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Welcome Mayor Wellington Webb. And I - do I have to step here or do I need to go to - can I go down there? You can - look both way about. The room would have pretty good acoustics if you go loud a little bit, it should be better. Let me first say that it's a pleasure to have all of you out tonight for this is our third book signing. We started out with Bemis Library in Littleton and then we went from Bemis Library to a Denver Press Club sometime this week and then we go up to, I think, it's Boulder next week Metro, San Diego, Washington and I have lost track but - let me talk about a little bit about the book and how the idea for the book came about. It - it germinated from first of all Bill Hornby right after I was elected Mayor Bill Hornby came into my office and said that he wanted to be on the planning board and which I thought was a great idea and I which we put him on the planning board, he later became Chairman of the planning board but he also suggested I should write a book and I should keep a journal each night, so that I could write this book and he would actually be the one that we would write it with me after my tenure as Mayor and I told to him after a few weeks that I was so exhausted at the end of the day that I didn't have time to write a journal nor did I know where to put in the journal, nor when I thought about it the journal would have been so long that if I had done a book it would have probably have been 2000 pages and no one would read it because they would be bored to death and so the idea of the book just completely dropped until after I was no longer Mayor. And it really came about the latter part of 2000 - some point in 2003 when I began talking with my grand kids and it was clear to me that they knew me but they did not know my parents or my grand parents and because of their age I thought that it was very important for me to try to - to do a chronology of our family history. Because what I found is that your children remember only liked the first or second generation. They don't remember any one beyond that and then I remember taking ahead a tape recorder and when my daughter graduated from college I said I had an interview with my dad. And most of what he told me I didn't know, matter of fact, all of what he told me I didn't know. And it was about his history and some of it was very painful. It was very painful for him because he didn't graduate from high school. He was not a civil rights advocate, he felt like he had let people down because he had taken a job and worked for the rail road and he talked about the stories about - even though he could serve whites on the train, then when it came time for them to eat they put a black curtain up in the train and he would have all the - all the black employees would sit on one side and the whites would sit on the other, even though it was integrated in all parts of the train. And so from that I said I need to interview my grand mother and she wouldn't talk. And she said why would you want to bring up all those bad things. What do you want to know? You want to know how our mothers and grand mothers were raped. You want to know about how I got chased from school because of my complexion. Not from whites, from blacks. You want to know about - why do you want to dredge that up when I have tried to put all of that behind me. And I was so struck by that I felt I was insensitive because I hadn't prepared her for the discussion. And but at the same time I couldn't get her history so that I could then share that with my younger brothers as well as with my kids in hopes that they would then share it with their kids so that they would have some background. So the book is actually in two parts. The first part of the book is about my family and how we arrived in Denver which was a long, arduous journey from my grand mother being the youngest of 10 kids born in Selma, Alabama. Parents died, she was raised by her elder brother in New Orleans and graduated from Dillard University and after graduation she married beneath her economically and they actually then ended up moving, as many black families did, during part of the great migration to Chicago because it was jobs over there but they never sold the land. They always kept the land. And so after getting to Chicago, because she said she was a (indiscernible) not a seamstress. She designed the clothes that she made out of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar others and some of her own designs that she didn't want her profession to be belittled even though she had a teaching degree, she made more money making clothes and she - her daughters all went to DuSable High School that had some pretty interesting people coming out of DuSable. John Johnson who became the editor of and publisher of Negro Digest and later Ebony (indiscernible), they were all out of that particular year and so we trace a lot of that history and after she was burned out and her kids were - her kids were all married. She asked my dad who was working on the rail road and Chicago and North Western used to run from Denver to Los Angeles. Some of you remember those trains that we call City of Denver, City of Portland, City of Los Angeles and they would run between Chicago and Los Angeles and the Chicago crew would actually ride from Chicago to Denver and they would get off. And the Denver crew would get on in Denver and go to Los Angeles and would turn around and come back. And so my dad