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Why do our standards keep falling? Started by: Ronin on Jan 07, '19 22:23

Ronin sat in his study in the HQ reading through some reports Faceman had written up about local prostitution rings. Ronin had hoped for a detailed report on the structure of the operations and what kind of money they were making, thinking of possibly getting involved in the business himself. Instead, Faceman had given him a detailed report on several local hookers - their body type, looks, price range, scent, and likelihood of having an STD. Classic Harry really, only worried about the women, what a wanker.

He dropped the reports on his desk and sat still in thought for a moment. His mind was elsewhere tonight. 

Suddenly, he shot out of his chair and made his way briskly for the door. He bustled down the stairs and snatched his coat from the mud room, shoving his arms into the sleeves with haste. He burst out the door into the snowy New York streets, making his way to the park. He had to speak.

It was about a ten minute walk to the park, where there was a gazebo that mafiosi occasionally met under to discuss things in the winter months when a street corner was less than ideal. As he walked he reflected on his thoughts from throughout the day. The news of his good friend CassandraVilmont abruptly retiring had not only stricken him with grief, but had given even more steam to an issue that he had been seeing for a while now. It was sure to ruffle some feathers, but he felt like it had to be brought up and discussed. And maybe the underworld could use a little feather ruffling as it was, to shake things up.

Finally arriving at the park, he strode up to the gazebo, where a handful of people had already congregated, discussing the day's events. Ronin patiently waited his turn to speak.

"In the past week or so, we have seen no less than four crewleaders retire, one of them a Godfather. In only the Godfather's case was any warning given. I understand that things happen and sometimes people need a change. But to just up and disappear, leaving the family you swore to protect behind in confused panic? I think it speaks to a bigger issue.

People have said it before, over the years, that the standard of crewleader or hand in our world has fallen drastically. It's a topic that has been revisited a few times, I can see from my ancestor's journals. I'd like to discuss with you all the root problems behind the apparent falling standards in leadership. Or maybe I am just a cunt and there hasn't been a drop in standards? Let us discuss.

Obviously, over the years and years "our thing" has been around these parts, the number of people permitted in a crew has shrunk remarkably. In the earliest of days hundreds of mafiosi were inside a single organization. Only the absolute best of those hundreds were ever even considered for leadership back then. As our world grew and changed, families began to get smaller and smaller, which led to the need for more leaders. Fifty, Forty, now down to thirty members per family, it's kind of a given that with more crews the selection of leaders will be watered down. Less than spectacular people are bound to be given a chance to prove themselves. That in itself isn't necessarily a bad thing, but you have to be careful with these things. 

I'm not trying to single anyone out or point fingers here, I'm just giving my observations because I'm curious to see if other people are seeing some of the same things I am. It just seems that we are seeing some leaders who aren't quite up to the task. For example, a number of things I have seen are:

  • Some aren't prepared for the responsibility of leadership
  • Some can't be around as often as leadership requires
  • Some don't know our world well enough and can't attract or teach others
  • Some are afraid of speaking in the streets or have no presence
  • A couple can't even form coherent sentences (Either due to lack of intelligence or English being a second language)
  • Decrease in crew size
  • Districts opening, which caused more godfathers and therefore more auths
  • Increased pressure to auth new blood that hadn't really learned enough.

Now these don't necessarily pertain to leaders that are currently around, but also apply to several we have had since my life here began, and even a few from my ancestors journals. The diminishing standards has been happening for a while now.

Sometimes options are slim for a godfather, and they choose to auth someone who isn't ready or can't commit in a time manner. Sometimes an auth is made due to family lines, without regard for the current descendant or what they have achieved. There are a multitude of reasons that a poor auth could be made. In the past we have even seen poor auths intentionally made in cities because those in power believed them to be less threatening than another, more established person taking a family. We've seen less than deserving people put in spots just to be killed off at a later date, I believe they called it "farming" cities. I don't believe any of that is happening currently, but again, it may have impacted the lessening of our standards as a community as a whole.

I'm sure everyone has differing opinions on what the standard of a leader should be. No two leaders are truly alike, just like no two members can be. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Hell, there are most certainly people who would prefer not to be in my family simply because I'm only serious about 10% of the time. But there has to be a standard.

In times past there were godfather and crewleader councils that determined whether or not someone was a good choice for auth. If you didn't check all of their boxes you didn't get the job, plain and simple. Now perhaps in this day and age something like that isnt logical, with the large number of leaders, it would be near on impossible to check all of everyone's boxes.

