NEW YORK AND NORTH CAROLINA
New York State organizes early and plan of organization is interesting---Constructive work for maintaining home with present standards chief concern of state Committee---Mayor's Committee of City of New York and its great work---Suffrage organization makes valuable contribution to organization work---North Carolina's splendid record.
New York. Under the chairmanship of Mrs. William Grant Brown, president of the New York Federation of Women's Clubs, the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense of New York State has set the pace for the Nation in every field of patriotic endeavor. In May, 1917, Mrs. Brown, known as one of the ablest and best equipped among the women leaders of America, was made temporary chairman of the Woman's Committee of her state, and later she was elected permanent chairman. From the beginning her slogan has been "No competition. Sincere cooperation is the object."
New York's plan of organization embraced the following:
The Board of Officers of the New York State Division of the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense have been constituted as the Woman's Division of the New York State Defense Council and the chairman of the
New York Division has been designated as Chief of the Division and authorized in the name of the State Defense Council to designate in all counties a competent woman to serve as temporary chairman. It shall be the duty of the temporary chairman to call into conference the presidents, or their proxies, of all local woman's organizations as soon as possible. Such conference shall constitute a committee to be known as the Woman's Section for the given county and shall proceed to organize itself by electing a chairman for the county. As soon as organized, the Chief of the Woman's Division should be informed and the name of the permanent chairman, together with the list of the organizations represented at the meeting, should be transmitted to the Chief of the Division.
The State Defense Council has recommended to the various County Home Defense Committees that they recognize the chairman of the Woman's Section of the county as an additional member of the County Home Defense Committee to advise with the committees in a program for woman's work.
A city (or town) committee may be formed by the County Section to be composed of the president or one representative of each cooperating organization. This committee in all towns shall be called the (name of town) Unit of the Woman's Section. The Committee, in cities of sufficient size to warrant a more intensive organization, shall be known as the Woman's Committee of (name of city).
The City Committee shall proceed as rapidly as possible to establish auxiliary Units in each ward. The same process of the appointment of a temporary chairman as was followed in the organization of state and city will probably prove the most successful plan. The ward organization conference, however, should be a general meeting of the women of the ward and the Unit will be composed of individual members.
This plan of proposed organization merely links together in complete working cooperation existing organizations of women. The Woman's Division of the state and the county and city committees are designed to be a federation of all organizations of women directly responsible to the state Defense Council and to the Council of National Defense. There may be women, however, who are not members of any organization represented in the city or town committee. For the benefit of such women, freedom to form other units should be allowed, the primary objet being to coordinate patriotic service of as many women as possible.
Departments may add individual membership. Clubs, church societies and groups of various kinds may affiliate directly with a department with whose work they wish to cooperate.
Organizations may be found already engaged on some special line of work which may suitably be charged with the responsibility for that department of work.
The headquarters of the State Division of New York is in the Hotel Astor, New York City, and of the Woman's Division of the New York State's Defense Council at the Capital, 23 Washington Avenue, Albany. The state chairman, in her initial announcement said, "The Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense aims to bring to all women's organizations a relationship that may help one and all in non-duplication of the work, and that each organization shall retain its independence, yet realize the necessity of a natural Federal head, or clearing house, through which all may keep in touch. Each state and city will naturally find problems peculiar to itself, but the chairman in charge will realize the opportunity of unity for all powers to centralize and coordinate their work so that the greatest efficiency and conservation shall be accomplished. The officers of the New York
State Division of the Woman's Committee are: chairman, Mrs. William Grant Brown, vice-chairmen, Mrs. Ella A. Boole, Mrs. Norman de R. Whitehouse, Mrs. Nicholas Brade, Mrs. Felix Warburg, acting treasurer; Mrs. Ella A. Boole, secretary, Mrs. John Francis Yawger, chairman of organization, Mrs. Emily Palmer Cape, The Executive Board consists of the presidents of all state organizations of women.
"The Division confines itself mostly," said Mrs. William Grant Brown, "to constructive work for the maintaining of the home with its present standards, the education of the children and the general moral questions of the community." The Committee is divided into six sub-committees. These committees, with their chairmen, are as follows: Industry, Miss Nelle Swartz, Hygiene and Health, Mrs. Elmer Blair, Camp Entertainment, Mrs. Ruth Litt, Legislation, Miss Sophie Irene Loeb, Education-Food Conservation-Production, Prof. Martha Van Rensselaer, Welfare, Mrs. William Einstein.
The nation may well point with pride to the Mayor's Committee of the City of New York as an expression of the efficiency, initiative and patriotic enthusiasm of American women. Considering the size of the task this committee of women set for themselves and the fact that they constitute an organization that is wholly voluntary and that is no way supported by the municipal government, the results accomplished in the first six months of war are nothing short of marvelous. The method of organization and operation of this committee may be studied with profit by women everywhere who are interested in perfecting their war work machines. It will be noticed that the work has been divided into certain standing committees charged with definite tasks and that these committees are distinct units individually responsible for the work assigned to them.
As stated, the work of the committee has been financed by voluntary contributions. In the first five months, the committee on finance, under the chairmanship of Mrs. Charles Cary Rumsey, raised $22,811 and expenditures totaled $12,478.84. It has been charged sometimes that women are not good financiers. It is doubtful if any body of men anywhere in the world could have made a better showing in actual, tangible results of this expenditure than the women of the Mayor's Committee of the City of New York have made.
