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Urban Government Week 3 Notes

by: Ariel Kamen

Urban Government Week 3 Notes posc 305

Marketplace > Towson University > posc 305 > Urban Government Week 3 Notes
Ariel Kamen

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About this Document

These are the notes we went over this week!
urban government and politics
James H. Glenn
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ariel Kamen on Thursday February 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to posc 305 at Towson University taught by James H. Glenn in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 21 views.


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Date Created: 02/25/16
2/24/16                                     l Reform Lets go back    ­ Americans intentionally create weak executives    ­ remember cities offered very few services and only as a city wealth Reform •  though it sounds nice; it is rooted in class, race and religious tensions • As cities grew people only lived with people like them. The wealth with wealthy, poor with poor • jobs though were concentrated in the city core, and the wealthy had to travel past the poor  frequently • over time the wealthy and middle class seek to reform the system, lessen the influence of  immigrants • corruption receives a lot of attention when discussing reform people love drama  • Several influential books and magazine articles discuss the industry and working conditions.  The most influential is Upton Sinclar ’s The Jungle • The jungle is so popular it leads to the creation of the US food and Drug Administration in 1905 • over time workers gain additional workplace protections • however the fight grows into battle over government Elections • City counsels were often selected by  “wards” or districts. This allowed people to select their own representation • but people live close to people like them, especially immigrants so representation is driven by  ethnic considerations …hence the machine •  Cities start to switch to at­large elections. Where all candidates have to run citywide • The costs of a lot of money and candidates have to appeal to a broader array of people. This  helped the wealthy (campaigns cost more now) •  ’t most cities Democratic Cities get rid of the partisan ballot. But aren • Many immigrants have a limited grasp of English (at best). So its easier o vote for a symbol. So  to break the machine, break the partisanship • A lot of this movement is based in naked racism: Claiming that immigrants were too ignorant to  vote intelligently • Other ideas include not letting the immigrants vote • Part of the problem is the tortured nature of parties in America. Largely parties were considered  private clubs, so anyone could join and they operate as a private organization • This means their nominating practices could be as corrupt as necessary (including printing  ballots) • Todays parties are given a quasi­legal status; they are given more structure • Fighting, intimidating and alcohol are all part of the machine tactic on election day • Machines are willing to  “help” people fill out their ballot • Cities and states implemented property qualifications, literacy tests, voter registration and a  secret ballot Voter Registration • Helps prevent voter fraud, multiple voting and bussing in voters. All states adopt this by 1920 Secret Ballot • Despite it being commonplace, at one time a secret ballot controversial  • Illiterate voters often asked for help in reading, and fill out ballot. Or just give me an already  filled out ballot • Machines tried to control this aspect of secrecy by controlling the polling locations Nonpartisan Elections • Many people were illiterate, so symbols mattered a great deal • Reformers wanted to lessen blind loyalty to parties •  They expected people to be rational informed voters • Is it reasonable? I can use party to help me determine congress, but I have to be informed  about random city offices? And I have to carry this info around in my head? •  The intimidation, strange language and lack of registration made it less likely immigrants would  vote. Voting is a timely (and costly) endeavor, increase the time or the cost and presto …voting rates drop • When immigrants did vote the lack of party meant i would be less likely immigrants would votes  as a bloc • This gave wealthy and social status candidate an advantage Civil Service • In addition to breaking machines through electrons reformers tried to break machines though  patronage, jobs, and economic security  • Without jobs and their salary why work of the machine? • Stable jobs matters. Everything is not wonderful at this time: Panics of 1893, 1907, and the  Great Depression • The goal of civil service is: 1.   Break machines of their lifeblood patronage 2.   Get qualified people into positions and let them work without fear for their jobs Efficiency • At this time  “efficiency” becomes a buzzword and popular within all levels of government • Remember early city government was run on and ad hoc basis, so there were not clear lines of  decision making • This coupled with a weak • Reformers attacked city councilmen for trading votes (in all levels of government)  • Reformers wanted to replace these officials, particularly the major with a  “better” class of person • “Better” meant wealthy and upper class •  Efficiency organizations sprout Efficiency and its Twin “Public Interest” • “public interest” could benefit all citizens equally and  Reformers determined that the  objectively 1. Low taxes 2. No politics 3. Administration experience  4. Efficiency • Some of the efficiency and streamlining programs do help government become more effective • Government also moves to a strong executive model, thus allowing one person the ability to  make decisions • Reformers then went to state legislatures (other wealthy elites with who they had sway) and  got cities the right to govern with limited state interference such as taxes and services Commissions and City Managers • Commissions are formed where legislatures have power to oversee city services • Based on Galveston, Tx after their response to a hurricane  • Criticized for not being  “business” enough and not encouraging cooperation among the c • City managers (kinda like the ultimate civil servant):  Reforms Today •  Its arguable if machines are dead • Machines didn't co­opt new immigrants and blacks in the same way • The use of at large elections has also been controversial. While successful at disenfranchising  —>(s) immigrants it has been used to dilute minority voting's  • Result: the supreme court has severely limited the use of at large districts saying that minorities  have right to represent Bridges and Kronick ­ Municipal Reform • Municipal and reform is the movement of middle class • Result in cities with more middle class chose reform, while cities with more working classs  chose the status quo • Why doesn't class play more together? • Class structure at this time offers little variation­most cities were working class • Instead R(s) had to show their opponents as weak • Municipal reform had 3 motivations 


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