I'll close this up by saying that the vast majority of leaders are still very good.  I'm not trying to throw shade at leaders in general. But I'm sure many will agree that they've seen people go up and think, "how the fuck is that guy a crewleader?"

Looking forward to any input you all have to offer."

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Leadership standards fell a long time ago when it became clique based. Now you want to talk about the people retiring? Maybe they have any of those reasons you stated, but maybe they are just fed up with the constant bullshit that seems to happen a lot.

If you were truly looking to up the standards of leadership, how about we pull the cliques out of it and actually work on the effort someone puts into our community. Or maybe, just maybe take the time to be an actual leader instead of a bandwagon jumper... Or maybe encourage the community to do better, and be better.

Instead we have fallen into a slump where little to no effort is required. Its all about the friends and that does not inspire a loyalty to a city, GF, or even a CL.  I think I finally understand why there is no real loyalty except to one person's self.

It is a shame because the leaders could inspire so much better than what they do now.

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Crucifix overheard a a well known mafiosi speak his mind, Crucifix was eager to speak his mind but had to patiently wait for Ronin to finish his speech.

 

"I know in one case just recently, where a crew leader who was well known to retire many of his/her accounts can't remember the last time this bloodline was actually shot by someone else's hand, was finally given the nod to set up his/her own crew, and surely later... Retired out of the blue which I guess it wasn't a surprise to many people" 

 

Crucifix takes a deep breath 

 

" This also raises a question for me about the Godfather who authed him/her, he very well knew the reputation of this crew leader. Why give someone an enormous amount of responsibility for someone who always runs away from them. That just creates more problems for the city." 

 

 Wonders if its called blood lining if the Godfather didn't auth him/her because of the reputation. 

 

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HandsomeRob overhead a discussion on standards and wanted to chime in.

"So I don't believe its entirely clique based. However with that being said do you blame someone or the clique even for wanting to work together? I mean there are groups around now who have worked together for generations of kin, and have always seemed to do fairly well. Do you blame them for their own success because you're not part of it?"

He takes a brief pause.

"The retiring aspect is new to me... I mean the repetitiveness of it. I can't, for the life of me, understand the want to take the helm and then just up and quit. Its not all peachy as people may see it to be. I do believe it takes certain types of people to run a crew. Maybe not a successful one, but definitely run a crew."

HandsomeRob clears his throat one last time to finish his comments.

"I do think we've come into a slump however I don't think its because of cliques. I think its because of the standards that leaders in recent past let go for so long. There used to be the Godfather Commission to help keep our standards going. Perhaps its time these are put back in place."

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Dear Ronin, I certainly do enjoy when you come out to the streets to speak your mind.  It creates a conversation which is healthy for our community.  

 

You're still a cunt though.

 

Less players and more crews.  Additionally - there is a high amount of pressure to fill empty cities and districts which create the need for auths which aren't necessarily deserved.  In all - the level needed to be a crew leader is much lower than it used to be.  People get the right to be a crew leader because the people in power don't have much choice.  

 

As for the cliquey thing - it is what it is.  Bloodlines work well together and you can't deny chemistry.  Effort is certainly a large portion of what is required to be successful in this game.  But the fact remains that the ability to work with others, and the ability to get along with others is also highly valued.  People generally have it or they don't.  It has nothing to do with effort.

 

puff puff sip sip the flaskey flask and climbs down off the soapbox.

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She quickly peeks in for a moment, listening to what has been said and raises her hand so she is noticed...

What it comes down to is quality vs quantity, the way our world is governed means we have to have more crews with less membership. This can cause an issue when it comes to WHO gets the nod and who does not. We have seen some amazing new bloodlines authed over the past 12 months and we have seem some not so amazing. The same can be said about the older bloodlines, some are amazing and some are just shit at what they do. 

To say that ALL leaders are lacking the ability to inspire their membership like Meredith is a very generalized statement and I feel it is unfair coming from a bloodline that repeatedly retires in their own form of protest due to the fact they have given up and feel it is necessary to spread their vitriol around the globe whether it can be substantiated or not. 

Of course there are bloodlines that will stick together, does that not happen with extended family as well? Those bloodlines can and do work with new ones as well, coaching and encouraging them through their more formative years. You will hear this from many of the newer bloodlines. Again, another generalized statement made with no substantiation whatsoever.

