A lawyer by training, Jolivet was a master at interpreting the arcane details and ridiculous inconsistencies of government procurement. He knew the intricacies of requirements contracts and extra work orders that meant millions of dollars to the connected. When it came to any contracts over $50,000 — which, he constantly reminded municipal officials, required competitive bidding — he fought tooth and nail to assure that blacks were in the mix. He knew that, left to their own devices, the decision makers would choose their friends and cronies and folks with whom they'd previously worked. His mission was to break the cycle that Billie Holliday sang about so long ago: "Them that's got shall get; them that's not shall lose."