The function and purpose of the Mayor's Committee of Women on National Defense Work is: "To register all women's organizations in New York City interested in war service, to so coordinate their efforts as to eliminate unnecessary duplication, and in every way possible to direct women's patriotic energies into the most useful channels. To suggest, and, where desirable to initiate new activities."
The Mayor's Committee of New York, being already organized as a quasi official branch of the local city government, was recognized by both the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense, and the Woman's Division of the State Defense Council, as the official New York City Division of the Woman's Committee. "To both state and federal agencies, therefore," says the Committee in its first report, "the Mayor's Committee of Women is indebted for assistance and cooperation."
When appointing the Mayor's Committee of Women on National Defense on April 18,1917, the Honorable John Purroy Mitchel, Mayor of New York City, stated it to be the function of the Committee to cooperate with the Mayor's Committee on National Defense, of which Mr. Willard Straight was Chairman, "in order that we may bring into this work the coordinated effort of all existing women's organizations in the defense field. With this committee in existence, we will have all of the potential citizen forces of the community organized and lined up for the most effective work that can be done during the period that is to come." The Mayor's Committee of Women maintains a close relationship with the men's committee, with which it is coordinated. Some standing committees are joint committees of men and women, and all committees have full knowledge of one another's activities.
The following letter sent to Miss Ruth Morgan, Chairman, indicates the first commission intrusted to this committee:
It is important that the work of coordination of women's organizations engaged in activities for war emergencies be immediately undertaken by your committee.
I am, therefore, desirous that all such organizations or groups register with your committee at the earliest possible moment full information concerning their activities and the plan and scope of their work."
(Signed) JOHN PURROY MITCHEL
The work of registration was promptly begun. Uniform registration blanks were sent to all known organizations of women in the city. The information thus secured will be made available for federal, state, municipal and private agencies, and will further serve as a means of correlating women's war service.
Standing committees were appointed as follows: Agricultural, sub-committees on Farm Labor and Farm Sites; Aliens; Census; Food; Joint Committee on Industry and Employment; with sub-committees on Industry, and Employment; Nursing; Publicity; Finance. The officers of the Committee are: Honorary Chairman, Mrs. John Purroy Mitchel, Chairman, Miss Ruth Morgan, Vice-Chairman, Mrs. Willard Straight, Secretary, Mrs. Henry Moskowitz, Treasurer, Mrs. V. Everit Macy, The Executive Committee is composed of: Miss Amey Aldrich, Mrs. James S. Cushman, Miss Virginia C. Gildersleeve, Miss Anne W. Goodrich, Miss Mabel H. Kittredge, Mrs. Alexander Kohut, Mrs. Charles Cary Rumsey, Mrs. F. Louis Slade, Mrs. Charles L. Tiffany.
Members of the Committee include Mrs. Robert Adamson, Miss Amey Aldrich, Mrs. Barrett Andrews, Mrs. Vincent Astor, Mrs. Robert Bacon, Mrs. August Belmont, Mrs. Francis C. Bishop, Mrs. Sidney Borg, Mrs. Henry Bruere, Mrs. Francis H. Cabot, Miss Alice Carpenter ,Mrs. Thomas L. Chadbourne, Jr., Mrs. Jessica Finch Cosgrave, Mrs. Frederick L. Cranford, Mrs. James S. Cushman, Mrs. Cleveland H. Dodge, Miss Martha L. Draper, Mrs. William K. Draper, Miss Mary E. Dreier, Mrs. James Gerard, Miss Virginia C. Gildersleeve, Miss Pauline Goldmark, Miss Anne W. Goodrich, Mrs. John Hays Hammond, Mrs. Learned Hand, Mrs. Montgomery Hare, Mrs. Joshua Hatfield, Miss Mary Garrett, Hay, Mrs. William Henry Hays, Mrs. Charles Hoffman, Mrs. Charles E. Hughes, Mrs. Helen H. Jenkins, Miss Mabel Kittridge, Mrs. Alexander Kohut, Mrs. Adolph Ladenburg, Mrs. Martin W. Littleton, Mrs. Philip J. McCook, Mrs. V. Everit Macy,, Miss Julia Marlowe, Mrs. Alice Duer Miller, Mrs. John Purroy Mitchel, Mrs. Victor Morawetz, Miss Ruth Morgan, Mrs. William Fellowes Morgan, Mrs. Henry Moskowitz, Mrs. Daniel F. Murphy, Miss Teresa O'Donohue, Mrs. William Church Osborne, Mrs. George W. Perkins, Mrs. Gifford,Pinchot, Mrs. Ernest Poole, Mrs. George Haven Putnam, Mrs. Ogden Mills Reid, Mrs. Allan Robbins, Mrs. Charles Cary Rumsey, Miss Melinda Scott, Miss Mary Shaw, Mrs. V. G. Simkhovitch, Mrs. F. Louis Slade, Mrs. William Sporborg, Mrs. William C. Storey, Mrs. Willard Straight, Miss Ida Tarbell, Mrs. Leonard Thomas, Mrs. Charles L. Tiffany, Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt, Miss Lillian D. Wald, Mrs. John E. Weier, Mrs. Norman de R. Whitehouse, Mrs. William G. Wilcox, Mrs. Arthur Woods, Mrs. John Francis Yawger.
