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Progressive Republicans When the party split in 1912 into two factions—one led by William Howard Taft and the other led by President Roosevelt—the reformers led by Roosevelt and Johnson were known as the Progressives.

Progressive Republican City Perhaps no single influence was as important to the development of Pasadena’s “My City” approach as California’s Progressive Republicans of 1909-1917. In the post Civil War Era, Republicans had been reformminded and often more liberal than the Democratic party’s Southern flank, which still had many former Confederates of the Civil War (aka the Dixiecrats). By the time of the Chicago Fair of 1893, municipal corruption and urban squalor brought scientific study of government, education, business, religion and medicine, which in turn resulted in new government reforms and more direct forms of democracy.

Though the Progressive era itself spanned the spectrum of political parties from Democrats to Socialists, the Progressive Party itself was an offshoot of the Republican Party of 1912. The Republicans took to reform with the “Bull-Moose” fervor of President Theodore Roosevelt. Progressive Governor of California, Hiram Johnson—later Republican Senator—was among the strongest Progressive reformers of this period. His achievements are described in the articles on the following page. As Progressives acted most effectively at the state and local levels, few cities took to this new reform spirit more fervently than Pasadena. In the 1912 presidential

election, Pasadena’s Republican majority gave 40-to-1 support for Theodore Roosevelt’s platform of conservation and prosperity for all. Though Roosevelt did not prevail, Governor Johnson introduced the referendum, recall, initiative, workers’ compensation, direct democracy and a Progressive reputation to California government that persists to this day. Due largely to this progressive spirit, Pasadena municipalized water and power (p.34), created a city owned farm that fed employees (p.35), a Council-Manager system, (p.77), and the rare municipal Health Department, all of which contributed to its lasting reputation as a model city. As this Progressive spirit faded, and with it, meaningful public participation, so did Pasadena’s reputation as a model city.

THE CALIFORNIA OUTLOOK was published between 1911 and 1920 by the former chairman of the California Republican Party,

a close ally of both Republican Governor Hiram Johnson and Republican President Theodore Roosevelt. The articles below and on the following page are from 1914 issues of the magazine.








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"My City"  

"My City" tells the story of Pasadena’s City Beautiful Movement and the century that followed, exploring how this proven approach can be rev...

"My City"  

"My City" tells the story of Pasadena’s City Beautiful Movement and the century that followed, exploring how this proven approach can be rev...

Profile for mycityis