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Councilmember Braucks Addresses 1st Amendment

Hastings Councilmember Addresses First Amendment-

October 25, 2017

As a former journalism student and newspaper reporter, I support each person's right to speak under the First Amendment. This right is particularly important when it comes to public policy and government. I may disagree with those who take a knee or burn a flag, but I support their right to do so. However, Constitutional freedoms are not unlimited. Case law established that we are not free to run into a crowded theater and yell "Fire!" when there is no imminent threat or danger. Neither is anyone free to intimidate, harass or slander another person whether they are a public official or not. I am aware of a flyer being circulated, mailed and left on cars in Hastings. I consider this propaganda devoid of factual or helpful information. I don't consider it a courageous act of free speech. It is ill-conceived noise communication meant to incite emotion such as fear and anger. We, the citizens of Hastings, are better than that. We can communicate freely and openly with each other while respecting process and treating each other as human beings.

Justice Brandeis wrote in the Whitney case, a landmark free speech case, about the solution for responding to public false statements: more free speech.

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the process of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."

So I am speaking out here. As your representative, I invite you to comment freely, openly and with your name signed proudly about things that concern you. Call, email and meet with us. Please get out from behind the social media rumor mill and engage in true community activism.

I've also heard public comment lately that doesn't contain any substance or fact. Some of this information has been published in the paper and promoted on local media. As your representative, I am only interested in facts and data. I empathize with strong emotion and passion, but it isn't helpful in decision making. We must separate emotion from policy. If your facts are good, truthful and based in logic, there is zero reason to rush through any decision-making process. Our legislative system is designed to take time to discuss, reach consensus and then enact into law. Law moves slowly so that policies are not rash and reactive.

All that said, I certainly don't condone any speech intended to harass or intimidate council members or any member of the city of Hastings staff. If you want your opinion taken seriously, it should be able to stand its own ground. The truth is its own best defense.

Respectfully,

Lori Braucks

Hastings Councilmember At Large

Councilmember Braucks Addresses 1st Amendment

Hastings Councilmember Addresses First Amendment-

October 25, 2017

As a former journalism student and newspaper reporter, I support each person's right to speak under the First Amendment. This right is particularly important when it comes to public policy and government. I may disagree with those who take a knee or burn a flag, but I support their right to do so. However, Constitutional freedoms are not unlimited. Case law established that we are not free to run into a crowded theater and yell "Fire!" when there is no imminent threat or danger. Neither is anyone free to intimidate, harass or slander another person whether they are a public official or not. I am aware of a flyer being circulated, mailed and left on cars in Hastings. I consider this propaganda devoid of factual or helpful information. I don't consider it a courageous act of free speech. It is ill-conceived noise communication meant to incite emotion such as fear and anger. We, the citizens of Hastings, are better than that. We can communicate freely and openly with each other while respecting process and treating each other as human beings.

Justice Brandeis wrote in the Whitney case, a landmark free speech case, about the solution for responding to public false statements: more free speech.

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the process of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."

So I am speaking out here. As your representative, I invite you to comment freely, openly and with your name signed proudly about things that concern you. Call, email and meet with us. Please get out from behind the social media rumor mill and engage in true community activism.

I've also heard public comment lately that doesn't contain any substance or fact. Some of this information has been published in the paper and promoted on local media. As your representative, I am only interested in facts and data. I empathize with strong emotion and passion, but it isn't helpful in decision making. We ?must separate emotion from policy. If your facts are good, truthful and based in logic, there is zero reason to rush through any decision-making process. Our legislative system is designed to take time to discuss, reach consensus and then enact into law. Law moves slowly so that policies are not rash and reactive.

All that said, I certainly don't condone any speech intended to harass or intimidate council members or any member of the city of Hastings staff. If you want your opinion taken seriously, it should be able to stand its own ground. The truth is its own best defense.

Respectfully,

Lori Braucks

Hastings Councilmember At Large

Councilmember Braucks Addresses 1st Amendment

Hastings Councilmember Addresses First Amendment-

October 25, 2017

As a former journalism student and newspaper reporter, I support each person's right to speak under the First Amendment. This right is particularly important when it comes to public policy and government. I may disagree with those who take a knee or burn a flag, but I support their right to do so. However, Constitutional freedoms are not unlimited. Case law established that we are not free to run into a crowded theater and yell "Fire!" when there is no imminent threat or danger. Neither is anyone free to intimidate, harass or slander another person whether they are a public official or not. I am aware of a flyer being circulated, mailed and left on cars in Hastings. I consider this propaganda devoid of factual or helpful information. I don't consider it a courageous act of free speech. It is ill-conceived noise communication meant to incite emotion such as fear and anger. We, the citizens of Hastings, are better than that. We can communicate freely and openly with each other while respecting process and treating each other as human beings.

Justice Brandeis wrote in the Whitney case, a landmark free speech case, about the solution for responding to public false statements: more free speech.

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the process of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."

So I am speaking out here. As your representative, I invite ?you to comment freely, openly and with your name ?signed proudly about things that concern you. Call, email and meet with ?us??. Please get out from behind the social media rumor mill and engage in true community activism.

I've also heard public comment lately that doesn't contain any substance or fact. Some of this information has been published in the paper and promoted on local media. As your representative, I am only interested in facts and data. I empathize with strong emotion and passion, but it isn't helpful in decision making. We ?must separate emotion from policy. If your facts are good, truthful and based in logic, there is zero reason to rush through any decision-making process. Our legislative system is designed to take time to discuss, reach consensus and then enact into law. Law moves slowly so that policies are not rash and reactive.

All that said, I certainly don't condone any speech intended to harass or intimidate council members or any member of the city of Hastings staff. If you want your opinion taken seriously, it should be able to stand its own ground. The truth is its own best defense.

Respectfully,

Lori Braucks

Hastings Councilmember At Large

Bruce Reuter Sound Off Oct9 2017

This Sound Off was submitted October 9th, 2017 and recorded by

Bruce Rueter

Resident of Hastings

Click here for audio

Sound Off Darin Berg Council Appearance

Open Forum

I attended the City Council meeting Monday, October 2 2017. I took the floor during the Comments from Audience portion of the agenda. While expressing my concern about the leadership in Hastings and the decisions that are made affecting our city, I was quickly interrupted and not allowed to continue. Apparently criticism is not welcome in an open forum at council meetings. In their defense, it was quite personal, but to me, quite necessary. The concerns that I was trying to relay to our council are the large number of firings, forced and voluntary departures from city positions. Also, the subsequent cost, not only in human value, but the expense to the Hastings City tax payers in legal fees and lawsuits. Our community needs to get involved to help change these issues. After all, it is our community.

Once again, express your support for the reinstatement of Fire Chief Mike Schutt.

Submitted by: Darin Berg

Resident of Hastings

October 3, 2017

The audio file below was provided by the author as the statement he was not able to give at the Council meeting.

Click here for audio

   

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