The Committee of Agriculture, Miss Virginia C. Gildersleeve, chairman, Miss Mary Foster, secretary, was organized to coordinate the agricultural work already being done by New York City women's organizations and to supplement and extend their activities. Two important tasks at once engaged its attention: first, to cooperate with the state employment bureau and the employment clearing house of the Mayor's Committee of Women in supplying women for agricultural work; second, to provide expert advice in connection with gardening enterprises in New York City and community gardening plans in the immediate vicinity.
It appeared that there was no machinery here for placing New York women on farms, so the agriculture committee opened an employment bureau with that function. As it was found in the beginning that farmers did not want women employees, one of the first duties of this committee was to advertise the fact that women can do many sorts of farm work very well and to persuade farmers to try them. Publicity was obtained in various ways. Then, units of women farm workers were formed in which the housing and feeding of the group of workers was managed under a supervisor by a system of cooperative housekeeping. The great advantage of this unit plan was that the farmer's wife was under no responsibility for the housing and feeding of the additional workers. The farmer as a rule furnished the living quarters-tents, a disused house or a schoolhouse, and the women themselves bought and prepared their own food. Copies of a pamphlet issued by the committee, called "A Unit Plan for Agricultural Workers," may be obtained on application at the offices of the Mayor's Committee of Women, New York City.
Eleven farm units have been working with the committee. One of these, the Mt. Kisco unit, has been more or less an agricultural training camp, and has numbered as many as seventy residents at one time. The workers have gone out from that center to do all kinds of farm and garden labor in Westchester County. One other unit was engaged in general farm work. Others, as it happened were all in the fruit country, and their workers were engaged in thinning out peaches and picking various kinds of fruit products.
The committee feels that it has demonstrated the practicability of the plan, and that in another year it may be desirable and possible to induce not only this section of the country, but other districts which are already considering the matter, to undertake a system of unit committees for farm workers on a very large scale.
The committee was not organized early enough in the season to give much timely advice on planting in connection with community gardening last spring. It did, however, employ an expert in agriculture who inspected carefully the market gardens in greater New York, and visited also some of the very interesting community enterprises near New York, as for instance that in Yonkers. She has drawn up a careful report of her investigation.
A large section of New York resembles rather a group of foreign villages than part of an American city. The population of these villages is two million, and chief among them is the second largest German city in the world. Owing to this fact, New York presents a problem which is duplicated nowhere else in the United States. A committee was organized jointly with the men's committee on aliens to deal with that problem by means of a widespread campaign of Americanization among aliens, the work to be carried on under the direction of a selected staff. It embraces many community activities of a special nature.
The definite aim of the educational campaign is to supplement the public school teaching of English among foreigners, and to bring to alien communities what is best in American culture and civilization, at the same time retaining the finest and best that foreigners have to contribute to this country. Its program provides for the organization of additional classes both day and night in public schools, factories, shops, settlements and social agencies of every kind for the teaching of English, civics, American history, gymnastic work and dancing to both sexes after they have passed school age, and of millinery, cooking and embroidery to women.
The board of education, cooperating with this committee, obtained from the board of estimate and apportionment an appropriation of approximately $100,000 to enlarge the classes in above-mentioned subjects in public schools in this city. Community visitors are being sent into foreign neighborhoods, whose purpose is to arouse interest and improve attendance in these classes.
The cooperation of the Merchants' Association, the Chamber of Commerce, the Hotel Men's Association and the Fifth Avenue Association, has been secured in the campaign for industrial Americanization. In each of these organizations a special committee has been appointed to work along the lines of a program offered them by this committee for the establishment of classes among foreigners in workrooms, shops and hotels. These classes offer, beside the ordinary work, advanced courses to those who already have been taught elsewhere. The result will be to bring the educational campaign within the reach of workers of all kinds, even laborers, employed in construction work.
Ninety-eight political, educational, professional and social organizations, churches, settlements clubs, schools, industrial establishments and hotels are lending their assistance to this work. Conferences are being held in community groups to secure direct contact and mutual understanding, such as personal conference can bring.
The committee obtained from the state census a list of women with knowledge of foreign languages who are willing and able to serve as teachers. This list contains 1,215 names. At the same time the census list of people who do not speak English is in use. They will be followed up and brought into classes where they will receive instruction. The committee assisted the food administration in the distribution of pledge cards by putting appeals in the foreign papers asking housewives to sign the pledges and explaining their purpose to them. In cooperation with the American Red Cross, the committee has established seven auxiliaries in foreign neighborhoods where war work is being carried on by the women of the districts. Aliens who were refused in the draft are being listed. An effort will be made to teach them English, bring them in contact with American life and eventually interest them in citizenship.
The foreign-language newspapers are being followed closely and gatherings in streets carefully watched, in order that the committee may learn what the foreign population is doing and saying and thinking, so that educational propaganda may meet direct needs. A series of entertainments was arranged for the dissemination of American cultural influences. An attractive feature of this department of work is the branch of the community chorus under the direction of Mr. Harry Barnhart. It meets at Public School No. 4 on the east side, and is filled on Thursday evenings with enthusiastic and happy singers, learning to know America through the universal language of music. It is hoped that by the means by which this committee has chosen to initiate the work, New York may be made a city of one people with one language, instead of a group of foreign towns.
