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Lansing Puts Elks Club Off Limits

June 16, 1987

LANSING, Mich. (AP) _ The Lansing City Council has voted to bar city employees and officials from conducting official business at an Elks club that recently rejected a black applicant.

The council voted 8-0 Monday night on a resolution that would bar city workers from sponsoring, supporting, or attending functions at Elks Lodge No. 196 because of its alleged racial discrimination.

Jay Corey, exalted ruler of the lodge, says it has 1,800 members and none of them are black.

The council’s action came after the lodge rejected membership to Alvin Pickett, the sales manager of Michigan State Industries, a branch of state government that markets products made in state prisons.

The vote against Pickett, a longtime leader in a number of Lansing civic organizations, came in a June 10 secret ballot of about 60 members. Three members can block admission by voting against an applicant.

Pickett, 57, said he’s considering a lawsuit against the club. He said some of his friends who are Elks members have told him they plan to resign.

″I have to resign. My conscience wouldn’t let me do anything else,″ said Jack Mateer, an insurance agent. ″I’ve been a member out there five years and I had no idea what I was involved in.″

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