told my grand mother, he found us a quiet sleepy little town that was called Denver and she wanted to have a fresh start. So at 51-52 years old she just picked up left, came to Denver and did work herself. She met with (Ruby Kurt Gray) and she moved in with Ruby and another family called the Freeman's and began to make her life and she said now I am so pleased I have left Chicago behind me. We are unbeknownst to her. I woke up one night unable to breathe and I was - my folks had moved from Chicago to Gary, Indiana which we like to joke they would go into the suburbs if you have been to Gary, that is a joke okay. It's a real joke that - because my aunt had gone into the service so she had a GI bill, her husband had a GI bill so they both bought houses in Garyville cracker box small houses but they were houses. They were unlike Chicago tenements that my brother and I had to go back to every summer. And so we were living in Gary and one night I woke up and couldn't breathe and the breathing was very protracted and she called the hospital and the hospital said it sounds like he is an having an asthma attack, which is what I was having and the asthma progressively got worse. I could not, I could not run around on the block without wheezing in the sun and in those days the newspapers and televisions would have accounts on on television how many polio cases with red weak counts it's going to be and so last one picked for stick ball, basketball, baseball, never got selected because I couldn't run. I would go half a block and I would be wheezing. So what I would do is I would play for pretend games and I started reading books. And I thought that the books that I would like were primarily (indiscernible) on his journeys or you know, I was starting into Achilles and their attack on Troy and study of Marcus Aurelius and other Roman emperors that out of the Caesar Dynasty. That's so - that what I did for a hobby but I couldn't tell anybody. Because I mean, it looks black kids studied Roman history. That's a square, I mean, it just didn't fit right. So doctors say that you have to move to another climate and so it was either Arizona or Colorado. My mother took me to Mayo clinic and then we went Tucson, Phoenix, we rode around. And said well let's try Denver, your grand mother is there and it pointed out to me how all of our lives for so many of us where we end up living to a large degree for kids is based upon decisions that either our parents or our grand parents make that we don't have a lot to do with. And so I ended up moving in with my grandmother in Denver and going to manual in every summer. We would go back to Chicago on a pass and my grandfather on my father's side was a graduate at Tuskegee and he graduated with has a with degree and as a tailor and also one tutored under Booker T Washington and that's where the name Wellington from because he was a historian, my fathers name was Wellington and it was his middle name, he changed because he thought that was a girls name. His name was Marion Wellington Webb so he changed it so and he named his son Wellington, so then to keep the lineage and I hated the name when I was young, I thought it was square too. You know now not only do I have a square name I studied Greeks and Romans and that's square. So, I am in Denver but. 2 or 3 things happened at that were pretty powerful experiences for me in my life and that was, my grandmother wanted me to she was always worried about me not pushing the envelope. So she entered me into an oratorical contest. And I had to and which I won the local contest in Denver and then I had to, we took the train to Austin, Texas. Our train arrived in Amarillo and once we arrived in Amarillo, Texas then we had to, if you were black, you move to the back of the train and I was very offended that I have to get out from my seat and move to the back of the train. And I tried to have her explain that to me and it she said that's just the law, that's just the way it is. So then after we got to Austin and we stopped at a dime store and I went into the dime store and sat at the counter. And obviously I didn't get served and the waitress came by and said from where were you from? And I said Denver; she said well, you know, we don't serve you people here at the lunch counter. And then my grandmother pulled me up around the neck and said, you stupid you are not supposed, we can't eat here, she pulled me up and that was my first visit to Texas which wasn't pleasant and I went back to Chicago and that summer, young man that lived a block from us name of Emmett Till disappeared and the headline in the Chicago Tribune was Chicago boy missing. And we all all of us in the neighborhood knew he was dead. But we also were like, what did he do since he knew what the rules were, because if you were a black family in Chicago or any where else when you went south you had a whole session with your family that tell you what you didn't do. The drive would be, all the way through, from, in our case, going to Mississippi would be from Chicago to Pascagoula and it would be non stop, only time you would stop would be for gas. You leave early in the morning and if you had to stop you had to make sure you stopped near very lit area in a larger city and shoe boxes were very important because people fried chicken the night before in the chicken box and the shoe boxes full of chicken for the trip. And then after you arrive then you always felt safer because you wanted to make sure that you didn't get pulled