The Committee on the Census, Mrs. F. Louis Slade, chairman, Miss Louise Meyer, secretary, (by courtesy of the Junior League) was organized for the purpose of assisting Mr. Ernest P. Goodrich, director of the census for New York City, in taking the state military census.
Its duty was to enlist the assistance and to coordinate the work of the women of this city, and, since of the fifty thousand people in New York City who volunteered to do this work forty thousand were women, this was no light task. Organizations of women responded with much enthusiasm, and every organization gave to the limit of its strength; but the woman suffrage party, because of its great numbers and complete organization in every borough, undertook the bulk of the work. There has never been a volunteer census on such a huge scale before, and while the actual taking of the census is completed and the committee has been dissolved, the results of the work are only now beginning to appear.
A careful estimate, based on all available information, was that the number of men and women in the city of census age would be well under three million, and it was assumed that if there were three million people a great many of them, even with the finest web that could be woven, would slip through the mesh. Now, as a matter of fact, 3,266,377 people registeredat the extraordinarily small cost to the city of $30,000. Thus about three thousand more people between sixteen and fifty were registered than were supposed to exist, so that instead of failing to register some who were known to be here, the census discovered people who were never discovered before.
Governor Whitman in speaking of the census quoted Lord Northcliffe, who said "If England had taken such a census at the beginning of her war she would have saved millions of pounds and many thousands of lives."
As a practical example of what the census has actually accomplished so far, two instances may be cited. The material contained on the cards on which the registration was made has been copied on larger cards punched with holes in such a way that they can be run through a tabulating machine. This will throw out, for example, cards which designate people of a certain occupation, age, locality, or nationality. The enlistment officers were anxious to get the names of those men who said they wished to serve in the army or navy and as a result of going through the census over 11,000 additional recruits were immediately secured. After the men began to go into camp there was a shortage of cooks, and by running the cards through the machine some 5,000 extra cooks were obtained. This material has been in shape for use only since October 16, 1917, yet the census has already repaid its cost many times.
Out of over three million registration blanks in the city of New York there were, of course, a number that were defective. Some people forgot to sign their names; some people failed to answer questions in just the right way; some people answered them in exactly the wrong way. But it was possible to follow up these mistakes and to rectify them, so that at this writing there remain only five hundred blanks which fail to meet the full requirements of the law.
"Although police powers were given to the census board, not one single person had to be coerced," concluded the report of the committee. "The methods of persuasion and intelligent explanation proved so effective that for the first time in our history there has been secured a census of the people, taken by the people and for the people. We know as a result that we live in a city of approximately 5,500,000 inhabitants capable of developing a great volunteer organization and of proving to the world that, in spite of the difficulties involved, a volunteer organization with a will to succeed, succeeds."
The Committee on Coordination, Mrs. Henry Moskowitz, chairman, in accordance with the first commission intrusted to it, began early in May, 1917, a registration of all women's organizations in New York City interested in war service. By November over 300 organizations had signified their willingness for thorough cooperation with the committee in its war work. The second phase of the work consisted in giving such advice and guidance to the cooperating organizations as was found possible.
The Sub-committee on Volunteers, Miss Virginia C. Gildersleeve, chairman, found that a large amount of exceedingly important work, such as the Liberty Loan and Food Administration campaigns must be carried on by volunteer women workers, and it was found advisable to try to coordinate through a central clearing house the various organizations that were registering and directing volunteers. Such a clearing house should put the organizations committees and government bureaus needing volunteer workers, in touch with the organizations and bureaus registering those who wish to do this work. It should also do much to raise the standard of volunteer work.
Representatives of the principal organizations engaged in registering and using volunteer workers were called together, and Mrs. John M. Glenn was appointed chairman of a sub-committee for this work, which drafted an excellent plan for a central clearing house for volunteer workers.
The essential idea of this plan is joint action of the principal organizations dealing with the registration of volunteers, to form a central bureau to which the Red Cross, for example, or the Liberty Loan committee when it suddenly needs a number of volunteer workers, can send. This call will then be passed on to the bureaus engaged in registering individuals for service. The clearing house should issue a printed bulletin showing where the need is greatest from week to week. For example, it might be found one week that too many women are engaged in surgical dressings work and Red Cross relief, with a corresponding dearth of workers at that moment under the Liberty Loan committee. Such a condition the clearing house could effectually relieve.
It has been emphasized that the central clearing house will not itself register individuals. That will continue to be done by individual organizations or bureaus. They deal with special groups of individuals and know these groups as no central clearing house could ever do. It may be necessary to establish new registration bureaus for certain groups of volunteers, and to make more clear the line of demarcation between existing bureaus, in order that the volunteer may easily ascertain just where she should register.