No one can say they know what happens in every family. People bitch that we need  more "variety", more people need to be given chances, and whatnot. This does happen and the cream of the crop rise to the top through their efforts at working in a co-operative manner with the other families and crews in their cities and the other ones as well. Slowly they form their own "groups" or become a part of another. This is called making friends! Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. 

Given the opportunity to run the world the way you wold see fit how would you do so Meredith? I ask this, because generation after generation of your bloodline consistently say the same things that you have. It's never good enough for your family line. It's never done the way your family line want it to be or would do it yourself. So, again, I ask... What would you do? Channel your ancestors and please, come up with an answer that is constructive and clear so we can strive to become as perfect a leader as those you call your ancestors have been.

I shall now coin the term "WWMD" and dedicate it to you... What would Meredith do? Enlighten us, tell us, guide us... For you are all-knowing of what we should be doing even though you have no fucking clue what goes on behind the closed doors of the majority of the families standing right now.

She smiles sweetly and makes a dash for the closest bakery in hopes to find Molly's favourite pastries before closing time.

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Trying to get my attention that much huh? It's good to know I am so heavily on your mind Constance. But I will show up when I am good and ready, not when you want my attention.

To not generalize means some leader is going to get upset and whine and bitch and moan. So generalizing is a pretty damn good thing. However, if you would like I can get real specific on which leaders aren't worth a grain of salt and why if you would like.

The problem with you asking the question Constance, is that I know you are only asking out of sarcasm and not because you have an ounce of ability to listen to the answers. So pray tell what is the point in discussing any of this with you?

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The problem with you asking the question Constance, is that I know you are only asking out of sarcasm and not because you have an ounce of ability to listen to the answers. So pray tell what is the point in discussing any of this with you?

Actually I'd love to hear the answers too. I'm sure a few other older bloodlines would too as well. Please enlighten us Miss Meredith.

HandsomeRob waits patiently for Meredith to respond to Miss Constance.

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She looks at Meredith sweetly and smiles.

Oh, I am very interested in your ideal world, because for the life of me I can't think of one generation of your family tree that has been content since it landed on these shores. I am genuinely interested because you're the one speaking up about all these horrible leaders. Your assumptions of my intentions just make an ass out of you in the end. You are incorrect in assuming everything I say is sarcastic.

She looks down at her watch and sighs as she notices one of her bodyguards tapping his wrist.

You know nothing of my leadership in Philly first hand, you and your kin have not been a part of a family I have been a part of running in Philly. You think you know, but you do not know. It has been many, many, many, many generations since our bloodlines were in the same family where mine were in a position of leadership in any way. You know nothing of my interactions with my members or those that used to be my members. You know nothing of my interactions within this city firsthand.

I'm sure you have a long list of leaders that aren't worth a "grain of salt", but those are by YOUR standards. I'm sure their members would speak differently. You think because the current and past families have not fulfilled the needs of your kin past they are not worthy of the suits they wear today. Well, everyone has an asshole and everyone has an opinion. Yours and your kin's are something we've grown accustomed to, even if they are generally unsubstantiated and based on assumptions and hearsay.

She smiles and waves at her bodyguard who is now holding the door to her car open tapping his foot impatiently.

I wish I had more time to discuss this with you right now, however, given your response, I can tell it will go about as well as my most recent divorce. He's on a permanent vacation and I'm living it up in Philly. I must me off. I have dinner plans with Molly and a few others that involve steak wrapped in bacon, served with sauteed mushrooms, and candied beets while catching up on our favourite winter sport, hockey.

Have a nice day Meredith... I'm sure we'll be seeing the next member of your family line here soon enough... Saying the same things as you have with the same assumptions made about every leader in this great thing of ours because your bloodline is born knowing everything about every crew and family around our cities.

She gives Meredith a quick wave and takes leave for her night of relaxation and family bonding.

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There is no such thing as a "standard" in the absence of real judgment. And for that absence, the fault lies in those at the top. Cliques or no cliques, those that wield authority are uniquely empowered to create and enforce such a standard. Don Ronin and Godfather Bonn-uh-see-ux-

Fuck. I really need to start learning people's names.

You two appear to wield such an authority. No soapbox speech nor posted notice will inflict so great a consequence as simply removing all of those not worthy of the bold suits which are now so freely given. Lay waste to every district or city led by a dull buffoon and suddenly people will stop authorizing buffoons.

I'm certain such behavior would elicit a deafening dissatisfaction of carrion men and their kids protesting injustice. Even uttering it here is likely to be sharply contested by those at every level of Our Thing.

