Interview with Carl Stokes
QUESTION 2
LOUIS MASSIAH:

Can you talk to me a little bit about Geraldine Williams and Jean Capers approaching you to run, uh, to run? Can you just recount that incident again?

CARL STOKES:

While I was in the legislature Geraldine Williams, or I should say really, Jean Capers, who was a, uh, controversial, uh, politicians here, council person who had served some three terms in Council and then been defeated, had converted her party and had, uh, been active in pursuing political goals of her own. The, uh, she, with Geraldine Williams and a group of other people, began circulating petitions to draft me to run for mayor. Ah, I had told them that if they got a certain number of signatures, that the, I would consid--





LOUIS MASSIAH:

Okay, once again, could you tell the story of Jean Capers and Geraldine Williams approaching you to run for mayor of Cleveland.

CARL STOKES:

The administration of Ralph Locher had been particularly, uh, punitive toward the Black community in the City of Cleveland. We were faced at that particular time with a thrust from those of us who had been in the civil rights and in politics of where to go and there was great deal of speculation as to the next step. In the process of all of this, uh, former councilwoman Jean Murrell Capers and a small group of people began circulating petitions, uh, calculated to draft me to run for mayor. Ah, I was not willing to respond to the particular draft by the Capers group, but this, uh, had been one of the things I had been considering and talking with people about and people had been talking about my doing. Ah, t--that however served as an impetus from the number of signatures that were gathered to make it something for me to seriously consider and, uh, uh, it had that purpose and effect.