BAPL Local HistoryMen of South BethlehemCentral Moravian ChurchBethlehem Steel
Local History at the Bethlehem Area Public Library

First Annual Message of Archibald Johnston, 1918  [continued]

Winter and Summer, as well as charities corrections. These should be provided and so conducted as to encourage and promote broad social unity, in order to prove the greatest blessing to our community or to any locality or country where our citizens may migrate.

We know that overcrowding of tenements and bad housing conditions are prejudicial to normal standards for family life. Also that where a mother is employed away from home, care and nurture of the children may be neglected, the infant mortality is high, and governmental authority may have to be exercised in the interests of public welfare.

A Home is of First Importance. We know that a matter of first importance to the average man of family is the purchase of a HOME and in thus helping himself he helps the community by rendering it just that much more stable; for he as a property owner is not likely to advocate public expenditures regardless of the financial resources of the city, since he must knowingly, as a taxpayer, feel the consequence of public extravagance.

Furthermore, we know that the city population, because of its industrial characteristics, is not likely to take the broadest views of municipal affairs. The individual is an expert in narrow lines. Hence, because the population is dense, individualistic and heterogenous, it readily organizes into societies, clubs, etc.; into class distinctions, rather than into broad social concerns. The former answer to some extent, but are not sufficient for the broadest end.

The municipal government, having powers of distinctly local significance, should suit its activities to the conditions of life found in that city. Every progressive citizen and all good agencies should be links to be forged into the chain that shall unite the community for the common weal in peace, as the spirit of patriotism is now uniting the peoples of America in this time of war.

 

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