Interview with Jerred Blanchard
QUESTION 7
PAUL STECKLER:

There was a vote that you took that brought attention to you. What was that vote?

JERRED BLANCHARD:

There had been immediately after the strike commenced.

JERRED BLANCHARD:

Immediately after the onset of the strike, which is the second week of February, the question came up, what will the city council, if anything, what will it do about it. And none of us wanted to do anything about it. None of us. We thought that was business for the mayor. We knew one man could handle it a lot better than thirteen, a woman and twelve men. Anyway it was executive business and the one thing we didn't want to do five weeks into office was get involved in some sort of power struggle with executives. So we said, hands off. It's not our business. But early on it became quite apparent that Mayor Loeb was not going to resolve the strike, that his mind was made up and that if it were to be solved some way amicably, the city council had to be the agent that did it. So, about ten days into the strike, and I don't remember the date but it was probably the third Tuesday of the month at the regular meeting, there were a couple of motions, one was Lilly Donaldson's motion which called for a modest recognition of what was going on without any dues check-off. That was the big hang-up between Loeb and the union. And then there was another one, councilman, Jay O'Patterson, one of the able Black members of council, had sponsored and that was to give them full recognition including the dues check-off through the credit union. There was a motion to table that, i.e, not to vote on it and at that point in time I could not longer, in any conscience at all, vote on a pure racial line. Prior to that we'd had ten White votes, three Black votes, split right on that. I voted with the three Blacks, not to table that motion and then my telephone started ringing.