over by the police especially on one of the smaller towns. And my grandmother on my dad's side had what was called the kitchenette in a little flat, which was on the second floor so you'd walk up there is three, three rooms on the three what we would call apartments on the first floor and my grandmother was elderly and we would not go up to her place. Joe and I hated going there. And she had one room which was the bedroom and the living rooms were all combined. And then a low kitchen on side with a low kitchen table where we would eat. And her main recreation was General Hospital Stella Dallas, all these radio shows, Fibber McGee and Molly, all the things I remember from my childhood but then I also learnt something else. Coming from Denver I didn't experience part of that growing up in Chicago until I started to go go in there in summer. And then that next morning I woke up and I had welts on my arms and then she said I might have to call your dad and so my dad came over. And so then I don't know if any of you are familiar with bed bug and that can pretty prevalent especially once they get in the close in the apartment and so then its spread the paper all out on the floor, put the mattress and the springs up, then he starts spraying this little would fall out and you step on them. If they had a good night biting you know, the blood would pop out and they say, you know, and if they didn't they didn't, and so and the bathroom is down the hall. So 8 flats, living core is on the second floor and the bathroom is in the middle. And my first time Joyce, I forgot, I went and I left the tissue steal in the bathroom. And she said where is the toilet tissue and I said it's in the bathroom. Then I got slap, run back down and get it before it before its gone. I ran back, it was gone. But and so then you know then when Joe came he wouldn't just like this, so obviously we want to get back to Denver and live with our grandmother on our mother's side as supposed to living with my grandmother on my father's side. Except she tried to be helpful in her own way, she took me to a there was a faith healer that had the big tent down that lake Michigan and I stood in line then as the line would move up then I would step back and finally she pushed me up front. I don't know if it was (Oral) Roberts or who it was. He grabbed my head and said heal, and I just thought lighting was going to come out, it scared the dickens out of me. It and she thought that she was trying to be helpful and I was saying that's not going to cure my asthma, you know, and then she bought the prayer clock, she brought the prayer book, she bought all this prayer stuff. And as Jim knows in Chicago, that's where, I had a lot of cousins there, south side and west side. West side was always a little tougher than the south side, south side is little more intellectual and so we would go the we would go to the regal theater, we would go to Tivoli and people try and stop you for much money or show money and one day I said, I am from Denver, I am not paying. They said well, lets hit him and run and my cousin said where were you going to run to and I said we would run to the hill. And he says, so then I said, you know we can get away he says what happens when we get up and the hill is not coming. And I said, all right, how much do we have to give him. But that experience of growing up in Chicago in Gary has always stayed with me and I always wanted our kids to know about it. You know we have since taken all our kids back, so that they could get both that experience as well as experience up in Mississippi and the New Orleans and as well as in Louisiana. As a matter of fact we had a family reunion four days before Katrina here, right at the levy that broke and most of the folks lost their homes at that point in time. But the last couple of points, our wives have always said, they didn't, they thought our sense of humor was bizarre because we would laugh at sad things and I think we used the humor to get past sometimes what was so painful. We used to joke that my brother Michael, I'd call and ask Mike what mother was cooking and if she said lettuce and tomato salad, green peas, cream stock corn, and cube steak and rolls which she thought was a well balanced meal. We knew what that really meant was welfare spam out of the can and water, cornflakes, if we were lucky because she would never say we didn't have food and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. What she would say is that that was her public meal but we knew internally that meant there was no food in the house. And so and her view as well as my grandmother's that you don't complain, that you work till you get a better day. My grandma and I close on this I would talk about second part of the book that the one thing you notice throughout the book is my grandmother is the matriarch of the family. Everything stems from her, even as grown men we were afraid of her. Didn't matter what age, we were all frightened of her. And she had what she called the four point rule for graduation from high school. You had four options. One, you go to college, number 2, if you choose not to go to college go t the army. Number three, if you choose neither option one or two you pay her rent, you pay her utilities and you pay her a stipend for the time she took care of you before, while you were in High School. And option number four is you leave within two weeks if you don't pick one of the first three. And there was no deviation, if you went out