Did the parties assist in the goal-setting process or influence your choice of goals? How?


Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Generally, I ask them what they think needs to be done about the problem. So, quickly we turn from a complaint phase into a resolution phase. Also, do they personally want to be a part of the solution process? Some say, "Yes, let me know what you need from me. I'll be there." Some will say, "I'll tell you everything you ever need to know, but don't invite me to be anywhere. Politically it's not safe for me to be there." They tell us who we need to talk to in the leadership, and tell us about the behind the scenes people.



Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Going back for a minute, when you're designing the process, do you get them involved in process design and ground rules, or do you do that yourself?

Answer:
We negotiate with them one-to-one and make sure everybody understands. We discuss and develop the ground rules at the start of the formal meeting. We help them decide how these meetings are going to run. They already know they have to respect each other, but now they have to commit to each other face-to-face.

Question:
Is there kind of a standard structure you use where each side lays out their needs and then lays out solutions?

Answer:
They lead themselves to that. Like in this situation with the fishermen, it wasn't that formal. But some other situations are very formal. For example, there's a town in Texas where police action caused a lot of disruption and the community had allegations of police brutality. I had worked with that chief before in a previous situation, and so he asked me to come and help. I had the chief's support, but the newspaper reported that he had asked me for help. So then it was assumed I must be aligned with the chief and competing against the minority community. Again we helped them to analyze their situation. They wanted an investigation by black F.B.I. officers, and of course they were going to write to the attorney general for this F.B.I. investigation. I explained to them that there were some benefits through my process that they would not get with the others processes. They could always exercise those options, they could file a civil suit against the city, which they did, they could ask the Attorney General to investigate, which they did, they could picket and holler and scream, and they did that too. Or, they could use my process, mediation. Then we analyzed the situation with them. Their attorney was advising the community people not to talk to the police or the investigators. This caused a problem because the police could not investigate through internal affairs, and the chief thought the police were being set up. I told the community, "I will write a letter to the Attorney General, once it filters through the process, it's going to take maybe a week or two. Then they'll assign it to a local F.B.I. agency so then about two months from now you'll have an F.B.I. agent over here. They'll take another month and a half to do the investigation, then it will go back to the civil rights division." I always tell them what the process is, because they may not be familiar with it.




Ozell Sutton


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
So you had different goals for each group?

Answer:
You see, it's their goals. You try to assist them and facilitate in their goals without being harassed, beaten or these kinds of things. So you try to get police to conduct themselves in a way that will not interfere with the people's right to address their issues and to redress those issues. You go around with an all-American notion that a person has a right to redress and protest if he or she decides to do so, and you don't have a right to go around preventing them from doing that, as long as they're doing it legally. But the establishment made it impossible to do it legally by restricting the streets and not letting them march when they wanted to march. So I'll provoke them and I'll just stand there when you get in a major march. The core of the marchers are committed people, but not everybody there is particularly committed to non-violence. Don't fool yourself about that. Most of them would commit to non-violence as long as there's not too much provocation. Then, when too much provocation comes, one man said to somebody "hit me now." We'll see how non-violent he is. So someone starts and then the fight's on.




Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Did you ever negotiate your role with the parties? Did you determine your role yourself or did you work with them to determine what role you would play?

Answer:
That's a good question. It would depend on the parties. If there were parties who were sophisticated enough to want to discuss with you your role and how to advance your role or improve your role or how to play down your role or whatever, then you'd do that. They were a pretty sophisticated lot. And every now and then, you had a leader in a certain group that you respected enough that you could do that with. Like Alice, we got to know each other, so we'd sit down and she'd say, "Why don't' you play the big, good guy and I'll play the old bitch." She was good at saying that. Well, it got down to times when there were people over the years that you worked with a lot, and you got to know that you could trust them and they were easy to cooperate with. You knew they were going to do the right thing. And if they felt you were going to do the right thing, things went pretty easily.




Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Did that help shape what your ultimate goals were toward the mediation process? You were able to hear what their various interests were, did that help shape what your goals were?

