Granted, we aren't offering up our children to fight to the death to appease the Capitol.
But otherwise, there are a lot of similarities in how Panem, the nation in The Hunger Games, and Akron operate.
Our UPS driver at work will often talk about the streets of Akron. As you can imagine, he is quite familiar with the road conditions in Akron.
He frequently talks about how nice the streets are in the city center. And then how they degrade and crumble the further away from downtown you get.
For the last 3 decades we have focused on downtown Akron. And undeniably, it's great.
But Akron is made up of 10 Wards(pdf). They are all too often left out of the discussion.
The other mayoral candidates are primarily interested in two things: the sewer project and putting the city's books online. Those are great and I've talked about my ideas on those here:
But, in my mind these are not the only issues in our city.
I talked with Ward 7 leader - Donnie Kammer. He said that he gets calls almost daily about the abandoned homes issue in his ward. This strikes me as a huge problem in our city.
I also recently talked with a single mom in Ward 10 that watches kids with nothing to do with their time and in turn run around her apartment complex causing trouble. Issues like this are a problem in our city that effect the every day lives of our citizens.
In The Hunger Games, the city Panem is named from the Latin: panem et circenses. It means "bread and circuses." The phrase describes how a city uses entertainment to distract public attention from more important matters.
That is what we've done with our downtown.
Our downtown is our "Capitol" and our 10 Wards are the deteriorating "Districts" of our city.
Lock 3 is nice. Fireworks are nice. Festivals are nice.
But it is all a distraction from:
These are issues that matter to Akronites and these are issues that matter to me.
Let's work together, beyond party lines, to help each other with what matters most to Akron.
"There are much worse games to play." - Katniss