Redmond Renovations on the Horizon
Date: 2082-07-31 By: Charli Relford
|The familiar horizon jingle plays over the HNN logo, before the camera fades into Charli Relford sitting beside a tired man sitting in a small wheelchair. The camera exposure adjusts, and in a second the reporter’s light skin and the man’s brown skin both pop and become detailed. She puts on her award winning smile as he smooths back the braided locks of his dark hair. They sit in a tagged and crumbling apartment where a gaping hole in the back wall opens to the Bargain Basement district in Redmond.|
|Charli Relford||Silas Rojas|
Charli: Hello, Seattle! It’s Charli Relford, your most trusted name in Seattle News! I’m sitting here here today with Silas Rojas, a representative of the Metroplex Equal Rights Coalition...now, Mr. Rojas, your organization’s buying into a pretty rough neighborhood. Can you tell me why you’d want a building in...this state of disrepair?
Silas: Hey there, Charli! I’d love to! Yeah! This isn’t just a building, it’s a symbol for the positive change we can make by banding together and pushing back against the negativity in our city.
Charli: Do you mean negativity like the recent crime wave that’s been decimating legitimate businesses throughout the city these past few months and left hundreds--maybe thousands--dead?
Silas: You know, Charli, I’ll take the DA at his word that he believes strengthening punishments and cracking down on those forced to the shadows will somehow help our city, but I don’t believe that. The crime wave we’re experiencing is a symptom of our city’s trauma, not the cause of it. There are so many who are starved for opportunity and equity. We force our people to choose between survival and legality and we’re aghast that they chose survival...it’s disingenuous. We need structures in place to build up those who are most vulnerable.
Charli, looking a bit incredulous: And what do you believe WILL help our city, Mr. Rojas?
Silas: We need legitimate pathways toward obtainable citizenship. We need opportunities to find work and--let’s be honest--find work that allows for a genuine work-life-balance. We need access to affordable care--both medical and mental healthcare services. We need clean water, air, and food. I know that the DA isn’t in charge of these things for Seattle and the UCAS at large, but he’s part of a system that treads on the rights of the metahumans here in the city and asks us to say thank you.
Charli gives a surprised look at this.
Silas: Now, I’m not so foolish to think that the MER Coalition has the resources or manpower to provide opportunity to everyone when the Seattle government itself can’t...but if we can take a neighborhood, a block, a set of families who are doing their best and remove the roadblocks that impede a better life...I think that’s an investment that pays for itself. The people of Seattle are worth it.
Charli, nodding: Now, this neighborhood is near and dear to my heart, because--as Seattelites know--this is just blocks where I began my RelForAll blog. What are your plans for the building? Will you tear it down, or rebuild? How much money do you think you can make here?
Silas: Absolutely none. In fact, we plan to spend an incredible amount of money.
Charli doubletakes, chuckling: Mr. Rojas, I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to work!
Silas: It’s absolutely how this is supposed to work. My organization is taking donations to repair this building, bring in sustainable businesses, and ensure that the tenants can remain with no rent increases. To do that, we’re going to have to spend money. But, Charli, we’re not losing money here. We’re investing this money in destroying the obstacles that impede the hopes, dreams, and futures of the residents here who deserve the chance to engage with our great city.
That’s money well spent.
Charli gives the camera her award-winning smile: That’s money well spent indeed! This has been Charli Relford with Silas Rojas for Horizon News! Back to you!
The camera fades to black.