Answer:
Oh, I don't have any goals. That's a trick question isn't it? I am only being partly facetious in this. Seriously I think our goal is to help those parties reach agreement, and more importantly, to create or form a relationship which is going to continue beyond the agreement. I can honestly say that we didn't have our own goals of what we were hoping one side or the other would do. I think almost inevitably in a mediation case, and I am not talking about this one, but in a more long, drawn out mediation, I find myself fluctuating between this side being so reasonable and that side being so obstinate and then that changes. So on any given day, I might have favored "one side" and wished that the other side saw that. But that changes, it doesn't remain consistent through the mediation process. To me, that's just a verification of the fact that I don't have a specific agenda of what I want the agreement to look like. I might have some ideas of what might work, but even if I do, I am very, very careful to inject that in a way nobody will be too influenced. When the agreement is signed, it is very, very important for them to see that it's their agreement. I don't mind them thinking that Hanson helped them reach that agreement, but it's got to be their agreement.




Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

We ended up with goals in the agreement. They were worked out by the administration and the students looking at the numbers. It was pegged to the high school student population graduating in Massachusetts. I think they originally asked for thirty percent and the agreement was, once they worked through the numbers, twenty percent.



Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The town council heard the concerns from you for the first time?

Answer:
There had been enough writing and enough information. They knew generally what the issues were, but they didn't know exactly what all the detailed points that the tribe was going to ask of them. Once we got those from the tribal council, we were able to convey them to the town council. And there was concurrence that they would meet and discuss them.

Question:
Did you filter or launder those issues to make them palatable to the town council?

Answer:
We write them pretty much as they are conveyed to us. There wasn't any objection to it by the town council, but usually they are written in the language and from the perspective of the complainant. That was the way the issues were conveyed, that was the way it was brought to their attention and they decided to go with it. They didn't express any reluctance.






Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Do you influence what goes on the agendas? You mentioned one example where people forgot to put an overriding issue on an agenda. Do you help them shape the agenda?

Answer:
Well, most cases I'd say, you might use the terminology of coaching, but I think it's more a sense of feeding back to them what you heard in the assessment process. Sometimes they haven't done this before, so it's a matter of clarifying the issues.




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

We had a list of issues that we anticipated the Native Americans would ask, and a couple of things that had already come up. One, they wanted all of the remains. They wanted them to be buried in a certain location, and they wanted that location to be concealed. Two, they wanted to identify any of the artifacts that were related to what they called funerary objects to be returned with those remains, and to be tracked, and to go through and contact the professors to see whether anybody had, unintentionally or intentionally, borrowed any of the artifacts. So those were some of the types of demands or requests -- that would be brought to the table for discussions. So, what I normally do is, we get a list of those issues that the complainant has, and in this case we would consider the Ohlone People the complainant. We shared that list with the institution, and said, "Is they're anything that is not negotiable on their list of issues and do you have any additions to make?" There was an additional issue that the institution made because some 200 remains were not available because they were on loan to another institution. They had loaned them for study by another school, which they didn't remember until later. At some point later we got consensus and agreement on a list which served as the agenda when we came to the table. We structured this so that we had five to six representatives for the Ohlone and three from the Institution. All of the families had a representative at the table. But they wanted their elders there, because they have to consult with their elders on spiritual matters. This is a typical situation in a lot of Native American cases -- the elders make the calls, but they don't come to the table; they send the young people to represent them. So we had to negotiate some of the logistics in terms of the Institution understanding why the representatives would be going to their elders to have caucuses to allow for clearance of some of the issues as we go through the mediation process. That was all concurred in by the parties before we came to the table.





Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

When we took our material to the director, he only changed one thing. We wanted to have a corps of experts stationed somewhere strategically within the state, so that in the event of problems, they could go anywhere and respond with maybe one or two people immediately. We could visit the area, assess it, and then come back to the group and say, "Here's what's happening, here's what I think we need, here's the view of the warden. The staff is okay, or they're not okay." This kind of thing. We also talked about developing the team, what it was that we would need, including the use of other staff people that weren't part of the team. At the time, we envisioned a team of about sixteen people. But the director didn't like that idea. He thought that each institution ought to have its own specialist, and then based on the need, we ought to start bringing more people in. We felt this really wasn't the better of the two approaches, but since it was his thing, we said, "Okay, fine. We'll do it that way." When my warden friend and I talked about it, we never did say, "If this doesn't work, what do we fall back to?" We just said, "We want to go for that." When it wasn't what he wanted, and he presented us with the fall-back, we agreed to go for it.



Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

We also had women in the institution, and the warden's thought, not mine, was that women are more apt than males to be receptive to inmates' concerns. The reason for this is that male correctional workers tend to immediately pose themselves as, "I'm not going to talk to you as an equal. I'm going to talk to you as my unequal and it's up to you to bring yourself up to my level." The women don't do this. The women say, "What do you want to say? Okay, let's hear it. All right, fine, fine. I'll see what I can do about it, and I'll come back to you." And that's the end of the conversation. But she would go back, she'd get things done and would come back with either a yes or a no, either I can't or I can. Whereas a guy would say, "I don't agree with that," right off the bat. So that was the warden's keen sense. He was able to not only see it, but then say it.



Leo Cardenas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

How would you determine what your role would be in any case? Did the parties involved shape your role or did you already come in and say, "I am conciliator," or, "I am mediator," or, "I am regional director?"

Answer:
I think it's a combination of everything that's in the scene, including its history, its leadership, the timing of it, the type of response, and resources. Clearly, when a dispute has occurred publicly and words have been exchanged, people are not talking to each other. People already feel that they are in a corner and that they're fighting back, so they're almost like a caged animal. They're clawing rather than listening or reasoning. So we come in and begin to talk to them about how they got inside that cage in the first place, and how we can get them out of there. Then the venting happens. They're venting with us and against us. If we're meeting with a Hispanic group, and they're angry, it doesn't matter to them that I'm a Hispanic. But sometimes I'm able to use certain words and phrases and I'll intermix English and Spanish. This will sometimes bring down the tensions and bring some humor to the situation. So they'll vent all of this stuff in various emotions, and we want them to do that. Once they go through that process, then we can begin to talk. "Well, what type of issues do you have?" And before you know it, "Here. Here's this paper, here's this letter, here's a history. Remember I was talking about this and that?" And the venting is out of the picture and they begin to think in a different way, begin to put it in a different perspective. All we've done is sit down and listen and hopefully asked the right questions to begin to move. The eventual question is, "How can I help you? If I go and meet with the school superintendent, what can I tell them?"




Werner Petterson


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Let me back up a second, how did you determine what your role would be and how was that influenced by the parties?

Answer:
This case was I don't know how many years old. It had been hanging around the courts probably for 12 years or more so there was a lot of history there. Things going nowhere and people fighting back-and-forth in the courts about it and nothing happening. But I think the four people that came together in this negotiating team, two from the plaintiffs and two from the defendants, just clicked and there was not a lot of mistrust. I think they were really sincerely interested in working with each other and felt that they were all sincerely committed to finding a solution.




Manuel Salinas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

No. Because when we approached them, we mentioned to them we did conciliation work and mediation work, and our sole purpose was to assist them to reach whatever goals they desired and that perhaps we could assist them with the resources we had to reach those goals, not knowing what their goals were. We had no idea.

Question:
And it sounds like you're saying they didn't quite know either what their goals would eventually be.

Answer:
Not at that time, no.




Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Did you ever sit down with the party to help you figure out what your strategy would be, or was this solely with other CRS workers?

Answer:
No. It depended on what you thought the situation might be -- who you could trust. People you could work with. Sometimes you developed strategy with somebody that wasn't part of the agency but who might have been, for example, another agency, a sister agency, contemporaries or what have you. You might find yourself developing some strategy with the police department. You might find yourself discussing strategy with a community action director. You might find yourself discussing strategy with anybody that you felt fit into the scheme of things to the point where they could make a contribution and where you were comfortable with their input. And that happens lots of times when you are in the field. Especially if you are out there and you are by yourself. And if you're by yourself, you're trying to figure out who you're going to work with. Who's amicable to this situation? Who's hostile to the situation?




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
The inmates were really effective and articulate in expressing the problems and helping come up with ideas. They are creative and intelligent guys, as intelligent as anyone else in the room. They just took another path in their life.






Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The Native Americans were the most resistant in that they don't verbalize their problems much, and you have to really spend time with them. So they were a player, but they weren't as significantly involved as the black and Hispanic students were.






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