Author Topic: Kim City  (Read 571 times)

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Offline kimmy

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Re: Kim City
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2018, 12:11:45 pm »
The Admiral took a sip from his gin and tonic and adjusted his monocle. I imagine he was reaching back decades in his memories, to relive the moment.

"And this was when it all came unraveled," he continued. "There we were, the three of us, on stage at the Kim City Oddfellows Hall. The mayoralty debate. And a middle aged woman rose to the microphone and asked: what do you plan to do about all these hobos and hippies?"

"'Madam', I assured her, 'there are no easy answers, no quick fixes. This is a complex problem and the solution is  neither simple nor expeditious.'" He set his glass down with a derisive snort, and gave me a wry smile. "That was the moment I lost the election.  I finished a distant third, behind Kimball McGregor Jr and Dr Seung Woo Kim, who would of course later go on to become the first Asian mayor of Kim City. I did finish ahead of the clown candidate, at least."

"A novelty candidate?" I asked.

"An actual clown," he replied. "Timbo, I believe his name was."

"Why did that answer sink you?" I asked, setting down my Mai-Tai, puzzling over the Admiral's story. "It was the honest truth, wasn't it?"

"It was the truth, my girl," he replied, "but it wasn't what people wanted to hear.  What people wanted to hear was 'Run them out of town!' or 'Throw them in jail!'"

"But those aren't real answers," I objected. "The voters aren't that dumb, are they?"

"I don't believe they are," he said. "But I believe that is what they wanted to hear regardless."

"Why?" I asked, confused. "You think voters want politicians to tell them stuff they know is bullshit?"

"No, my dear," he said, shaking his head. "I think that the voters just wanted to know that I was as angry about the situation as they were."


And the situation is very much the same as Kim City voters head to the polls today. As one of the country's fastest growing cities, we have a lot of growing pains-- traffic congestion, housing, development issues, transit, and so on.  And yet the issue that people are most fired up about is the homelessness, the drug addicts, the petty crime.

Shopping carts full of garbage are everywhere, people are passed out in parks, parking lots, lawns.  People are harassed, sometimes threatened.  People see some depressing sights when they visit our little downtown and waterfront, and unfortunately that's what tourists see when they come to town as well.  Downtown businesses have been complaining about the worsening situation as their employees no longer feel safe. Downtown stores have had grab-and-dashes, and of course employees leaving after their shift, especially at night, don't feel safe.

The current city council has implemented a plan based on a multi-faceted approach-- affordable housing development, outreach workers, mental health, assisted living spaces, and yes, more police presence. They're asking people to be patient as results won't be immediately obvious.  But that's not really what people are clamoring for.   People are mad frustrated, and they want to know that politicians appreciate that they're mad and frustrated.

The main challenger for the mayor's seat has been running radio ads that basically go "AAAAAAGH what's with all these hobos in City Park? AAAGGGH why don't they clean up downtown? AAAAGGHH why aren't they doing anything??"     I mean, not in those exact words, but that's the gist of it.   But he doesn't actually have a plan. He talks about "getting tough", but that's not a plan.  Anger isn't a plan.  But people are frustrated, and they'd like to see some anger, just to know that their elected officials understand them.

Paris - London - New York - Kim City