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me. You're not bothering me at all. Tell me more. I want to know more.” But it required an enormous amount of--you had to be a nudnick. You had to be a nudge. Marion Wright Edelman, in accepting the Health PAC award that night, made the point -- and when I spoke I said, “It's right. That's the way you have to be.” We need pests.” She said that. After all, that's what we are. We are the pests. She says, “Why did the right win? The right won because they developed people who stood -- they had narrow issues, they stood with these issues, they never wavered, they just kept pestering and pestering and pestering and they made their inroads.” H said, “We've got to be pests for good things.” And frankly, that's what it is. You reach a point sometime along the line where you say to yourself, “I'm embarrassed. Should I call?” It carries out. Like when I got into fundraising, I got into foundations and stuff, the same kind of thing. These people would say, “Listen, if we don't answer the phone, he'll never go away.”

I've spoken to people who have given me a grant, and I'll say, “Hey, how come?”

My guy says, “Maybe now you'll leave us alone.” That kind of thing.

People generally, in the fight for social justice, are so rarely given an opportunity to strike a blow for good things, that we were wonderful in that. If you wanted to do good, we're there for you. You know, you can't have a better cause than us. And that's why it was important, I felt always, to build the image of the union, that our union had to be up front in every fight. It reached a point where some people would say, “I can tell whether this is a good issue by finding out whether 1199 is involved in it.” See, if 1199 is for it, then it must be good. See, people would call me, “What's your position on this?” Whether it's Vietnam, whether it's the civil rights movement, no matter what it is, early on when the sit-ins, we would send people down. We would be in touch. We had to be up front, because I felt that it was important for the kind of union we were building to be known everywhere, because these were the people who you had to go to for help later on. And you had to convince them that you were not the same as the other kind of union. That was a very, very important thing.

Most people's attitude toward the labor movement, since the Thirties, has always been negative. We were like the breath of fresh air. Chavez, remember, I told you, came to New York with a nickel and Leon Davis' number in his pocket. We were the models. So Kempton could say, when he wrote about the '59 strike, “The most clear-cut

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