Meanwhile, there are two kinds of calls for volunteers, which are coming very urgently now. One kind, for example, is that which the Red Cross issued when it suddenly needed 100 especially qualified women to go to France for canteen work, and wanted to know the bureaus to which it should apply for them. That sort of call for volunteers is a very special one, involving close knowledge on the part of the separate bureaus of the women they have registered and can recommend. Then there are the many sudden calls which have been coming the past few weeks for large numbers of untrained volunteers for some emergency work, such as that of the Food Administration canvass. It is necessary to devise some machinery for turning out women quickly in response to these emergency calls. As time goes on, it seems clear that a clearing house for these varied kinds of volunteer workers will become increasingly valuable.
The Committee on Employment, Mrs. Alexander Kohut, chairman, Mrs. Edgar Strakosch, committee secretary, has four sub-committees as follows: the employers', class, placement, and advisory-and, in the latter part of June, 1917, the Mayor's Committee of Women in cooperation with the federation of non commercial employment agencies established an employment clearing house, to serve all public and private non commercial employment bureaus and other organizations doing free placement and vocational guidance work with women and juveniles. The federation offered to the clearing house the advantages of its bureau of information, which exists for the use of all non commercial employment bureaus affiliated with the federation, as a center for the accumulation of information concerning industries and individual employers.
The function of the employment clearing house was primarily (1) to aid the non commercial employment bureaus in filling such calls as they themselves are unable to fill, with applicants from other bureaus, and (2) to obtain calls directly from employers, to be transferred to the various bureaus. In the period of its existence, June 27 to October 1, 2,208 calls for 6,381 persons passed through the clearing house, 235 of which came directly from employers, the remaining 1,973 from the 24 agencies in active cooperation with the clearing house during that time. Varying conditions have been adequately met and the clearing house appears to have fulfilled its function in its operation with employers and employment bureaus.
It is the work of the employers' committee to secure calls from employers for labor and to make studies of the industries in which women are needed and in which they are replacing men. Through the three field workers of the clearing house, two of whom were volunteers, 192 visits to employers were made. Of these, 54 were to banks and trust companies. It was found that all but 7 of them were employing women. In a large number, the employment of women was a new policy necessitated by actual or anticipated loss of male employees released for war service and by a very great increase in the banking business.
Visits were also made to factories making army and navy uniforms on government contracts. In all, 53 factories were inspected. In all of them, it was estimated that the percentage of women and girls employed would increase steadily, although it was the opinion of the majority of these employers that the output of the women could not equal that of the men. In two of the shops, instructors were already employed to teach the women and girls the work of the men.
Visits were also made to 9 representative railroad companies. Replacement is not occurring in the east as much as in the middle and western divisions. It is the policy of all the railroad companies to employ women wherever possible when there is a demand for new employees and to give preference to women members of present employees' families. Several insurance companies, retail organizations and commission houses were visited. Conferences have been held with the American Locomotive Company and the Interborough Rapid Transit representatives with a view to outlining the best method of procedure for the replacement of men by women in their various plants.
It was the responsibility of the class committee to study all established trade and extension classes, and to recommend to the proper authorities the establishment of such additional classes as are deemed necessary to equip women and girls for industry.
Under the joint committee of the employers' and class committees, a questionnaire was prepared, to be personally submitted to employers in all classes of industry by volunteer field workers, in order to ascertain the positions in which women may be used and the requirements for these positions. The active cooperation of the Merchants Association of New York was enlisted by the joint committee.
The work of the placement committee was to study placements, for the purpose of determining and maintaining standards in placement work and to recommend to the federation of non commercial employment agencies the adoption of uniform standards in the various trades and occupations.
The matter of placement of untrained, older women who have been applying for work in large numbers was taken up, and the working women's protective union accepted this phase of employment as their special task. The state public employment bureau also became interested, and plans for cooperation between the two bureaus are being formulated. Results speak for themselves in the number of openings which have been made for these older, inexperienced women.
The advisory committee consists of members of the federation of non commercial employment agencies who are actually doing placement work and who are, therefore, proper supervisors of the work of the clearing house in its daily operations with the bureaus. Ways and means of cooperation between bureaus and clearing house were devised by them.
Although the employment clearing house was established as a war measure, it has already justified its organization and proved the need of a clearing house on a larger scale, not only for employment bureaus handling women and juveniles, but for those working with men and boys as well. The great possibilities of such a clearing house having been recognized, at a joint meeting of representatives of the two Mayor's Committees it was decided to establish a clearing house for employment offices for both men and women. It was thought best to place the clearing house under the supervision of the director of the state public employment bureau, upon which agreement the state defense council consented to contribute the major portion of the expenses. In order to simplify the financial operations of the combined clearing house the executive committee of the Mayor's Committee of Women made a lump sum appropriation of $5,000 for the year beginning October 1, similar to that of the Mayor's Committee on National Defense. The clearing house for employment offices went into operation on October 5, 1917, at 44 East 23d Street, and organized for intensive work on all the functions properly belonging to a clearing house for non commercial employment bureaus.
The Committee on Nursing, Miss Anne W. Goodrich, chairman, Miss Helen F. Boyd, committee secretary, was appointed to meet the condition caused by the demand for highly trained nurses in the first months of war, and the consequent depletion of the home service. As the matter was one of equal importance to the general public and the nursing profession, the committee was composed of lay members prominently connected with civic interests and of nurses representing the nursing organizations. It was clearly seen that provision must be made for an increased force of thoroughly trained nurses to deal with the health problems both at home and abroad during the war and during the reconstruction period after the war.
