# Ashley Hinson



Predatory lending perpetuates racial wealth gap

Helen Redding is a Waterloo entrepreneur, business owner and and strong woman of faith. Over the past several years, after opening her salon, Helen has created multiple other businesses with her husband and children.

Going to a bank to get a loan should be an easy process if you have everything ready to go. Getting that loan from a bank, especially when you have business experience, good credit, and references, and proven success should be an easy process, and most banks will tout how easy it is to qualify for a loan too.

Unfortunately, even with advanced qualifications, Black Americans are twice as likely to get denied a loan. Systemic racism has busted the racial wealth gap wide open, and predatory lending practices perpetuate the gap. 

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Chuck Grassley absent from Russia's expanded sanctions list

The Russian Federation’s Foreign Ministry announced on May 21 that it was expanding the list of U.S. citizens who are permanently banned from entering Russia.

In addition to President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and other Biden administration officials, Russia has sanctioned hundreds of members of Congress. All four Iowans who serve in the U.S. House were on the initial sanctions list, which Russia released last month. The expanded “stop list” also includes U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, who welcomed the news.

Iowa’s senior Senator Chuck Grassley is absent from Russia’s updated list. His communications staff did not respond to Bleeding Heartland’s inquiry about the matter.

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The system is rigged for corporate farms over family farmers

Chris Peterson is a family farmer who lives near Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo County).

When most people think of small businesses, they imagine a brick and mortar store on Main Street that offers retail or restaurant services. Most would not think of the work worn hands of a person caring for Berkshire hogs on a small farm. But that’s exactly what family farms are: a small business. 

Farming is the only thing I’ve ever known – it’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do. I’m a third generation American farmer and I had my first pigs when I was a sophomore in high school.

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Environmental scorecard for the Iowans in Congress

Sheri Albrecht is a member of Indivisible Cedar Rapids Metro and on the executive committees of the Sierra Club’s Iowa Chapter and Cedar-Wapsie Group.

EcoFest 2022 was held on April 23 at the NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids in celebration of Earth Day.

Our local Indivisible CR Metro group hosted a table. We had three goals: 1) Find out what issues were most important to the people who visited our table; 2) In keeping with the ecological theme of the event, provide data showing attendees how their legislative representatives voted on environmental issues; and 3) Encourage ordinary citizens to engage with their elected representatives.

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