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Mr. Deming: Mr. Chairman and Chairman of our Forty-two Hosts, Mr. Representative of the Mayor of the city, and Citizens of Cincinnati: It has been very pleasing to listen to these words of greeting. You make us feel that we are really welcome in your ity. But the thought that has impressed me as I listened to these words, and looked at this gathering, has been of another sort.
I have been trying to make a picture of what sort of a reception the National Municipal League would have been accorded if it had ventured
to visit Cincinnati twenty — or shall we say thirty Now and Thirty years ago? I am quite sure neither the chief magisYears Ago trate of your city nor any representative of that high
official, .would have been here to welcome us. I rather doubt whether the majority of the forty-two organizations now engaged so hopefully and earnestly in various lines of civic endeavor would have been in existence; and the National Municipal League would not have been in existence. So I look upon this gathering and these words of greeting as significant as evidence of the enormous change that has taken place in these few years in the public attitude toward the importance of the city proper.
But in fact twenty or thirty years ago there were very many farseeing and patriotic men who perceived clearly enough the dangers and the disgrace of the then civic conditions; but there was no wide-spread indignation, there was no general popular interest in the question. No, the National Municipal League would have been impossible in those times. There could not have been any greeting.
But fifteen years ago it became possible to organize the National Municipal League, and within those fifteen years we have witnessed a change in the public attitude toward municipal questions and a growth of interest in the problems of municipal government; not merely a growth of interest, but a growth of knowledge of the underlying principles upon which successful government must be based, with an enormous growth of determination on the part of the people to apply those principals. And the National Municipal League, speaking through me to-night to you of this audience and to our hosts, wishes to emphasize the great hopefulness that we all of us should have on account of this enormous progress of popular interest, and the fact that the long list of achievements that have been accomplished here in Ohio and in Cincinnati has been duplicated in many another state, and in many another city during the same period.
The National Municipal League does not attempt to The National elect anybody to office. It does not advocate the elecMunicipal tion of any particular persons to office. It does not League
seek from any one who is elected to office the appoint
ment of members of the National Municipal League. In these respects it may not be a genuine political organization according to such definitions as you are accustomed to make in Ohio and in
Cincinnati; but I would not have you to suppose for that reason that it is not a militant organization. Its methods are these: It first ascertains and assembles the facts; then it analyzes the facts; then it draws conclusions; then it recommends, not a treatment of symptoms but a removal of the causes of the evils. And because it has followed these methods it has great confidence in the soundness of its conclusions; and because whereby its principles have been applied the results have been excellent, it has great confidence in the recommendations that it makes.
Starting fifteen years ago, and then numbering only two or three score, we now have members in every state of the Union and an affiliated membership—by which I mean organizations engaged in civic bettermentwith a membership of over one hundred and fifty thousand.
Ladies and gentlemen, municipal misrule in the United States is doomed within the lifetime of many here present. Even San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York-and shall I say it-Cincinnati?-will be well governed. [Applause.)
I thank you again for your cordial greeting, but I thank you more on behalf of the National Municipal League for the sympathy that your presence gives to our work; and we ask your co-operation in making that work effective. [Applause.)
VICE-PRES. FISHER: On behalf of the American Civic Association, Mr. Clinton Rogers Woodruff, of Philadelphia, its First Vice-President, will now respond to the welcome that has been extended to us.
MR. WOODRUFF: Mr. Chairman, and Mr. Pendleton, as representing our Hosts: It is with a peculiar sense of appreciation that I arise to thank you, our hosts of Cincinnati, in behalf of the American Civic Association.
Although an official of the National Municipal League, since its organization I have also been an official of the American Civic Association since its foundation five years ago, and I was an official also of two of the societies, the merging of which formed the American Civic Association, and I have found it difficult, as I did to-day when asked by one of your local reporters, to say in which association I was the more interested and to define accurately my exact ratio of interest in each. So I feel that with entire sincerity and with very deep interest in both organizations I can say thank you” to our Cincinnati hosts on behalf of the American Civic Association.
I often wish, Mr. Chairman, that we had a little more formalism, if I may so put it, in our meetings and that we made a part of our regular
annual proceedings the recitation of the creeds, if I American Civic may call them such, of these two organizations. I Association think it would be a fine thing if to-night we might
read together the object of the American Civic Association, which to many of us who have been at work in its ranks for years may appear an old story; but so are the creeds which we recite from week to week in our religious services, but which nevertheless bring home to us ever new truth, ever deeper and deeper appreciation of the fundamental purposes that we have in view.
The constitution of the American Civic Association states its objects to be“ The cultivation of higher ideals of civic life and beauty in America, the promotion of city, town and neighborhood improvement, the preservation and development of landscape, and the advancement of outdoor art.”
How very inclusive are these objects; how great these purposes. As a recent writer has said, local pride and local interest are the foundations on which national pride and national faith and national hope are imperishably upheld and enthroned. It is well to begin at the beginning; and as the home and the family are the primary factors from which the nation is evolved, so one's home and place are the primary factors which in their ultimate stage constitute national sentiment.