on a date and she gave you a time to be in, if you weren't in, I never understood why she turn the light on. She would always have the light on, you would knock on the door and then after she sees you on the porch, she would say I am glad that you are okay. She would turn the light off and say I god bless as you wherever you are sleeping tonight, because its not here. And she would go back to bed and you may not get in for a day, two, three, it depends on, if you break her rules, you pay. And I I kidded Joe. I said I knew he was going to be a police officer because he was trying to always to beat the system. He would little match sticks and jimmy the lock, fiddle it and when he come in she'd take all the stuff that he put in the lock and set neatly by the by the door. And she would do it in the same way, except she would tell him to take all of that junk he tried to jimmy the lock with, with him, when he left. So for us it was it was special. I was the first my grandmother graduated from Denver as I said my grandfather graduated from Tuskegee, I was the first her three girls, none of them graduated from college which was very painful for her and then I was the first grandson to graduate and her view was that if I graduated the others would follow. So which is what happened and we tried to continue that tradition with her grandkids. Getting into politics for me was all by accident. I was a jock, well Wilma was playing the organ in new hall Baptist Church and my grandmother was the chair of the Woman's Day and Coretta Scott King was making her first public speech, I was playing a pick up basketball game cross across from (indiscernible). She was like 9th grade president, 11th grade, 12th person really kind of disgusting. Same class president. I was on the other end, I was about to drop out and one sad aspect for me was the day I was inaugurated, I was going out the steps to the capital. One of the individuals that dropped out, that I was speaking to they went to work for the sitting county at Denver. It just finished with a large dust mop cleaning the floor in front of the Mayor's office, when I was getting ready to walk in and I held their entourage and they never knew why because I want to give him an opportunity to leave, so either so that neither he would be embarrassed nor I because I felt ecstatic about winning but I also felt good about the choice I made that I didn't know that the choice I was making was going to lead to me where it lead and the choice that he made led him into a situation that he was still into that day. So when I decided to get into politics, initially it was because I couldn't find a job and I went to see and I had, now I decided to go to college to make everyone happy, I went to see Mayor Tom Currigan and he says he didn't remember this. I remember asking my grandmother why am I going to go see the Mayor. I don't know him, I think its humiliating for me to go see him. I am going down here and ask a man for a job that I don't even know and she said, don't worry, you don't know him, I know him. I carried this pre-psyche I know everybody in it and he will meet with you. So he explained to me that he had no control over the Denver School board. I saw him on a Wednesday, I had been denied a contract with DPS twice, Thursday afternoon I had a contract to teach (indiscernible) Junior High on Thursday and and I said, well it might be something, some of this politics but I was so I was so humiliated by the experience that I never took the job. They held the job for me while the new orientation was going on for new teachers and I took the job working at Fort Logan Mental Health Center because I thought and they called and asked me why didn't you take the job, I said well I know the state wants me and I thought that the experience was so humiliating, I hope no one else has to go through the that same time period my first job I was out of college and I was looking for employment and (Herrick Ralph) showed me, demonstrated to me what's called the what he calls the the authority of power. I talked to about 20 people looking for employment and after each experience, each meeting I would be given a call-in card. I went to see Herrick at the suggestion of Jim Reynolds who was head of the Colorado Civil Rights Division and Herrick said I am going to show you how power works. He picked up the phone, he called Jim Gavin who is Director of a program called Job Opportunity Center which is where I met Ruben Valdez that's how far back we go. We were placing people in jobs from the wind program and through operations there. And he said I want him to start work on Monday. He said if you have power you don't need to give out a card. People give out cards on the referring people, to some one else to help them. He said I am going to show you all I am going to do is pick up the phone and you will go to work on Monday and so I told Harry, I said, that was a valuable lesson. Number two, I always had told him that he gave me my start because he gave me my first professional job and one of the reasons I had the Tuesday night open forums where people could come in when I was Mayor is because I remember how I went in in meeting with Tom Currigan and said you never know who might come through the door, that you might be providing a helping hand, so you don't know what's in their future, you don't know what their future holds for them and if you can provide an opportunity for them that it's a good thing to do. So I ran for the legislature, met