At the corner of King Street and Hangman’s Drop, Paige Davenport smoked a cigarette on the corner outside Rader Records during a rare night off from campaigning.
Throughout her bid for Hathian’s City Council, Davenport has thoroughly outlined her plans for the seat if elected. During public events, debates and in interviews, Davenport has articulated a platform that includes elements ranging from the pragmatic to the radical; Or maybe they would seem radical against any other backdrop.
Davenport said that she, along with her running mates on the Hope for Hathian ticket—Jayda Ferrentino for council and Rabid Calhern for mayor—can “break the stranglehold of an indolent power elite in Hathian and effect real change through practical solutions.”
In any other city, discussing the merits of legalized prostitution, reforming sentencing requirements for drug offenders or reforming an obscenely corrupt police force would read like the diatribe of a fringe candidate. Yet, on this night, Davenport chose a very specific time and place for her interview with The Observer—just adjacent to the graveyard.
“This is Hathian’s heart, and so this is where I feel most at home,” said Davenport. “At the center of others’ stories, blessed by their voices.”
As Davenport points down past the city’s final resting place, she conjures up all of the narratives that have ultimately laid the foundation of a battered, but volatile city. In this context, her initiatives to jump-start Seaside Elementary, where she once served as principal, or founding a Chamber of Commerce to boost local businesses sound as attainable as establishing a brothel or an oversight committee for the Hathian Police Department.
“There is a caste of people here who do not want change,” Davenport said. “Because they are content to hold power and keep it from others… They preach change but plan for the same, stale system.”
In retrospect, Davenport’s choice of setting for the interview played right out a handbook on political theatre, yet it simultaneously demonstrated how the appropriate context can make anything seem possible.