Would the parties look to you for guidance in constructing solutions or would they come up with their own solutions?


Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Who came up with the solutions? Did you see that as the parties' job, or did you come up with solutions and propose them?

Answer:
Oh no. I didn't come up with hardly any of the solutions, other than the ones I thought were very, very important. I might ask if they want to put something in there about them. Like I was just telling you about the group where you had a historical meeting once a month or something like that, it's a good mechanism. But as far as the solutions, the groups themselves came up with their own solutions. For example. One side maybe talking about, "You know chief, we haven't had adequate garbage collection on my side of town in twenty five years. You know, we moved into this area because you all didn't want us to go back on the reservation." This is actual dialogue, I'm telling you right now. This is actual dialogue. "You all had this committee back in 1945 that came over here and met with us about not going back to the reservation. And then you build these housing projects up here for us, and you don't finish putting in the sewage." True story. "And the garbage trucks don't come up here. Maybe once a month. Whereas down in Platteville down there, the garbage trucks are coming in once a week. So what do we do? Don't you think we should have garbage collection just as regular as those folks in Platteville? And the chief said, "Let me talk to the city mangers. I'll get back to you all on that." And then the next thing you know, the chief took the lead in this situation. He responded by saying "You're darn right. You need a garbage collector." This is the Indian town. I've driven to the Indian town and saw all that garbage on Monday morning. "Darn right. I think you've got a point." Next thing you know, they're getting garbage picked up on Mondays. It didn't mean that good citizens came from either side, there were good citizens on both sides. So that's a real something that's no longer a tension breeder, to go out and see filthy garbage on the sidewalk.






Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So then, it was my job to put the plan in writing as a proposal to them. After a little more refining, they said, "That's great. We'll do it this way."



Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

It sounds like from our conversation that mostly you rely on the parties to come up with their own solutions, but do you ever develop solutions and present them to the party?

Answer:
Oh yeah. Like the fishing rights issues I would share with them how another community in a conflict situation resolved it. That in effect is suggesting something along this line or asking the question, "Can you adapt some of this to your benefit?"

Question:
Do you do this early on or do you let them grapple with it themselves for awhile and then present it if they run into trouble?

Answer:
I would probably do both. It would depend on the degree of conflict and the distance the parties are apart.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I gather from what you've been saying that parties come up with their own solutions primarily?

Answer:
Yeah, I would say so. At times we can give options of what other cities have considered, and some cities will say, no I don't think it will work in this community. That's happened. But since I don't know the community that well, and I don't live in that community, I have to let them decide what's going to work for them. They'll say, "Hey, that's a good idea, let's see if we can work, let's get more information," so maybe I'll get somebody from that community. If the conflict is in community number one, I'll bring somebody from community two to see how it worked in community two and they'll share their experiences, and number one will say "well, I think it will work, it's a good idea, but not the way it is over there because it's a different environment," every city is unique. So if we do it this way, I think it'll work. Or they'll say, "no, that's not going to work here." I'll show city number one (that has the immediate problem), how number two is working. How they're doing it. It's kind of like cross fertilization. And just like I used police officials to help other communities, I used community people to help other communities. In that way they get to see what other cities have done, and maybe it'll work or not work for them. That way we don't tell them they need to do this, but would they consider doing something, but still it's them deciding.




Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Did you actually come up with the drafting of the agreement or did they come up with the agreement?

Answer:
No, you do that together. In any community they know who the scribes are. The scribes sit down and they write. So, you identify the person who can identify the scribes. And over here, well they figure that all of them are scribes, they just have to look around and grab somebody.

Question:
Beyond scribes, though, who's saying..? We know that one issue is education. Who's saying, "Well, I think we need to get six Indian teachers at the high school?"

Answer:
We don't deal with that. I do not deal with sitting at the table and talking about numbers. If you let people work together to make a decision about how many teachers they need, you put it together yourself. Along with the establishment and the minority community, you let them work out the details. This helps them because they get accustomed to working together. CRS mediators don't have the time and it's actually more beneficial for everyone involved. In this instance the Blue Sky Action Council is still in existence.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Did you contribute to the agendas, or did you just record what they tell you?

Answer:
No, we took what they said I took their agenda items and then I rewrote and organized it for clarity. I started with some simple, easy to resolve issues including those where I knew the inmates would win. Censorship matters, food issues, creature comfort matters. I put some of the heavy duty ones further down. I wanted them to see they could reach agreement on some issues. Pretty standard text. Along the way, the Italian American group could not come up with anything meaningful for its portion of the agenda. They wanted sick leave for the work program. That was their issue, sick leave. That’s all they could think. Their leader said, "We really don’t have anything here,” and during the course of the mediation, the Italian Americans acknowledged they weren’t a culture group. They had no issues and they were beginning to feel awkward. It didn’t really manifest itself until later at the table when they basically said, "We’re dissolving, because we have no reason to be here.” While listening to others at the table, they came to understand and appreciate the plight of the racial minority groups, and they didn’t want to be there.




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.






Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So here's the plan we laid out for them: "Okay, we're going to sit down, we're going to write something out. And what we're going to write out is that you agree not to blah, blah, blah. What do you think?" So they read it. "That's okay." The other guys read it. "That's okay." We agreed that for two weeks, there wouldn't be a hassle.



Bob Ensley


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Then when the people in the community begin to realize that they have a stake in this issue, they become more involved. Then I pretty much know that I can leave and tell them I'll be back at a certain time. But you've got to realize that this is their problem and the only lasting resolution will be one that the people who live in the community agree to. We can say this is what the Department of Justice has decided to do, but it's only going to hold for so long as we're there. But if they come to an agreement on their own and begin to realize this is their problem, then you can feel a little more comfortable with leaving and saying, "I'll be back." You do go back and follow up and see if they've made any progress; you look at your checklist. Then sometimes you'll say to them, "You know, your effort and everything you're doing is fine, but wouldn't it be a good idea if you would call the state Human Relations Commission to come in to give you some assistance in this?" Or, "Wouldn't so-and-so in the governor's office come in to help you? Think about it."



Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I talk to them individually and as a group to get a consensus. Always I ask, what do they think has to be done to resolve what's going on, and what role do they want to play. From this I try to get a community committee made up of all these elements. Once this committee decides to go somewhere and do something it will most likely be successful, because they have the okay of all these elements. That applies everywhere. Wherever you go there's different sectors of clubs or churches and they're all interrelated. The politicians may also be business persons, they have kids in school, they go to church, they belong to some clubs, their relatives might be in law enforcement. It's the same with everybody, in law enforcement the cops go to church and they have businesses, so it's all interrelated. You must have representation of the entire town, and if this committee decides to do one, two, and three, it likely will happen.



Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

We analyzed with them their options and what they wanted to do. They chose a community rally although they said if we have a rally the Klan is going to come and the media is only going to cover the Klan. Also, what about security? So we helped them with law enforcement and came up with a security plan. It had to be a public rally so there wouldn't be retaliation of those speaking, with the option of city council passing a resolution condemning the violence and hatred. They were supporting brotherhood, togetherness, and working with each other, so the politicians were going to meet in public and pass this resolution. They asked me to write the resolution, I couldn't, but I did review it.



Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So they came up with nine issues, including recruitment of minorities, internal affairs investigations, and composition of internal affairs. How the police enforce the law in one place and not another, and their excessive use of force. So what I have the community do is set the agenda. I asked them to propose a remedy. "What would resolve it? Something that's doable. We talked about what's doable. You can't fire all the officers and the chief, but what is doable." Right away you take them from a complaint mode to finding a solution. Right from the very beginning practically, once they accept the process. So you have an issue and the police department's going to come up with a response. It may not be what's happening, or how the police see it, but this is how we see it, and that's in writing.



Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

They talked about that, and the next day they shared the notes with the media and that became the "sixteen-point agreement".

Question:
Who gave it to the media?

Answer:
They did, somebody did. The Klan or the police department, somebody. But it appeared in the newspapers, the "sixteen-point agreement" between the Klan and the Vietnamese.

Question:
Did it hold?

Answer:
Yeah, because it has the concerns that they all have. It showed that the Grand Dragon was doing something for his people by meeting with the Vietnamese and it was proof that he had met. At the end everybody benefited. Although in a mysterious kind of way.

Question:
Where did these sixteen points come from, were they just bullets that you put down?

Answer:
Yeah. What they said they were going to do. They came out of the agreement. We got there a different kind of way, but everybody was satisfied.

Question:
And you had no idea you were writing an agreement when you were taking notes?

Answer:
No, just notes. I always take notes.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Did each of these task forces come up with their own one year plan or was it coordinated?

Answer:
Each came up with their own because they were looking at different things, so they each came up with their own, but combined as part of a whole. In essence, we were working with another group in Houston, the Asian-African-American task force, and we followed that model when we worked in Jasper. The incident triggered off this thing in Houston that happened in 97, I think it was September of 97. Bringing the community together, and having the elements work together, the store owners, the Vietnamese, the black community representatives, and law enforcement. What are the issues out there, what are the potential problems and what could work, what's doable, so we got it set in stone, and we sat down and worked out a plan to take care of all the problem and issues. It involved training and educating. It was difficult for the store operators of mom and pop stores to take time off and go to the meetings so we decided the meetings would be held in the stores. We were sitting on top of crates and things, and the police did security survey's for all the stores. We analyzed the friction points, what were potential friction points and then developed plans to deal with them.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

To me, it sounded like there was great logic to that issue, but the administration would not budge and that was its concession to the guards, who felt that the administration was giving away the institution. I didn’t even make a serious effort to intervene, because I know the logic was there and it was so clear. You’d cry to hear this guy make his plea. "The Indians are in trouble, no one is going to help them like a brother. Let us help our brothers.” "Ah, forget it. That’s our job.” So they the Indians didn’t come back to the table after that.



Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Five or six people from the black community were there, and only one of them was talking. It was clearly a planned meeting. They had worked out whatever differences they had before I ever got there. And they said "Dick, we appreciate everything you’ve done, but I think we’ll take it from here. Why don’t you go back to Chicago, and we’ll call you if we need you.” So that took care of that. What had happened, is that they had announced a week or so earlier, and this had gone by me, that they were going to have public hearings on these police issues. They were going to have a public debate and the police chief’s chair would be there, even though he refused to participate. It would be empty. And they knew they would get good publicity. One of the black leaders was about to run for the city council, and there were a couple of other agendas there. Also the hearings would heighten awareness in the community of their problem. It was a great strategy. But they didn’t want any mediation at this point, and they let me know in no certain terms. And they were right, so I went back to Chicago. And they got their publicity and the problems was mitigated, although probably never fully resolved.



Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So one of the things that we did is to start off in very general terms talking about their hopes and priorities and expectations for the community. We would ask them what a fair agreement, in broad terms, would look like to them. As we discussed that, there was the beginning of seeing that there is some agreement here. We may have very different approaches, but there are some common denominators there. We didn't call it "fairness" at that time, but that's really what we were talking about. If we are talking about a fair system, that would include the principles that everyone agrees to. But I really do think that a mediator is going to get into trouble if they try to control whether or not an agreement is fair. On the other hand, I do think that a mediator has some responsibility to not allow a party to negotiate away basic civil rights.






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