Jimmy Carter - thought he would be elected Mayor. Would be elected president, he was people thought as a genius, everyone else was supporting Mark, you know. who was more liberal and people thought Carter was too conservative and he was from the south and went to the legislature and met you know, but my first experience in the legislature also showed me something or two about power. When Republicans had control in - Carl Gustafson was the majority leader and when he put on his 10 issues that meant they were running 35 bills that day with no amendments from Democrats. They just go on and run the table and then and so this was the first time I introduced the Martin Luther King Bill and headed as a resolution and the resolution said that the State of Colorado goes on record supporting all of the efforts to make King's birthday a holiday and Gustafson told me that they liked the resolution and said they would delete the paragraph that says, goes on record supporting efforts to make it a national holiday. And I and there was so much commotion and then I said well, if its this much effort to get a resolution passed why don't I just introduce the bill? And so the next year I introduced the first bill. I also made my first big speech and it was the worst speech one could make. It was a speech out of my left leaning days and I talked about how the - appendages of racism had come into the (indiscernible) and reached into the hearts of man and men and women and it was I thought it was outstanding speech. I had a 70 year old committee man that was sitting upstairs and he pulled me of to the side afterwards and he said you know that's the worst speech I heard in my entire life for someone that I had so much faith in and he said now that was a good speech for the neighborhood, but that is not a good speech for the state capital. And he says I thought you knew better than that and I thought we trained you better that and I felt like two sense. But what it did teach me is that there are different types of speeches for different groups and then I said I won't make that, I wont make that mistake again. And so I enjoyed the legislature but I got bored with it, there is a difference in being the majority and being a minority and so the next 2 years we were in a minority party, then 2 years in a majority and then after that we were back in the minority and then I know it was time to get out of there and I went to work for Jimmy Carter and spent three years working in the Federal Government, then came back and worked for Dick Lamb and I told Dick that I was glad that he had won his third term because I walked out on the first one, boycotted the second one and he called and asked me if I would take a job with him and I said, Which one and he said give me a number between one and 10 and I said 6 and then I hung up and then Wilma said, you are working. And then I called him back, said 7 and and so then he did he did hire me and it has been a great friendship and relationship ever since. In 1983 I thought Bill McNichols could be beat, Federico Pena thought Bill McNichols could be beat. Federico ran a great campaign, captured the imagination of the people and won and, you know, and I came and got in the race late, did everything wrong and I remember I was on I was getting ready to leave and a (indiscernible) stopped me and said, you would be Mayor one day, just not this time. And then another person came over and said you need to cut the goatee too, a smile was then on and unlike a fashion consultant that later told me I needed to bond my teeth, gap my teeth, couple of moustaches of which I said I wouldn't do because people you know vote for who you are and not for who you are pretending to be. And so 1987 I was prepared to run for city council at large. As a matter of fact Carlo Susan Duncan told I was going to run for City Council at large. Wilma said have you ever been to a Council meeting, I said no, but I hadn't been in the legislature before I ran for that either and all have been there is six month ahead of time, so I went to a council meeting and they I think it was something about alleys and trash pick ups. So the worst night I had. It so I left I called Susan Duncan the next day and I said I am not running for City Council. This is not cut out for me. I am an Executive branch person and then Maria Garcia and I had lunch and she said, you know, you really ought to run for audit and it's more like what I was doing in those regulatory agencies. And so we put a team together and I ran for auditor and I was elected. 1990, I had my first fund raiser, for re-election for auditor, and I was prepared to run for re-election. And they called called me in the office, and said Federico is going to announce in 15 minutes he is not running for the election. And Wilma was at a legislatures, black legislature's conference and I called and told her that she could tell Arie Taylor and tell her not to tell anyone. Well, that's just like telling Western Union not to telecast. So the first thing Wilma said, Arie you can't tell anybody. Federico is not running for re-election and then Aries for those of you that know her, she jumped up my god he is not running, and said Wellington is going to run for Mayor which was supposed to have been a secret, so it and I hadn't fully made the decision yet. And so I went out and said I need to find a campaign manager and we Mike Dino and I met each other. We both lied to each other for the first 20 minutes. He told me about all the