This is the arm of an 80-year-old woman who had her purse stolen and was knocked to the ground in front of Gionino's Pizzeria in The Valley. The man who stole her purse ripped it so hard off her arm that it caused this injury.
This shit infuriates me.
Ever since I heard about this story I've been wishing that I had been there. I've fantasized about tripping the guy, beating the crap out of him and yelling at him: DON'T STEAL FROM PEOPLE!
Life is hard enough for everyone. No one needs this kind of trauma in their life.
And almost simultaneously I also think about why this guy did this. This isn't an everyday occurrence. But it definitely could be a sign of an increasing trend of income inequality.
THIS HAPPENED IN MY WARD. WARD 8.
We're supposed to be the rich ward. We're supposed to be the Ward that is immune to this kind of thing.
Gionino's Pizzaria is at the corner of Merriman Rd and North Portage Path. Ward 8 Precincts C, P and H all come together at this point.
This area is a mix of low-income rentals and nice homes overlooking the nature in this beautiful area.
1-bedroom apartments at Timber Top (where a person died of carbon monoxide poisoning) cost about $750/month which is extremely low cost these days in Akron.
Low-income apartments bring people who are struggling with money. When you are struggling with money you sometimes start doing anti-social behaviors to cope with all the stress of not being able to afford to live. (Drug use, drug sales, sex work and stealing.)
I can tell you right now, the idea the current administration has one plan to solve this problem: gentrify the area. Push the poor people out.
The problem is: THERE IS NOWHERE FOR THESE PEOPLE TO GO. It's not like we have any programs to help support low-income people. A mom of six that I know was on AMHA's waiting list for 6 years to get subsidized housing. She finally got moved up the list when her house burned down and she and her 6 kids became homeless.
PLEASE LISTEN TO ME: We are not living in a time of the "same old, same old." This is a new era. And I see no evidence that this is a temporary fad. Income inequality is increasing. We need leadership that is willing to deal with poverty, crime, addiction and homelessness for what it is: a growing issue caused by fundamental economic factors that are not going away anytime soon.
I find the most meaningful work of my life working with homeless people who also are sometimes thieves, murderers, sex predators, sex workers, drug dealers and any other crime you can possibly imagine. These are all people that live freely in our city. They've done their time. And they are back in society. They are in Ward 8 just as much as they are in Ward 3 or Ward 10. These people sometimes INFURIATE ME! But most of the time they are just people that are trying to get by just like the rest of us. We have to help them find a path back into society that is meaningful to them while not hurting the rest of us.
If we don't work with these people I only see one outcome: more crime, more violence, more homelessness, more addiction.
We need programs that are inviting to people who get out of jail and prison with nowhere to go. A work with MANY people who are homeless after coming out of prison or a long stint in jail. They have nowhere to live. No job opportunities. They just have the street and what they have learned in prison and what sent them to prison in the first place.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Vote for me as the Ward 8 City Council Representative in the May 2, 2023 Democratic primary. I'm the right leader for this time in the history of Akron.