City council - Lori Braucks
Q: Please provide us with some background information, including your education, job position, community service and any previous or current connection with government.
A: I graduated from Hastings High School in 1997 and have been a resident of Hastings for the last 20 years (excluding college). I attended UW-Eau Claire for my bachelors in Journalism and Political Science, and graduated from William Mitchell College of Law with my law degree. My current occupation is Project Manager for a legal technology company in Eden Prairie where I’ve been for over seven years.
My civic experience is as a member of the Charter Commission since 2009. Also, I have nonprofit leadership experience as a board member for a local theater company since 2010. We are involved in our church and hosted National Night Out for our neighborhood several years in a row. I volunteer with Feed My Starving Children, Junior Achievement and the Salvation Army periodically.
Q: Why did you decide to run for this position?
A: I am so thankful for the current City Council and the job they are doing. I would be honored to join a competent, well-run Council. I see how my skills, passions, character and experience can benefit and enhance our Council.
Public service is one of my personal passions. It’s been a common thread in my educational experiences and where I spend my time. Frankly, I’ve been focused on my professional career and family until now. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be considered and look forward to meeting more of the community this fall.
Q: What are the major issues facing the City of Hastings? How should they be addressed? Is there an area (or areas) that needs special attention?
A: The top issues I see facing the City of Hastings are as follows:
a. Economic development – bring more residents and businesses to Hastings to broaden the tax base. We need growth. When we grow, there will be more students enrolling in schools, more patrons to local businesses and increased potential that we could attract a major employer, i.e. Shutterfly in Shakopee. The new Shutterfly facility in Shakopee will create 330 new jobs for that community.
b. Strategic planning – establish specific goals of where we want our city to be in five, 10 and 25 years. Then, decide how to take steps to get there.
c. Teen suicide and depression – support young people, their families and initiatives such as Helping Kids Succeed the Hastings Way.
d. Water supply – a recent Star Tribune article identified high nitrate levels in the City’s water supply and mentioned the possibility of a new water treatment facility needed.
Q: How should the city attract new businesses and/or industries, resulting in more jobs and increasing the tax base? How should we compete with other cities?
A: I don’t believe that Hastings is lacking the assets of what makes it a good place to live. Our biggest problem is our perception; that we are far away from the Twin Cities, that we are small, or lacking. We have to overcome that perception by telling the story of Hastings in the broader metro area through marketing, social media and networking.
We have a rich history and much to offer, but we need to get the word out.
Q: What makes Hastings a good city in which to live/work?
A: Hastings has so much to offer: good schools with strong athletic and arts/music opportunities, green spaces and recreational opportunities, it’s a safe community, has rich history, and maintains a small-town community feel. It is within commutable proximity to the Twin Cities. One of my favorite things about Hastings is when I walk my dog, people I don’t know will smile and wave. Hastings people genuinely care about the community and each other which is remarkable in my opinion.
Q: Why should people vote for you?
A: I have leadership, project management, legal and administration skills to offer the Hastings City Council and its citizens.
I have a common sense approach. I will give honest and candid feedback, and would expect to receive the same. I want to do what’s best for our city in a financially responsible way. We don’t need to spend a bunch of money to make Hastings more attractive; we can do more with what we have and make Hastings’ story widely known. If you agree, vote for me. Thank you in advance for your consideration.