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Angelesthat is the council of the cityhad reneged on its agreement for a new housing program, consisting of approximately ten thousand units. The division and the tension and the animosities arising out of that were so great that the city council couldn't get organized until the matter was settled. And I remember going with the representatives of the housing authority and the city council to Washington, where we conferred with the federal housing authority and negotiated an agreement, which was a compromise settlement, which enabled the council to go ahead with this meeting. That meeting was That meeting of the council in which they approved the compromise was really something. I appeared before the council with Mayor Poulson. We presented the agreement and got unanimous approval of council. HOPKINS: What was the issue of that was contended? BEAVERS: Well, the Los Angeles housing development A private organization was opposed to the ten thousand unit program, and through their activities they had succeeded in influencing the council to renege on the agreement. Of course, at the time they didn't feel that the program could go through, despite the fact that the housing authority had already signed the agreement, and had spent considerable money preparing for the implementation of the program. There was quite a feeling against public housing that had 141
BEAVERS: From '62 to '63. HOPKINS: Oh, from '62 to '63. You've given us an account before in earlier sessions on the National Insurance Associ- ation, but could you give us a brief background as to how you were elected president? BEAVERS: Well, I was elected by their vote. [laughter] HOPKINS: All right. BEAVERS: I did their I was a keynote speaker for that organization. I believe that was in Los Angeles, and I was elected at that meeting, I was elected president, and I served until the next meeting, which was held in Chicago. I think I I don't know if this is on record or not, but Martin Luther King [Jr.] was our speaker in the meeting in Chicago. He was really dynamite. Was that on tape? HOPKINS: I don't think you mentioned that he was a guest speaker in '63. BEAVERS: Well, let me see. I have, well, I'll show it to you. [tape recorder turned off] HOPKINS: Mr. Beavers, as president of the NIA, National Insurance Association, what were your duties? BEAVERS: Well, being president of the NIA, you held all the responsibilities of leadership for that year. You have to work with you a director, …
Mr. Beavers, I see one of the first items here, in 1943 you received a certificate of appreciation from Franklin D. Roosevelt, president of the United States, in recognition of patriotic services rendered in aiding the administration of the Selective Training and Service Act. What was the Selective Training and Service Act? BEAVERS: Well, that was in connection with getting draf- tees, and that was the act that provided for getting selecting and training draftees. I was on that board in our community. HOPKINS: So, in the Los Angeles black community. Was there a particular station you worked out of? BEAVERS: No, it wasn't divided racially, it was just You see, at that time we didn't have the large population that we have now. And, of course, it was not a racial set up, it was mixed. HOPKINS: How did you come to be appointed to this board, if you can remember? BEAVERS: I didn't apply. HOPKINS: You didn't apply. [laughter] You were drafted. BEAVERS: But I suppose by virtue of the fact that I didn'tthat I Well, I don't know how it was I was I guess just due to my other activities in the city, I was active in other committees …
Chloe Beavers is a member of the Beavers Family.