But isn't that what we're really talking about here? Bloodlines that have been here for years now suddenly believe a streets speech which refuses to point fingers carries any weight for change? We're willing to strike against cities authing rogues but not against those who auth failures?

The reality is that poor leadership breeds poor leadership. It inflicts harm on itself in a negative feedback loop. The only question is, who're the ones tolerating it while preaching how great it would be if we didn't tolerate it?

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Times have surely changed over the years. The underground world changes rapidly as time moves on. This is a nationwide thing. The buck don't stop here on a great CL. An awesome CL puts their family above all. An awesome CL communicates with their entire family. An awesome CL recruits their people. Again, this is a nationwide underground thing. Get it? 

I see Ronin, in his bold suit and by his own admission in his speech he is not interested in being part of the solution. And Ronin is not the only one. Look around us folks. How many keep returning to a bold suit or RH? How many of the same old take the time to actually mentor and mold a highly potential CL?

You want to talk about standards? It's not that all the "newly" authed are buffoons. They got a choke hold on them. They are also tools in some cases,in the eyes of the Gawd who authed them.

How can they run their family as they see fit? 

The times need to be adjusted to the times. Parts of the underground world have shut down in this Nation and they been visiting us since 2013 and to date. If I had my way let these people move in and set up shop. They don't have to be a friend or part of a clique. All they got to do is be respectful and do business as it arises. And when they set up shop, they should be afforded some sort of protection/defense in the event the same same old get bored and want to add to their precious gun.

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I have a long winded reply in mind, but for the time being,  where exactly did I say I wasn't interested in being part if the solution, Swampy?

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Please do not stop being long winded now. I do not have to be long winded with my answer. Your self righteous speech spoke volumes. It was insulting but that's the norm for self righteous people like yourself. 

It lacked a set of balls to be more direct. Maybe cunt suits you well. 

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It was insulting but it lacked balls? I think you've got yourself a conundrum there fella.

I am certainly a cunt, and most definitely conceited, but I don't think I was self righteous. I stated quite clearly that there may well be people who would prefer not to have me as a crew leader. In fact, I know several off the top of my head. That's mainly due to personal issues, rather than me being incompetent or undeserving. My line has more than proven itself in a leadership capacity, and I continue to do so today. Now I'm being self righteous. 

For the record, I would be quite happy to help find a solution. But the first step in doing so is realizing there is a problem in the first place, which was what I was trying to do.

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I read your admission on your downfall, yet moments later you boasted how marvelous you are as a leader. Take a moment to put yourself in the shoes of the viewers. 

You know damn right well the problem has been known. You are part of the problem. Don't talk about it be about it.

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I guess we will simply have to agree to disagree old boy.

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Tammy had stayed away from the streets lately. Mostly because there were no streets where she hung out the last couple of weeks. As she had returned, she heard the much-respected Ronin speak out. She approached to listen as Ronin was about to speak. Rumour had it that the speech would be about prostitution, about value-for-money, about birth control, about Faceman's findings, but when Ronin spoke out, he suddenly addressed a not so typical topic for him.

Tammy's jaw dropped. What Ronin said actually made sense!
She chuckled as he mentioned being serious 10% of the time, she wanted to speak out about that he was being 9% more than she was, but she noticed Faceman's attendance as well. And she didn't want to hurt Faceman's feelings. She waited for others to respond first.

Tammy wasn't sure on what Meredith meant.. Speaking for herself, Tammy was loyal to her Crew Leader, also, she was not aware of any clique of people that would be in charge of the community, but then again, maybe she simply did not have the right connections.
If it was the case, though, Meredith had a point there. On the other hand, why would leadership qualities not be inherited from parent to their kin?

In the end, she did step forward though, saying

I don't even feel there should be any discussion about it. A crewleader should take care of their people. A Godfather of their district or city.

These are the captains that should be the last to go. I will refrain from commenting on your hypothesis of you being a cunt, by the way. She hoped noone noticed her nodding when Indifference commented on it earlier. And about the qualities for leadership.. It's also the responsibility of the person authorizing someone to set-up somewhere to auth only those people they feel can handle the pressure, the responsibility, the communications. Crucifix had a valid point there. I do sometimes feel crews are set up to fill empty districts nowadays. What you also need to keep in mind is that maybe not everybody wants to be the leader of a crew.

