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|The Mayor of Republic City|
Before this tale commences, there are some vital misconceptions which must be clarified before this story begins; otherwise, this whole tale may seem to clash with the story of Avatar Korra. The United Republic Council does in fact deal with political affairs of The United Republic of Nations and commands the United Forces. However, the United Republic Council does not make up the entire governing body. A mayor is also elected by the people to deal with affairs within Republic City, such as organizing ceremonies and overseeing the city in general. Huán Jiàn (more commonly known as just Jiàn) has been seated as mayor of Republic City from shortly before Korra's birth and on. A man known as Xintu preceded him.
You may be wondering why neither Jiàn nor Xintu have been mentioned by Tenzin or any of the other council members before. The reason: the mayor really holds very little power compared to the Council. Former Chairman Sokka stated once before that "Xintu's responsibilities deal with the welfare and culture of the people of Republic City. We on the Republic Council have and always will protect the welfare and stability of the United Republic of Nations as a whole." While not exactly what Sokka meant, some council members interpreted this statement as meaning the council could overrule any decisions made by the mayor. In addition, Xintu received very little publicity despite being mayor because he had little to no relation with Team Avatar. It is also debated constantly as to how Xintu even got nominated for mayor. Some say he knew Sokka through their similar Water Tribe heritage, the loss of both their mothers at a young age, and the fact that neither one of them was a bender. However, this idea is mostly speculation, as Xintu lived in the Northern Water Tribe and was relatively scrawny and fragile in appearance. Others say Avatar Aang asked Sokka to nominate Xintu after he supposedly risked his life to save numerous citizens during a construction accident. Whatever the case may be, Xintu became well-liked by the people, although his compassion was constantly overshadowed by Team Avatar despite his constant visits throughout the city. Although he worked tirelessly for the people, Xintu trusted the rule of Sokka and the Council and rarely ever questioned their judgment; perhaps that was why some council members began to degrade the duties of the mayor. Nonetheless, Xintu was re-elected mayor up until his death, just a few years before Aang died.
Jiàn was not so trusting of the United Republic Council. Besides Tenzin, he was one of the few people in high authority who openly spoke out against Tarrlok. One such occasion occurred four years before Korra's first visit to Republic City, and that is where our story begins.
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