Interview with Nancy Jefferson

Tell me now, a little bit further in time, about the snow of '78 and that story you told me about, people's disappointment with Bilandic.


Well, I think, you see, I think really Frost, as little as we know, Frost now had taken the seat, you know, just led to what we saw that, that the machine politics were and then Bilandic come on as, as the, as the, as the poli--as the person that that group selected to put in there. And, and he, he could not relate to, they had already won by not taking, by Frost not taking the seat. Bilandic came in and then the great snow came and it was just like God had ordained it, you know. So that we could prove his, that he was not the person that respected the, the population. Ah, the big snow came and Bilandic was still disrespected because that was the trend that was going, that we don't have to, you know, do what the, what the general population of Chicago, which is, primarily a Black population. ah, he, what he did was, when the snow came and then transportation paralyzed this city. You know everything was paralyzed in this city. Ah, he began to do snow removals were not done in the Black community and to pass up, which was a insult, the greatest insult out of all time, was that, people were standing on el platforms and I'll never forget that evening, at 4 o'clock in the evening, he ordered those els not to stop in Black communities, to go right through Black communities, taking those riders that passed through the Black community to Oak Park, to, the first stop would be Oak Park and then farther west, ah, it was the same on the South Side and every side of town was to pass up the Black community**. And the Black community people became irate because it was a personal affront, affront, a personal insult and they went to war, that's, that's how Bilandic was removed. And then Jane Byrne came. Ah, at, well after the snow, after the, ah, ah, that, that episode of paralyzing the city and how he paralyzed the people, ah, with any kind of snow removal. Ah, then when the snow began to settle down and was melted, you know, the snow left such debris, such chaos in the community, again, he decided to clean up other communities and not clean up the Black community. Jane Byrne took the opportunity and, ah, it was, of, of, when she began to run, used to stand at the el stops and remind people of what he did, ah, why he should not be there and that what she would do, ah, if we, if people would elect her. And we did. We went to war**. We said, "She's got the answer. She's a person to move Bilandic out of office." So, we always say, he got removed with the great snow.


Lets stop down now.