Letter: Council to consider predatory offender ordinance; Lewis' plan to put Wall Street first

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To the editor:

As the Public Safety Committee chair of the Hastings City Council, I invite all interested citizens to attend the June 19 council meeting where we will discuss a residency restriction ordinance. The draft ordinance language prohibits Level 3 predatory offenders from living within 750 feet of schools, parks and licensed day cares. Our city attorney researched surrounding community ordinances and drafted provisions that fit Hastings. I understand this issue raised considerable concern and welcome your voice at the meeting as we work together to create policies that best protect our community.

​There were two Public Safety committee meetings open to the public for residents to come and participate in the process.​ A few attended and provided feedback on the draft ordinance. The ordinance discussion was scheduled when all Public Safety committee members of the council could be present.

I look forward to collaborating about public safety policy in the city of Hastings.

Lori Braucks

Hastings City Council


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Lewis' plan to put Wall Street first

To the editor:

U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis put Washington and Wall Street ahead of the 2nd Congressional District once again. On June 8, Lewis voted to pass the Financial Choice Act, which guts consumer protections enacted after the 2008 financial crisis. Lewis may not remember the suffering we endured during the financial crisis, but I do.

During the crisis, I felt helpless as friends and family members lost their jobs and homes. I watched as new housing construction came to a stop, leaving builders without work. I was finishing college without any hope of finding employment. It was a devastating time for our entire country.

To prevent such a crisis from ever happening again, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, which created protections for consumers against predatory financial companies and put a stop to the high-risk behaviors that profit-hungry firms were engaging in. The Financial Choice Act, which Lewis voted for wholeheartedly, reverses these important protections and rules.

This is going to be terrible for consumers like you and me. The Financial Choice Act dissolves the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created to prevent financial firms from engaging in "unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices." It replaces it with a toothless agency with limited authority to supervise or examine these offenses.

Worse, the Financial Choice Act reverses something called the fiduciary rule, which mandates that financial brokers act in the best interests of their clients (i.e., people like you and me who seek their advice on investing and saving for retirement). The Financial Choice Act lets brokers off the hook to give bad advice to us if it's good for their company's bottom line.

Lewis justifies the disastrous Financial Choice Act by saying it's good for business. Well, he's certainly right. It is good for the biggest banks and the wealthiest bankers. It is good for financial market speculators who gamble with our homes and savings. It is not, however, good for us.

Rachel Garaghty

Cottage Grove