John Randolph Haynes, California Progressive

John Randolph Haynes, California Progressive

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For four decades, John Randolph Haynes (1853-1937) was in the forefront of social-reform crusades and political action in Los Angeles and California, with his most important legacies in the fields of direct legislation and public ownership of utilities. He was the individual most responsible for the adoption of the initiative, referendum, and recall in Los Angeles in 1902 and in California in 1911. His vigilant protection of these measures thereafter and his promotion of direct legislation throughout the nation earned him the title qfather of direct legislationq in California. From 1910 until his death, Haynes's chief priority was to shape the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power into a glowing example of public ownership of utilities. Today, LADWP operates the world's largest municipal water and electrical power generation and distribution system, continuing to serve the needs of an ever-growing region whose extent even Haynes could not have envisaged. In many ways, Haynes is an enigma. He was not a typical progressive, having amassed a fortune in his medical practice and in real estate, mining, and other capitalistic ventures. However, he spent a large portion of his wealth to promote a form of gradual, democratic socialism in the United States. Haynes advocated the transformation of the nation's economy and government, yet he campaigned for morality laws that limited personal freedom. Haynes's motivation was not social status or money, both of which he had before his conversion to social reform. Nor was it political power: he never ran for office (except as a temporary freeholder) or created a personal political machine. His primary motive was a perhaps arrogant yet honest desire to aid in the creation of a more just society by improving the living and working conditions of the less fortunate. In one way or another, Haynes participated in all the major social and political events that shaped California and Los Angeles in a most dynamic era of their development. In a broader sense, Haynes's life serves as a yardstick with which to measure other progressives of his time and as a key for understanding the motivation of those idealists who helped shape our present political institutions.Los Angeles as a haven for the sick is discussed in John E. Baur, The Health Seekers of Southern California, ... University of Southern California Yearbook, 1888-1889 (Los Angeles: University of Southern California, 1889), 58; George L. Cole, anbsp;...

Title:John Randolph Haynes, California Progressive
Author: Tom Sitton
Publisher:Stanford University Press - 1992

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