Interview with Geraldine Williams

Could you talk about the strategy of the block supervisors? How did they work?


Well, at first we gave a, a large tea for Stokes and we took the names, A--any time that we give a gathering we'd take the names of all the people that were there. Then we'd break them down as to precincts and where they lived, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And if they were interested enough to come out to a meeting to Stokes we figured they were interested enough to vote for him. Then we contacted all of the precinct committeemen from ou--you know, our wards. We got the ward books and contacted all the precinct committeemen, especially in the Black wards to see if they wouldn't vote for Stokes. And then we decided that, we took a crisscross directory el--uh, along with our ward books to find out who was registered and who was not. We'd run their names simultaneously. Then we'd find th--those that were not registered, we'd send somebody out to register them. So we said we better get this done block by block. So, uh, that was the only way that we were going to be assured that there would be sufficient turnout at the polls. We knew we had the votes but we had to get 'em out. It's one thing to have 'em, but to have 'em just sit there. So we organized block by block**. Each block had a supervisor or a block captain. Or two or three blocks would have a supervisor and then there would be a block captain on each block. And those block captains reported directly in to the Stokes' headquarters that was in their district. We had headquarters in the central area for about Wards 11, 12. We had, uh, headquarters in the Glenville area for 24, 25, 27. We had, uh, uh, Kinsman area, which was Ward 10--