campaign experience he had which was very limited, I told him about all the money I had which was none and after we figured out both of us were lying we looked at each other and I would say, well this might work. The tall guys and so then we brought in a campaign group to be consultants to us and advisors as to whether we should run. And the polling person was Mike Dunlin, the media person was Mandy Grunwald. Bob (Rozinger) from the building trades and they came in and they said we just finished this poll and that's when I was out at Joe (indiscernible) we had told I should speak like Jessie and bond my teeth and I walked in and I knew it was bad news. And Mandy said well, we just finished reviewing results of the poll. The poll says that if the election were held today you would receive seven percent of the vote. Wilma was outraged, she said there is no way you would get 7 percent. He has been state representative, he is city auditor, I say well it's a snap shot, so 67 percent said that it's worth (indiscernible) said he put his arm around me and said well, you know I am with you whatever you do and I felt like it was like one of the scouts, they were with the cluster, when they just found out that all these people all these Indians and they were lying. We know he is going down and so Wilma and I discussed at that night and said that if I don't run there is no way I can ever run again and if I am re-elected auditor, the district attorney is elected Mayor there is no way I could ever raise a issue without either looking petty or people feeling that it was not sincere. And I remember the next morning this as a vividly Joe came by the house in these and brother younger brother Joe next to me was a police officer at the time he is a sergeant on the police force and he came by and he hadn't finished dressing. He had his gun belt over his shoulder and he is trying to button his shirt up and he said you have to run. We never run away from a fight. It would look like you are afraid and it's better to run and if we don't make it, we know we have a large family. So there is going to be a base there. Very large family and so I said well, we could - we made the same decision last night. I called the auditor and his office staff, I have seven employees, six that were on Edwards, Charles Radlin, Teresa was on it and said do you really want to do that because it would be the worst day in your life if you get elected, people would be prowling around your life ever and I said well we have made the decision to go for it and it was the most fun campaign when you - no one thinks you are going to win and you are out there. As I went back through the book and read parts of it, I forgot how often it looked like we were going to either fail or quit. We talked about dropping out twice. First time we talked about dropping out Mike and Charles Stevens came up with this idea, we are going to shut the office now and then reopen it. Came by the house and we said if you close we would never reopen. Willing to beat up Mike and Charlie came to me at the house and in the next phrase was Dino was going to beat up so bad his campaign mattered and to get rid of queue by the folks on the other side, he said I just can't take this any more. And he went home and his mother told him, well his dad said, "Son, you just rearranged the deck that is on the Titanic. The quicker you get off this ship you get a life boat, the better off you go free." And his mom said, we are Italian, we don't quit. If you need some more help you call your brothers and get your uncle and other members of the family and if you quit I thought she had been listening to my grandmother I am going to put you out of the house. And so surely it has always been real special because she - because Mike was really, really trying to figure out how we will get out of this. He started reaching out, got people like David O'Cole and Fabby (Hillyard) and I don't even think Fabby was registered when we brought her in. She was trying to make phone calls from the money and she, make about 10 or 15 and get rejected and go home for the rest of the day because she couldn't take the rejection and then a new Minister came to town name Paul Martin and Paul went to school with Tom Bradley and Jody Cohan and Bradley said bring Wellington to California. And we said if we - George is that time? So Bradley said come to California and if you raise, and I said if you raise $10000 we can stay in it. went to California, he raised $10179.24 and I came back, we were so poor, everybody else had cell phones, great color (indiscernible) that's when took tours out of one of the stores and bought these little plastic phones you buy your kids. And he stick it in his pocket and he pulled this phone out and it was plastic and he pretended like he was talking to somebody and he was actually talking to himself. Okay he was trying to pretend like we had some money to buy phones and then he was setting a fax everyday to go Cole Finnigan and saying we are still here. But it was a story book race and one in which we were thrilled to win and in 1995 I thought it was the most vicious thing, I had even been involved in my life. Part of what we did ourselves because we didn't frame well what we were trying to do. I think if we had framed it better it wouldn't have been as bad but I think, it would still have been bad. So let me stop there. I think George has given me the hindsight and I will try to respond to questions and 1999 was obviously a cake walk.