As she stood there in front of the crowd, the person next to her whispered about Faceman's reports on prostitutes, and seeing him check Tammy out she decided to step back and yell at him
I am a waitress, not a hooker!! She paused, clearly thinking, then added
I would only be if HandsomeRob would ask me. And then, it would not be prostitution if he would not have to pay!

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Faceman had begrudgingly completed his report on prostitutes thinking that Ronin had no interest whatsoever in how the prostitution rings were actually ran and assumed he was looking to take away from these rings for his own benefit. Another great example of Faceman thinking being detrimental to the business of his boss. He assumed not all was a waste as Ronin raised a smile at certain girls profiles. Swings and roundabouts Faceman thought to himself.

Faceman found himself following Ronin expecting him to make use of the information that had been provided to him only to hear him ranting about standards and Faceman lost interest rapidly.

A young lady had caught Facemans eye though, the face was familiar though and he was informed that it was Tammy a Hand from Detroit. He heard her shouting in his general direction about waitresses and hookers, maybe she was onto something and Faceman found himself dreaming suddenly of a B&B staffed by waitresses and hookers exclusively.

Checking his watch he decided to move on from the crowd as he wasn't all too interested in what was being discussed, he had less important things to be doing.

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I am not entirely sure that I take you very seriously HandsomeRob, but we shall see.

If I were looking at how I would change things, I would start by the removal of leaders that are sarcastic, rude and belittling to everyone. At every interval they have been nothing but toxic.  Why? Because these leaders are only showing that it is okay to basically bully everyone around them and that is not okay. Nor should it ever be okay.

Someone mentioned bringing back a Godfather Council, as much as I like the idea I would tweak it a little bit. More often then not you get Godfathers of the same caliber around, so I don't think a strictly Godfather Council will truly benefit the community without a change that perhaps there should be spots for the people actually down in the trenches and doing a massive amount of the work to keep their crewleaders in BGs, etc. That's right, include some members. Get a better perspective from people that aren't just at the top. These people are usually more connected to the members of the community then the top is. Especially if the top is narrowed down to a clique.

There should be more regarding the community as a whole. Not everything should be just behind closed doors, because if it is, its usually the CL just stashing up for their next of kin. Do more for your community then sit back on your laurels. There are other things that you can promote besides very boring stories no one really listens to anyways. Bring back the discussions that actually get people talking. Bring back the ability to have a difference of opinion, one that doesn't need to be silenced because other people don't like it. How about we try not to get offended by whose talking but rather by what is actually being said. I understand that might take some effort for those still holding grudges.

Now about those closed doors everyone keeps mentioning. Stop closing them. It makes you unapproachable and undesirable for a leader.

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Ronin smiled at Meredith in what he hoped was a sincere way, not wanting to get her panties further bunched.

"Meredith, I have been trying quite hard to ignore you so far, as I know attention is your primary objective at any moment and I try not to be the one to give it to you. My family line has always very carefully avoided you, because you tend to bring only drama and complaints to any discussion. But, since you have raised the odd fair point and made a couple of worthwhile suggestions, I will respond in full.

The first tidbit I'd like to address - 

If you were truly looking to up the standards of leadership, how about we pull the cliques out of it and actually work on the effort someone puts into our community. Or maybe, just maybe take the time to be an actual leader instead of a bandwagon jumper... Or maybe encourage the community to do better, and be better.

Cliques have always been, and will always be, a part of our world. It is completely irreversible at this point. Families have formed bonds that go back multiple generations, you can't just expect people to drop the only friends they have ever had in our thing. That being said, I do not appreciate you taking my speech and trying to twist it to your own personal narrative and agenda. You and your sisters have been going on for weeks about how the entire country is mean to you and no one will give you a chance - but that's exactly why they won't You are just as toxic as those you accuse of being toxic. You spread only drama and losses to JaceCorso in card games. Your line has retired or suicided out of nearly every family you've been involved in.

Now, I will give you credit where credit is due. Your line isn't unintelligent - quite the opposite in fact. You're a smart woman, but you have some issues that no one but you can choose to address. The constant whinging and victim persona is becoming quite old. Your descendant Cherry was a strong woman and, from what I've heard, above average godmother. My line wasn't around at that time, having had obligations in the old country, but word is you at least ran a fun city. 

I'm not sure if you're calling me a bandwagon jumper or just making a general statement there, so I'm going to slide past that. But is this speech itself not me making an effort, at least in an initial sense, to encourage improvement in our community as a whole?

If I were looking at how I would change things, I would start by the removal of leaders that are sarcastic, rude and belittling to everyone. At every interval they have been nothing but toxic.  Why? Because these leaders are only showing that it is okay to basically bully everyone around them and that is not okay. Nor should it ever be okay.