In order to be able to form a policy to cope with the situation the committee undertook as its first and most important piece of work a survey of the nursing resources of New York City. This survey was taken in July and August. It discovered 17,377 persons engaged in nursing service, of whom 10,308 are graduate nurses, sixty-two per cent. registered. This means that there are about three persons engaged in nursing service per thousand population in New York City, one of whom is a registered graduate nurse. One out of every four of these registered nurses is enrolled in the Red Cross nursing service and may be called from her usual Occupation for foreign service at any time.
During the two months in which the survey was made, 414 nurses were withdrawn by the Red Cross from their usual duties to army and navy service. From present indications, it may be estimated that about 1,000 of the total of 1,701 Red Cross nurse may be needed during the next year.
To replace this number, there is a body of 824 pupil nurses who will be graduated from the registered training schools of the city during 1918. Supplementing this number are many nurses who are being freed for other work by an increased body of pupil nurses in the training schools. The training schools themselves are admitting a possible 1,800 pupils during the year.
It is undoubtedly true that if the good training schools can be filled to their utmost capacity, the city can continue to supply the Red Cross nursing service with skilled nurses and at the same time keep the hospitals at home properly manned and the public health field adequately covered. As a result of this conclusion, the standing committee on nursing is putting this need before the city and state by means of newspaper publicity and by addresses to women's clubs, colleges and high schools, and their alumnae associations. In planning this series of talks, the committee has had the hearty cooperation of Mrs. William Grant Brown in her double capacity as chairman of the State Defense Council and president of the New York State Federation of Women's Clubs with its 50 local clubs, and of Mr. Gustav Straubenmuller, acting superintendent of schools in New York City, with the result that the committee's letter asking that a day be given to the subject of nursing was sent to over 1,000 women's organizations.
The committee is cooperating also with the nursing committee of the general medical board of the Council of National Defense. The Washington committee in its campaign of publicity sent an individual letter to each high school and college graduate of 1917 throughout the country. The New York committee inclosed with the Washington letter a letter offering the standing committee on nursing of the Mayor's Committee of Women on National Defense as a bureau of information to every young woman in New York State, who may be interested in nursing. This letter, together with a list of registered training schools in New York State issued by the standing committee on nursing, has been sent to some 3,000 graduates of high schools and colleges in New York State.
The Committee on Food, Miss Mabel Kittredge, chairman, Miss Lilla Frick, Food Committee organizer, Miss Margaret C. Rogers, committee secretary, was inaugurated for the purpose of considering the plans initiated by federal, state or private agencies engaged in food conservation, and, so far as practicable, of putting them into operation either through existing or new organizations. It was its purpose also to act as a bureau of information where bulletins, newspaper clippings and standard printed matter on food could be found. Information concerning existing organizations dealing with the food problem also is given out, and suggestions on food conservation are issued through newspapers and other available sources of publicity. But the chief work of this committee was concerned with the salvaging of food that otherwise would have been thrown away at the piers.
There is a law in New York City which, while possibly good in itself, results in a tremendous waste. All the fruits and vegetables destined for the markets must be examined at the piers and terminals by representatives of the Board of Health. Food must be embargoed if a certain percentage is bad, although the badness is frequently due merely to injury in transportation. Oranges, grapefruits and lemons are embargoed if 20 per cent is damaged, berries and small fruits if 24 per cent is damaged, and vegetables if 15 per cent is damaged. The cost and shortage of labor and the difficulty in transportation, together with the changing market often result in the consignee's refusal to accept, sort and repack the food sent in from the farms-so it is thrown away; for there is no public storage place in New York City, and the small amount of terminal space makes it necessary to remove food within twenty-four hours. Often as much as 100,000 pounds a week are thrown away, even though a large percentage of that food is frequently good and fit for market.
The war and the talk of food conservation brought forcibly to the mind of a member of the Women's University Club the great wrong of allowing tons of food to go to waste on our piers when within a few blocks many persons were going without because of the high price of food. This condition was brought to the attention of the Mayor's Committee of Women who asked the standing committee on food to take up the question. Although this committee realized it was not in a position to solve it, it did attempt during the summer to save as much of the food as possible. Thus the standing committee on food has carried on its main piece of work in a canning kitchen where the pier food, after being salvaged, was preserved.
The work began July 9, 1917, in cooperation with the Women's University Club and the Junior League. Twenty thousand pounds of good food were salvaged from the different docks of New York-all food which because of bad packing, shortage of labor, rough handling, lack of refrigerator cars, congestion, hold-up of cars and market conditions, was condemned as partly unsound. It was sorted on the piers, transported to the large central kitchen and there distributed in three ways: (1) sold to the neighbors in its raw state at about one-half of the wholesale rate quoted on that day; (2) given in either its raw or preserved state in exchange for labor at the end of the day; (3) a part of the remainder sold at the end of the season in exchange for the accumulated labor of the women worker.
A total of 325 women worked at the canning kitchen during the summer. Each worker on registering at the kitchen received a time card marked for punching.
At the end of the day each worker's card was punched for every hour of labor, and each punch was worth 20 cents. Duplicate cards were kept by the timekeeper. The tasks given out to the various women, who were of every nationality, were in accord with their former experience or their quickness in learning a new occupation, but all labor was paid at the same rate.