The American Civic Association stands for the cultivation of that pride and interest in the home, and through the home, through the locality, in the nation of which we are proud to be a component part. And so it is natural that we find a comity of interest with the American Civic Association running through the simple questions concerning the preservation of artistic home surroundings to the great national-yes, I may say international-promotion of the conservation of the great natural resources of our country, and the conservation of those resources which are of the widest import, including among other things the conservation of our life, of our vitality, and above all sound public sentiment.
One difficulty one finds in responding to the addresses of welcome on behalf of an organization like the American Civic Association is that its purposes are so broad, its activities so numerous, that it is well nigh impossible to do them justice in the limited time which the necessities of the occasion impose. But I say, thank you, very heartily, on behalf of the American Civic Association to our admirable hosts.
There was a word which our distinguished Chairman, Mr. Pendleton said which I would like to emphasize just for a moment before sitting down; and that is the influence of the city upon our national life and upon the life of the people who live within our nation. I do not think that the American Civic Association maintains that the whole problem has to do alone with the question of environment, but it is claiming, and it is working along the plan, that life can be made happier and more worth living if the surroundings are made better; and so the American Civic Association has no apologies to offer for working for improved surroundings, realizing full well that you cannot perhaps impose good character upon the individual, but you can make the development of good character easier if you have good wholesome surroundings.
I have just finished a book of very delightful tales of Italian life. It tells about an American who was thrown among some Italian people who
were low and degraded by reason of the adverse conditions that surrounded them on every side, and for whom there seemed to be no hope. The good padre of the community said to the American that he did not believe even the Holy Virgin Herself could help those people; but the American set to work to clean up the smoke and grime and give those people an opportunity to live a decent, wholesome life, and remove them from the dreadful pressure of the physical disadvantages to which they
had been subjected. And within a short time there Improved began to be heard songs in the community, something Surroundings that had not been heard before. They began to take
an interest in outside things. They began to be better citizens. That would furnish a concrete illustration of what the American Civic Association is trying to do in every village and city community of this land, to give to the people an opportunity to live decent, wholesome lives, and to become better citizens.
When Mr. Pendleton called attention to our forty-two hosts, I was reminded of the fact that the names of these forty-two hosts, which take up several pages of the cover of this program, spell in mosaic the word “welcome” to those of us of the National Municipal League and the American Civic Association.
God grant that as a result of our stay with you that a new mosaic may be arranged that shall spell for these forty-two organizations "civic progress” in the city of Cincinnati. (Applause.)
VICE-PRES. FISHER: Ever since the American Civic Association was formed it has had but one pilot at the wheel. We are to have the pleasure this evening of listening to the President of that Association, J. Horace McFarland, who will address you on “The Intimate Side of Conservation." 1
VICE-PRES. FISHER: I am afraid that Mr. McFarland will have to be put down as one of those lawless individuals. I do not know whether in Cincinnati you read the productions of Hashimaruri Togo. If you do you know that Togo says that a lawless individual is the man who can tell the difference between right and wrong without hiring a lawyer.
By that I do not wish to cast any reflection on the distinguished President of the National Municipal League; for while he has been a lawyer, and has been a leader of the American bar in an official position, he has during many years manifested his interest in other affairs; and it is as a municipal reformer that he appears this evening, not as a lawyer. He has been President of the National Municipal League for so many years my memory ceases to run—I do not know whether that is as long as Mr.
1 Mr. McFarland's address will be published by the American Civic Association.
McFarland has been President of the American Civic Association, or not; but to my mind one of the great services which Mr. Bonaparte has rendered to this country and his fellow citizens has been the continued interest which he has shown in a distinct personal and practical way in the problems of municipal reform.
I now have the pleasure of introducing to you a gentleman who really needs no introduction, Mr. Bonaparte. [Applause.]
For Mr. Bonaparte's annual address on “ The Initiative in the Choice of Elective Municipal Officers” see the Appendix.
The joint session then adjourned.
TUESDAY MORNING SESSION.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 1909. The first separate session of the League was held on Tuesday morning, in the assembly hall of Hotel Sinton, President Bonaparte in the chair.
PRESIDENT BONAPARTE: Ladies and gentlemen, the first business at this session of the National Municipal League is to hear a report on “The American Municipal Situation," from our Secretary, Mr. Clinton Rogers Woodruff. Anything that Mr. Woodruff does not know on the American municipal situation had better remain unknown. (Applause.]
MR. WOODRUFF: Mr. President: I want to establish a precedent for keeping within the time prescribed. It is understood that the various papers are not to take over twenty minutes. If I were to read my paper in its entirety it would require very many twenty minutes, because the American municipal situation can not, nowadays, be aptly or concisely described within a few pages. So, the most that I shall do to-day will be to read some illustrative excerpts from the address, with a view to giving a general idea of the situation.
For the full paper on 'The American Municipal Situation ” see Appendix.
Pres. BONAPARTE: I am quite sure that all present regret that the necessity of making room for the other papers has obliged the secretary to somewhat curtail the fair symmetry of his; but as the entire review will be published in the annual volume of proceedings; and as the cost of the annual volume of proceedings is moderate, there will be no excuse in this year of prosperity for every one present not obtaining a copy.
We will now hear a paper on “Municipal Health Problems and the General Public,” by Mr. M. N. Baker, of Montclair, N. J., (for which see Appendix).
Pres. BONAPARTE: The next paper on our program is entitled “From