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32. Is city ownership or private ownership of electric light plants increasing more rapidly?
33. Could your city prohibit billboards ?
35. Describe the Baltimore filtration plant. The Pasadena system of sewage disposal.
36. Why are wharves so important for a city? Should the wharves be owned by the city or by private persons ?
37. What social centers do cities commonly have ?
38. How do American cities attempt to guard health? Do they guard it as efficiently as European cities?
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION 1. What offices has your town or village and by whom are they filled ?
2. Bound your town or village. Name all the incorporated towns or villages within your county.
3. What county taxes are paid by the residents of your town or village ?
4. What is the population of your town or village ?
5. Why does your town or village need a government distinct from that of your county? 6. Has your town or city a civic improvement league of any
sort? If so, what valuable services does it perform? How can you assist it? Does it improve the school grounds ? Does it place waste paper receptacles along the sidewalk? Does it place bulletin boards at certain places along the main streets for posters so that they will not be stuck over buildings, fences, and telephone posts? Does it take part in the social service or moral uplift work? What do you propose to do?
7. Would it be wise for your town or village to have a public meeting annually and hear reports from your officers and discuss needed improvements ? Also, may not your representative to the State legislature give an account of the most important things done by the legislature for the village, county, or State ?
8. What determines the location of cities?
9. Does your State constitution contain any provisions in regard to cities? What are they? Could your town become a city? How?
10. How many cities has your State ? What is the population of the largest ? Of the one in which you live?
11. Name the principal officers of your city. How are they selected ? For what term ?
12. The cities of Ohio are allowed to draft their own charters. Do you
think every city should be allowed to prepare its own charter ? 13. States may enact any laws which do not conflict with federal laws. Why not allow all cities to enact any laws which do not conflict with State laws ?
14. Does your city own its water system ? Gas system? Electric light system? Street railways? Jitney bus lines? Heating system ? If not, why not?
15. By the right of eminent domain many European cities condemn old city blocks, tear down the unsanitary buildings, and put up new ones and rent them at their actual cost. Most American cities do not have this privilege. Should they have it? 16. Buenos Ayres has recently built 10,000 homes for working
Do you think your city should follow this example if the State law permits ?
17. Many cities have ordinances against permitting weeds to grow in vacant lots. Has yours?
18. At the suggestion of the civil service board of Oakland, California, cash prizes are offered to city employees who make valuable suggestions for the betterment of the service in the various departments. Do you favor this scheme for your city ?
19. Have students prepare reports on the government of their home city or town or of some city that has had interesting experiences in municipal government. See such books as “ City Manager in Dayton,” by Rightor, 1919, “Our Cities Awake,” by Cooke, 1919, or “ American Municipal Progress," by Zueblin, 1916.
20. What organization is there in your city working for the improvement of its government? If there is none, start one.
21. Harrisonburg, Virginia, a city of 5000, owns a gravity water system which earns $10,000 a year net profit for the city, and an electric power plant on a nearby river which also produces a similar profit for the city. Is there a water power site available near your city or a supply of water which would flow by gravity to the city?
22. The University of Illinois has a Professor of Civic Designing. Is there any plan for the future development of your city? map of your city as it should be, showing where a town hall, library, high school, fire engine house, post office, court house if a county seat, ball grounds, and tennis courts should be located.
223. Suffrage and Citizenship Distinguished. — The word f
suffrage comes from the Latin word suffragium, and means a vote. Suffrage, then, is simply the privilege of voting at elections. Citizenship means membership in a State. “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the
jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the f State wherein they reside.” 1 Infants born in the United States
are citizens and are entitled to the privileges of citizens at home and abroad, but they cannot vote.
224. Suffrage Determined by Each State. So long as a State f maintains a republican form of government2 it may determine
what persons are to enjoy the political privilege of voting at
both its own and national elections, with two exceptions: f
(1) that the same persons must be allowed to vote for United States senators and representatives that vote for members of the more numerous branch of the State legislature, and (2) that no person may be deprived of suffrage because of race, color, previous condition of servitude, or sex.
1 United States Constitution, Amendment XIV.
2 A republican form of government is a representative government, or one in which the people elect their law-makers and other public officers directly or indirectly.
8 The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States (Sec. 2) provides that any State which denies male citizens twenty-one years of age the privilege of voting, except for crime, shall have its representation in Congress reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State. This provision has never been enforced, but after each decennial census when a reapportionment of representatives is being made, some congressman calls attention to the provision.
The States commonly permit the same voters to participate in all elections. To-day there are three restrictions on suffrage, or the right to vote, which apply to normal persons in every State and two additional ones in some states.
(1) Age. — In no State may a person vote who is less than twenty-one years of age.
(2) Citizenship. - In no State may a person vote who is not a citizen of the United States. (For exception see $ 226.)
(3) Residence. - In no State may a person vote who has not resided in the State a period prescribed by law.
(4) Education. — In nearly one third of the States a person may not vote who cannot read or write.
(5) Taxation. - In a few of the States a person may not vote who has not paid his poll tax.
Such abnormal persons as idiots or insane, paupers supported at public expense, and those who have committed certain crimes are, in nearly all states, denied the right to vote.
225. Suffrage Restrictions as to Age. In no one of the fortyeight States may a person vote who is less than twenty-one years of age. Twenty-one years of age has no special signifi
We have simply followed the English law which prescribed this age. In ancient Sparta the age was thirty, while in Athens it was only sixteen. In Switzerland to-day it is twenty, but English women wait until they are thirty.
The age prescribed in the American States is no doubt as satisfactory as that prescribed by any of the other countries, but it is merely a rough and ready test. Some boys are more mature mentally at eighteen than others ever become. Maybe civil service examinations will be given to all applicants for the suffrage at some future time.
226. Suffrage Restrictions as to Citizenship. Suffrage is restricted to citizens of the United States in all the states except Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri, and Texas. In these States aliens may vote in local, state, and national elections provided they have declared their intention of becoming citizens of the United States by taking out their first naturalization papers.
227. Suffrage Restrictions as to Residence. - When a citizen of the United States moves from one State to another he is reof
quired to reside in the latter State for a period prescribed by
the law of that State, varying from three months in Maine to + vo years in most of the Southern States,1 before he can vote
there, though he is usually permitted to vote in the State from which he has moved, either by law or practice, until he has
qualified in the State to which he has moved. If a citizen t
moves from one part of his State to another he is, in most States, required to reside there for a brief period before he can vote.
228. Suffrage Restrictions as to Sex Removed. — Until the f Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United
States was ratified, States were allowed to grant suffrage to women or to withhold it.
The Continental Congress left the suffrage to be dealt with by the States in their constitutions, and New Jersey was the
only one which conferred it on the women, its constitution f
giving the franchise to “all inhabitants worth $250.” In 1790 a revision of the election law used the words “he or she," thus emphasizing the inclusion of women in the electorate. Enough women voted to gain the enmity of politicians, and in 1807 the legislature passed an arbitrary act limiting the suffrage to " white male citizens."
There seems to have been no further recognition of the principle of woman suffrage by any State until 1838, when Kentucky gave widowed mothers in country districts a vote for school trustees. In 1861 Kansas came into the Union with a constitution providing school suffrage for women.
1 In Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Oregon a residence of six months is required ; in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, one year; and in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia, two years.