Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

published shall be regarded as the nucleus of a prospective periodical, to be published as soon as circumstances and finances permit, on behalf of the League. While the time when it will be published is somewhat uncertain and nebulous, especially owing to the financial qualification, nevertheless there is a rather important question of policy involved in it which certainly should be carefully considered. It has occurred to me that possibly Mr. Ingersoll would himself like, or that the idea may commend itself to the meeting, that this should be referred to the Executive Committee with instructions to report upon it at another meeting of the league, or with directions to give effect to it if they approve.

MR. INGERSOLL: I believe the subject has already been considered by a special committee, also by the Executive Committee; and it was my purpose to have it discussed if possible in the opening meeting and by the lay members of the League, and, so to speak, settled here if we can—to make a referendum matter of it, in other words.

MR. HORACE E. DEMING, New York: I think that there is no desire to discuss. I have been awaiting discussion, and the fact that nobody does discuss it indicates to my mind that the resolution is an inapt

one for an open meeting of the League, since I do A League not think the League would last very long if its ExecuPeriodical tive Committee were instructed in so nebulous a manner

with regard to questions of policy on subjects of great importance. Unless there be some discussion which brings out the fact that among the audience who are favoring us by their presence, there is a very strong desire and also some specific method by which this can be carried on, I think a reference of it to the Executive Committee, with or without power, would be the wise thing.

Pres. BONAPARTE: The Chair understands that Mr. Deming moves a reference of the resolution to the Executive Committee, with power to act on it.

MR. DEMING: With power. Unless there be some further suggestion or motion made.

The motion was seconded.

MR. E. J. Ward, Rochester, N. Y.: I wish to speak of this idea of a publication from the point of view of our particularly large constituency in the city of Rochester, N. Y., where we now have a community paper having as its object the development of a more intelligent public spirit through the community. It has succeeded very well, and in some other parts of the city the project is being discussed of getting out neighborhood editions of that paper, or neighborhood papers, using

one half of the copy that appears in that paper, that is the part that relates to the whole city, and then devoting the other half to matters of local neighborhood interest. In the conference on the proposition of getting out these three or four, half a dozen, or twenty neighborhood papers combined, with one city editorial office, the question has come up of how to get "boiler-plate."

It seems to me that such a publication as this of the League's would furnish not only inspiration to such movements as that in Rochester, but would also furnish the possibility of boiler-plate for a local town which would bring to them news of civic matters from outside through a medium that is not biased by commercial or any other interests. I simply want to say that from another point of view the establishment of such a paper as this with the possibilities that it would give, would be an inspiration, and at the same time it would be immensely helpful.

MR. IHLDER: It seems to me that such a publication as this would be of a great deal of interest. When we propose a new thing one of the best arguments we can employ is that other cities are adopting it. Men are imitative. They hesitate to go ahead and take the lead. Very often even if you convince them that the thing is worth doing, they will be doubtful, but if you can show them that it is being done in other cities that will help a great deal.

MR. Mayo FESLER, Secretary, Civic League, St. Louis: I wish to enter an earnest protest against the publication of a small paper, on two grounds: first, that the annual publication of the League is a very dignified publication, and second, that the League itself is a dignified body; and that a small sheet would be undignified. I did not rise to discuss this question before, for the reason that the resolution itself was so indefinite and left it so entirely to the Executive Committee that it seemed that nothing particular would come of the resolution if adopted.

Here is an organization which has been in existence for many years and is recognized throughout the country as the leading organization in the particular work which it is attempting to accomplish. It is recognized by the press and the public as a body whose advice and suggestions are worth following. Now if we get out a little bit of a pamphlet under the heading of the National Municipal League, we will lose weight, the League will lose some of the dignity which it has maintained. The only way that this organization can properly accomplish the work that it is intended to accomplish is to get out a large, attractive, dignified publication; one which will contain in it articles from experts along all these lines.

Mr. Ihlder has raised a point which is most vital to the institution, we like to know what is being done in other cities. If the National Municipal League stands for anything, it ought to stand as an authority on

municipal information for all the cities in the country. There is no way in which we can get at that better than by having a dignified publication supplied with articles from men who are experts in their various lines.

At the time that this committee was considering the question I suggested that something be done along practical lines followed by the Geographical Society in its publication at Washington. It makes the publication so attractive that it materially increases the membership in the organization. There are hosts of people all over the country who if they saw tangible results from the $5.00 membership fee paid would gladly become members of the National Municipal League.

MR. CARL DEHONEY, Secretary Mercantile Club, Kansas City, Kans.: I would like to say that I do not quite agree with the views just expressed. In Kansas City, Kansas, we have derived a whole lot of good

out of the “Clipping Sheets” which Mr. Woodruff Use of Clipping sends us periodically. We have made arrangements Sheets

with the daily newspapers, under which they run a

daily department of municipal progress in which they use these bulletins from the League and the American Civic Association, and in that way reach thousands of people every day, whereas there might not be in our community more than four or five copies of the league's annual volume. I read these clipping sheets, and I do turn them over to the newspapers. I think they are accomplishing a very fine work in interesting our business men in the work of this organization; whereas it would be very hard to get them to read the larger volume.

