|Early on in their MicroSociety lessons, the citizens of Harborville had discussed needs versus wants. And the employees of the Task Force were certain that new uniforms were a need. “When I try to stop people in the hall to make sure they have a hall pass, they just breeze right by me,” griped Neveah. “That’s why my citations are down this month. Not because there are no violations. Citizens are speeding, gum chewing, and getting rowdy. I just get ignored.” She threw her arms up in frustration.
“Yeah, I know what you mean,” replied George. “Before I was hired here, I didn’t take you guys seriously because I didn’t know who was or was not on Task Force. Lots of kids just like to mess around and pretend.”
Lincoln, the 7th grade chief, carefully acknowledged their points, “So what you are saying is that if we are going to do official business like keep the streets and Marketplace safe, then we need to, well, look official. Makes sense. But with less citations being written, we just don’t have the money to buy them.”
Looking defeated for all but a second, George sprung to life, “You know those double doors that we all have to go through to get from one corridor to the other? What if we charged a toll like they do on the highway? Citizens would have no choice but to pay!”
Lincoln smiled as he did some quick calculations in his head, “With the 200 plus citizens in Harborville, if we charged a $2 Micro fee each way, we could bank $800 Micros a day. That would be huge. 9 uniforms couldn’t possibly cost half that much.”
That minute’s worth of math was all it took to convince all Task Force captains, sergeants, detectives and lieutenants. It was a go. Mission Uniform would go into effect the next day.
…and be met with resistance. Sitting at their table, sign dangling at knee level, NEW $2 Toll Fare Each Way, Tyrell and Jasmine, two 3rd grade lieutenants were met with scowls, grimaces, and grievances.
“I just walked through here yesterday and it was free. Why should I pay today?”
“There was no warning about this. We didn’t vote or anything. I refuse to pay.”
“Where’s the Mayor to do something about this? You need to be given a citation. This is downright unlawful.”
When the Task Force stood firm, so did the citizens-staging a peaceful protest, refusing to cross from one corridor to the other until the fee was waived.
Businesses were suffering. The economy was at-risk. The Task Force realized they needed to reconsider. If they angered the citizens, they couldn’t possibly be trusted to keep them safe.
Gathered around their makeshift table tollbooth, they put their heads together. This time, Neveah rose to the occasion, “What if we raised money by helping Harborville citizens? We could offer safety workshops for a fee. My teacher pays money to go to workshops…”
“And what if we offered a special 3-week course to train security guards. Then places like the bank and government center could hire them to keep watch?” suggested Lincoln.
“And what if we scheduled a Task Force vs. Citizens basketball game? We could charge an entry fee,” added Tyrell quietly.
And so, it was yet another go. Mission Uniform in effect again. This time, the goal wouldn’t be so rapidly achieved. But, more importantly hats and vests would be worn with pride. For justice was really what they represented.