At the end of two months, 8,963 quart jars and 331 pint jars and jelly glasses had been filled with preserved fruits and vegetable, in addition to 3 barrels of sauerkraut and 5 of pickles. The food canned represented a cash value in the raw state of $3,122.18. The cost of jars, sugar and incidental expenses was $1,075.68. Salaries for expert and overhead expenses amounted to $3,064.12.
When the season was over the punches on the cards were carefully calculated, and each worker was allowed to select such jars of food as she desired to the amount punched on her card. Food worth $1,718.60 was taken out in this way, leaving about 3,670 jars to be sold to any working women who cared to come and purchase.
The committee has been helped in carrying on its work by the State and Federal departments of agriculture, which agreed to pay salaries to the amount of $3,700. Generous contributions to the amount of $5,820 not only carried on the work of salvaging, transporting and canning food without a deficit, but provided for the extension of the community kitchen work with a budget of $2,000. It is hoped to make use of rooms on the ground floor of the City College building at Twenty-third Street and Lexington Avenue, where it is proposed to establish a restaurant and community kitchen, to continue the preservation of food, and carry on an educational campaign that will help people to use the foods recommended by Food Administrator Hoover. This central kitchen will have distributing centers in various sections of New York.
The canning of food has not been the chief contribution of the committee. The most important result of the summer's work has been the opportunity to study the pier situation and to pass along the knowledge gained to those who have power to stop the abuse and to alleviate the terrible waste at the terminals. The educational advantage to those who organized the kitchen has come in a clearer understanding of community work. This knowledge was obtained from the foreign women. Every nationality enjoyed the sociability of the kitchen. No one was turned away, and each group contributed in working out the food problem from its national point of view.
The standing committee on food has served as an information bureau all summer. It has also investigated the foods of foreign-born people who find it so difficult to substitute the American product for the foods not now in the market.
The Committee on Industry, Miss Amy Aldrich, chairman, began an investigation of the replacement of men by women in various fields of work. As the permanent readjustments were not to occur until after the first draft, active investigation was deferred until autumn when it was resumed in cooperation with the state committee on women in industry and the Consumers League.
The Committee on Publicity, Mrs. Charles L. Tiffany, chairman, Miss Marie de Montalvo, committee secretary, has done its work admirably and the system it has employed is worthy of imitation.
The Committee on Social Welfare, Mrs. V. G. Simkhovitch, chairman, Miss Helene Pollak, committee secretary, was formed at the request of leading social workers and educators of New York City. It has taken foreign countries several years to realize that social and civic work is as much a part of national defense as drilling and marching. New York City profited by their experience
The work of this committee has fallen naturally into four parts, and has been delegated to four sub-committees: (1) the sub-committee on recreation for soldiers and sailors, Mrs. Marcus M. Marks, chairman; (2) the sub-committee on the protection of girls, Miss Stella A. Miner, chairman; (3) the sub-committee on the all-day-care of children, Mrs. Howard S. Gans, chairman; (4) the sub-committee on service, Mrs. Sidney Borg, chairman.
The sub-committee on recreation for soldiers and sailors was able to organize within a short time entertainments and dances in neighborhood centers for National Guardsmen stationed in the armories of the city. Later, "send-off day" was celebrated in almost every district of the city by festivities in the settlements and other neighborhood organizations. The sub-committee is now acting as a clearing house for social organizations which desire to devote part of their buildings to clubrooms or entertainment halls for enlisted men. This latter piece of work was undertaken at the request of Mr. Rowland Haynes, director of the national service commission of New York City.
The sub-committee on the protection of girls has dealt with a problem closely connected with that of the soldier and sailor passing through the city-the problem of the young girl who is easily fascinated by a uniform. The sub-committee employed at first two and later four women protective officers to care for such girls. These officers have patrolled neighborhoods where armories are situated, parks, and camps within the city limits. They have interviewed hundreds of young girls and have sent or taken most of them home. Following the interviews, a visitor acting upon the information thus obtained calls at their homes to verify the data and learn something of the family conditions. Cases which need medical attention or other special care are then referred to the proper agencies. Girls who lack wholesome recreation and the benefits of social clubs are referred to the director of girls' work under the national service commission.
Commissioner Woods has been so impressed with the work of the women protective officers that he asked, and the board of estimate granted, an appropriation for such officers in the police department during 1918. The committee feels that this is the most encouraging evidence possible of the value of this work.
The sub-committee on the all-day care of children has undertaken to try to solve the problem of caring for children whose parents are both forced to work outside of the home because of war conditions. The committee has selected one of the poorest districts in the city for investigating the cases of these children, and a constructive experiment in caring for them in connection with the public schools is planned for the future.
The sub-committee on service has constituted itself an information bureau for social agencies in war time. A registration of the chief social agencies in the city, giving information as to where and how the war has forced a curtailment of their ordinary activities is on file. A list of all training courses for volunteer social workers has been prepared by the committee and will be published.
In trying to deal with the social problems incident to the war in a city the size of New York, the committee on social welfare as a whole has contented itself thus far with undertaking definite pieces of constructive work. Through this method, it is felt that light can best be thrown upon the needs, and solutions most forcefully worked out. As these experimental pieces of work are tried and proved, they will be presented to the city and to groups of citizens for development in more extensive fashion.