MR. FREIBERG: I for one do not think that we should throw cold water upon any method that might be adopted for giving publicity to municipal facts. We have had here in Cincinnati for about six or seven years a little paper called “The Citizens' Bulletin," which was started by Mr. Pendleton. That paper has grown from a small leaflet of four pages to a very respectable sort of a paper of sixteen pages. We encountered in times gone by a great deal of difficulty in finding material to fill the weekly issue, and because of that difficulty, and the necessity for searching the files of the Associated Press and the papers of the larger cities, together with the information that we have always received from Mr. Woodruff, has developed a kind of editorial proficiency which we otherwise might not have arrived at.

MR. ERNEST S. BRADFORD, Washington, D. C.: The advantage of this motion that has just been made is in its very indefiniteness. It leaves to the committee the w matter of whether we should abandon the system of clipping sheets, which are at present so useful and go into the new plan, or whether we should continue with the old. I can see no objection, Mr. Chairman, to putting this matter to a vote. The only value

I see in this discussion is in getting the consensus of opinion of those who are here.

PRES. BONAPARTE: The Chair will say that that will be substantially the effect of Mr. Deming's motion and of the resolution if so referred. The resolution itself is mandatory so far as the modification of the clipping sheets is concerned. The Chair will be very happy to hear any further debate on this subject.

MR. INGERSOLL: I move the previous question.

Pres. BONAPARTE: The motion before the house is that of Mr. Deming, which is that the resolution offered by Mr. Ingersoll should be referred to the Executive Committee, with power in its discretion to take the action suggested in it. I hope that the meeting understands the question before it, which is whether this resolution shall be referred to the Executive Committee with power to take the action recommended in the resolution. Those in favor of so referring it will signify by saying aye; contrary, no. According to the sound the ayes have it. The ayes have it, the motion is carried, and the resolution is so referred.

The Conference then took a recess until 2.30 p. m.

TUESDAY AFTERNOON SESSION.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 1909, 2.30 P. M. The second session of the Conference was called to order by President Bonaparte.

PRESIDENT BONAPARTE: I now have the pleasure of introducing to you A. Leo Weil, Esq., of Pittsburg, who will speak on the subject of graft prosecutions. [Applause.)

Mr. Weil's paper — “Crusades against Graft" is printed in full in the Appendix.

Pres. BONAPARTE: We will pass to the next order, it being understood that both papers are to be discussed later. The second paper on the program for this afternoon, is entitled, " Instruction in Civics in Elementary and High Schools,” which will be presented by Prof. James J. Sheppard, of New York, Principal of the High School of Commerce, and Chairman of the Committee.

For Prof. Sheppard's paper "Instruction in Civics in Elementary and High Schools a Report of the Committee on Instruction in Elementary and High Schools," see the Appendix.

The Secretary then presented the discussion of Dr. Michael M. Davis, Jr., of the Peoples' Institute of New York. (See Appendix.]

PRES. BONAPARTE: There is really more connection between the two subjects than might readily appear. The one relates to the prevention of graft, the other, to its cure when preventive measures have in a measure failed. Certain gentlemen, however, have kindly promised to take part in this discussion, and if they have so far persevered in their good intention as to be present when they are needed, it is but right that they should first of all exhibit their public spirit, for the admiration and imitation of those who shall follow. Will Prof. Davis kindly give his views upon the question ?

Prof. JESSE B. Davis, Principal of the High School, Grand Rapids, Mich.: It happens that some five years ago I served on your former committee which reported on this subject, so I am in rather a peculiar position to-day. But I do wish to take this opportunity of congratulating the present committee upon the progress that has been made along practical lines. Five years ago the committee upon which I served was somewhat dominated by university men, although we did bring the suggestion for a course of study on municipal government down so far as the senior year in the high school.

I shall speak almost entirely from the point of view of the high school, as I do not pretend to know much about the rest of it; but I feel that the progress that has been made by the committee in their admirable out

line is along practical lines. I do not feel that I am Instruction in wholly converted to the idea of putting this subject High Schools into the first year of the high school, although it may

reach thereby a larger number. Arguments have been presented pro and con. We simply have to be convinced individually. Nevertheless, we secondary school men are in rather a difficult position, from the fact that in most of our high schools we require sixteen units for graduation, and fifteen of these units are determined by our universities and colleges in their entrance requirements. I do not see how we can get many of these things, as desirable as they may seem, until we are able to declare our independence of the domination of the institution above us. (Applause.]

We have been told, it seems to me long enough, that the preparation for college is the best preparation for life. We must now declare that the best preparation for life is the best preparation for college. [Applause.)

One point mentioned by Mr. Sheppard in the latter part of his paper was in regard to the teacher. I feel that we are handicapped perhaps more in this respect than in almost any other, namely, to obtain teachers who not only have the information but the spirit, that missionary spirit which is essential to the teaching of this subject as it must be taught, if it is to be effectual in its results. To this end we must educate our school boards and our citizens up to the point of paying more than $600 a year for the men who are to do this valuable service. [Applause.]

« AnteriorContinuar »