to increase opportunities for learners at Metro. I hope to get your support for my re-election both in the upcoming primary and in the general election.

- Dave Pantos