With the retirement of Mayor Mitchel, the entire personnel of the Mayor's Committee was changed. Mayor Hylan has asked Mrs. William Randolph Hearst to act as chairman of the Woman's Committee and to select her own committee.
North Carolina. Mrs. Eugene Reilley, the very capable chairman of the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense for North Carolina, is also a member of the State Council of Defense, having been appointed before she was made chairman of the Woman's Committee. Mrs. Reilley is also second vice president of the General Federation of Women's Clubs. North Carolina furnishes another example of commendable cooperation. When the State Council heard that the Woman's Committee was planning a state conference they asked that the meeting be made a joint one, and a splendid meeting of this character was held early in October, 1917.
Of one phase of North Carolina's excellent war work Mrs. Reilley says: "We have a cantonment here in Charlotte and all the organizations in Charlotte are not only doing their 'bit' to make the soldiers feel at home, but they are doing their utmost. There is a dance or a reception or an entertainment of some description going on all their free moments. The churches and libraries have all provided rest rooms with literature, stationery, etc., for their use. Everyone takes from two to four soldiers home to dinner after church on Sunday. In Liberty Hall Chapter D.A.R. we have entertained sixty soldiers at Sunday dinner. We have also given a reception to the Second Regiment North Dakota Infantry to which all the officers and their wives were invited and the band played on the lawn. This is a sample of what all the women's organizations in town are doing. I have had Australia, San Francisco and Boston all represented at my table at one meal.
"We are also having Girls' Clubs to direct the attention of the girls to patriotic service. We have a law that all girls under twenty unchaperoned shall be off the streets by nine o'clock. All soldiers must be at the camp at eleven unless a permit is given. The very best conditions prevail. The men from the Northwest are a splendid lot of men and consequently no disorder occurs."
The first work of the Committee was, of course, organization. The work of organizing a large state like North Carolina, with its hundreds of counties, is no small task, but the North Carolina women are accomplishing it rapidly. The method chosen was according to congressional districts, a member of the Executive Committee being assigned to each district.
The constructive work of the North Carolina Division is expressed through several departments and committees and the women are making their plans not only for the tasks of war but for the tasks of peace, and are meeting their duties with wisdom, courage and devotion. Mrs. Lindsay Patterson is chairman of Food Production and North Carolina has a slogan, "A Garden for Every Home the Year Around." North Carolina has been very active in food conservation, the county chairman cooperating with the county demonstrators of the state agricultural colleges. The distribution of the food-pledge cards was followed by demonstrations in scientific methods of canning, drying and preserving food. Community canneries have been established in some places and in others private classes have been formed. In the latter the demonstrators have instructed with the understanding that the women having the privilege of this instruction would in turn give their services in teaching others. Of the food conservation work in North Carolina Mrs. Reilley very cleverly says: "We have talked and thought food so much that we are in great danger of mental indigestion. However, since this is the way to win the war, we may be preserving peace in family jars-though you know some men object to this kind of economy."
Mrs. Leonard Tufts is chairman of Public Health and Mrs. Lucy Robertson is chairman of Child Welfare, and in both departments valuable work has been done. Very creditable also is the work that has been done by Mrs. R. J. Reynolds, chairman of Liberty Loan, Mrs. A. M. Waddell, chairman of Home and Allied Relief, and Mrs. Whiteford Smith, chairman of Health and Recreation. Training classes have been established for the purpose of instructing women in the occupations where there is great need of service. Business colleges of the state have cooperated in courses in shorthand and typewriting, and the Western Union Telegraph Company has supplied teachers in telegraphy for classes of twenty-five. Miss Mary Arrington has charge of this work. One interesting feature of the work of the North Carolina Division is the way in which the chairman keeps in close touch with the sub-chairmen of the state and with the State Council of Defense and the entire work has been along most constructive lines.
The officers are: chairman, Mrs. Eugene Reilley, Charlotte; first vice chairman, Mrs. Palmer Jerman, Raleigh; second vice chairman, Mrs. William N. Reynolds, Winston-Salem; honorary chairmen, Mrs. Thomas W. Bickett, Raleigh; Mrs. Josephus Daniels, Raleigh; Mrs. Robert R. Cotten, Bruce; secretary, Mrs. Lyman Cotten, Salisbury; treasurer, Mrs. Eugene Sternberger. Chairmen of standing committees are: Registration, Mrs. W. B. Waddell, Henderson; Food Production, Mrs. Lindsey-Patterson, Winston Salem; Food Conservation and Home Economics, Mrs. Jane McKimmon, Raleigh; Women in Industry, Mrs. F. C. Abbot, Charlotte; Child Welfare, Dr. Margaret Caste Sturgis, Lenoir; Social Service, Miss Gertrude Weil, Goldsboro; Education, Miss Mary Arrington, Rocky Mount; Home and Foreign Relief, Mrs. A. M. Waddell, Wilmington; Health and Recreation, Mrs. Whiteford Smith, Asheville; Publicity, Miss Julia A. Thorne, Ashboro; Finance, Mrs. Felix Harvey, Kingston; Public Health, Mrs. Leonard Tufts, Pinehurst.
Chapter XXV. North Dakota and Ohio
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