I get the impression this may be directed at me, so I can't not respond. I am sarcastic, rude, and occasionally belittling, but generally not without reason. If someone is an idiot, I generally tell them so. I suppose you could see this as bullying, but at some point we need to remember that this is the mafia, not daycare. I am here to take care of those who have sworn loyalty to me, and that is and always will be my priority. I'm not going to hold the hand of NorvilleNoobypants if he wants to be blatantly brash and disrespectful. I will put him in his place, as my line has done for years, and as was done to my earliest ancestors. It is the way of the world. The hand holding and babying of new blood is, in my opinion, a major factor in the falling standards around here. A lot of them don't know basic respect principles or how to present themselves in public.

I am sarcastic, and rude or belittling when I need to be, but I am not a bully. Hell, I've trained up more new blood mafiosi than I can even remember, and several of them were ones I had "bullied" when they showed they didn't have a clue. So I gave them a clue, first with my words, and then with my knowledge.

Someone mentioned bringing back a Godfather Council, as much as I like the idea I would tweak it a little bit. More often then not you get Godfathers of the same caliber around, so I don't think a strictly Godfather Council will truly benefit the community without a change that perhaps there should be spots for the people actually down in the trenches and doing a massive amount of the work to keep their crewleaders in BGs, etc. That's right, include some members. Get a better perspective from people that aren't just at the top. These people are usually more connected to the members of the community then the top is. Especially if the top is narrowed down to a clique

The Godfather council discussion is something else entirely, and something that I think needs to be discussed. But for the purposes of keeping this monologue (relatively) brief, I won't describe my ideal council. Instead I will touch on your second point - "That's right, include some members. Get a better perspective from people that aren't just at the top. These people are usually more connected to the members of the community then the top is. Especially if the top is narrowed down to a clique."

In the last couple of weeks I have made an effort to individually mail as many members of New York as I can. This is something my ancestors did as well. We have always made it a priority to be on a first name basis with as much of our city as we can, when we have been in leadership positions. Now, obviously not all leaders do this, and it would be great if more did, but there actually are a few of us who truly do care. Underneath my hard troll shell is a very compassionate and caring man. It's just that that side of me is reserved for those who deserve it. Constance is very similar to me in this sense - despite your apparent disdain for her (and from what I've seen, every other female in the country) she is actually the absolute best leader my line have been around. And my journals include names like Evsie, UncleNicky, ToyArmadillo, and Cpt-Harris. She is the most involved, most dedicated and caring leader I know. But she doesn't just give that shit out to anyone, it's something that is reserved for her people.

Lastly - 

There should be more regarding the community as a whole. Not everything should be just behind closed doors, because if it is, its usually the CL just stashing up for their next of kin. Do more for your community then sit back on your laurels. There are other things that you can promote besides very boring stories no one really listens to anyways. Bring back the discussions that actually get people talking. Bring back the ability to have a difference of opinion, one that doesn't need to be silenced because other people don't like it. How about we try not to get offended by whose talking but rather by what is actually being said. I understand that might take some effort for those still holding grudges.

Now about those closed doors everyone keeps mentioning. Stop closing them. It makes you unapproachable and undesirable for a leader.

This is a novel concept, but sadly I don't think we will ever reach a time where the majority of us think of the community as a whole before we think of ourselves. I have recently been trying to change my own thought process on this, but it takes time. We can try to work towards it as a community though, and that is something I would be quite interested in doing, and is part of the reason why I gave this speech in the first place.

I do not stash up for my next of kin. None of my ancestors stashed up for their next of kin. We give our all to our city, period. However, I know this is an issue in general of late. I feel this is something city hall may need to get involved in, however. 

This part here is really ironic - "Bring back the discussions that actually get people talking. Bring back the ability to have a difference of opinion, one that doesn't need to be silenced because other people don't like it. How about we try not to get offended by whose talking but rather by what is actually being said. I understand that might take some effort for those still holding grudges."

That is literally what is happening, right here, right now. We are having a discussion, we are talking. You have an opinion, and so do I, and we are discussing those. I'm not going to hunt or bloodline you for your opinion. I have zero reason to "silence" you. I think it is pretty obvious to everyone here (other than you) that you are the one holding grudges, not the other way around.

As for closed doors - my door is always open, and you are welcome to enter it if you wish. But don't expect to have your hand held."

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