Did you assist groups with community organizing?


Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

How do you create the ground rules and the specific process?

Answer:
When I bring the parties to the table we have already gone through the ground rules once, usually in the pre-mediation session.

Question:
You present the ground rules?

Answer:
Yes. I try to give them as much of the process as I can so they know what they're coming into and what to expect. When I've started off if I haven't asked them to make an opening statement I'll give an opening statement. I'll remind them why we're here, that I've met with each of the parties and that they've concurred with this. I remind them I've gone over the ground rules and let them review what they are, so that we can work through this process. I remind them that we are going to respect each other and that we are going to negotiate in good faith. I tell them "You need to work towards a meaningful and an honest outcome and that we're not going to interrupt." They have a right to confidentially and a right to caucus. I give them all the fundamental options they have. It's a voluntary process and if it's not something you want to do, you have the right to withdraw. Usually after we go through the ground rules and there is concurrence and everybody understands, I ask if there is anything else we need to put in the ground rules before we go. Usually the only thing they question is confidentiality and most of the time that's the one that gets the most confusing. Other then that I'll say, "Are we ready to start? We have an agenda, do you want to look at the agenda? Let's start from the top."






Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

We laid out how we would like to see the mediation process proceed. We would set up the agenda; the mediators would control the mediation session. The two parties would have their own spokespersons and those spokespersons could have any of their other members speak so long as it was an orderly process. We indicated that these are the issues and here is how we are going to proceed, what process we were going to use in dealing with the issues.





Julian Klugman


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I don't believe in just dialogue, but the human rights commission set up a dialogue group. I got the leader of CALPAC (California Association of Taverns and Package Liquor Stores), a black woman who was a real visionary. My idea was to get together with KAGRO (Korean American Grocers Association). I got the two groups together and I wanted them to sponsor a program for training. I got them to co-sponsor a project for two things. First, we were going to set up a complaint system so black customers could register complaints and there would be a system to deal with the Korean merchants who were really doing things wrong. The other thing was that we would train. The woman who headed CALPAC was running two stores. She knew how to do it and she had a lot to teach the Koreans. And the Koreans had a lot to learn about how you deal with customers. I spent over two years trying to do a whole series of meetings and we couldn't pull it off. There was a lot of resistance from the black community, but this woman really was a leader. She was pulling her group along. But behind the scenes, she was paying the price for it. There was a lot of anti-Korean sentiment. The other thing was that the Human Rights Commission was undercutting the project.

Question:
How so? Were they doing something specific?

Answer:
They had a Korean-black dialogue and the Koreans tend to respond to where they see the power is, and I couldn't produce the money. If I could have produced the foundation money to fund this we could have done it, but I could not pull it off; it was too risky. The county, through the Human Rights Commission had this other thing going, and they saw what I was trying to do. I could not do it through the county. So I had to set it up as a separate thing and they saw it as competition.






Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

"Mayor, I've taken a tour through your town, I see a lot of people raising pigs, and there's a lot of garbage if you go on that street. If you take action against the Vietnamese, somebody might say you were targeting them, discriminating against them. Yeah, they're a problem, but you've got problems elsewhere and why are you not enforcing the regulations on the others?" So we came up with a strategy. Every spring there's a spring cleanup, for about two weeks. They'll have a whole citywide spring cleanup, and we'll add a Vietnamese component to it. So we got the translator to translate the safety ordinances and then the police and the city did it's cleanup work, but they did it all over town. So we got the job done in a safe manner and it was effective. It wasn't targeting people and we just helped them analyze that, and had the Vietnamese do a dialogue and a workshop.






Copyright © 2000-2007
by Conflict Management Initiatives and the Conflict Information Consortium at the University of Colorado