Dear Mr. Pinchot; -- I have been instructed by the temporary organization of the National Public Ownership League to write you about our proposed work. Among those who are working with me in the promotion of this league are such people as Jane Addams of Hull House, Mrs. W. I. Thomas of the Woman's Peace Party, Mayor George R. Lunn of Schenectady, A. W. Ricker, Circulation Manager of Pearson's Magazine, Daniel W. Hoan, Mayor of Milwaukee, Stanley Bomar of the Public, Victor L. Berger Editor of the Milwaukee Leader and a number of other progressive and public ownership people.
We are organizing this league for the purpose of advancing the public ownership of public utilities and the conservation of our natural resources. We know that you are and have been for a long time interested and active in that direction. We feel that the time has come to organize and coordinate our forces if we are to successfully meet and cope with the well organized and very aggressive forces of the public utilities corporations.
I enclose you herewith a rough outline of the plan we have in mind for the organization.
We hope to enlist a lot of strong public ownership men like yourself, Frederic C. Howe, Louis F. Post, Frank P. Walsh, Scott Nearing, Herbert Bigelow, Charles Steinmetz, Rudolph Spreckles and the like. The radical press will support us quite generally I believe. Already the Pearson's magazine, The Public, Milwaukee Leader (daily), the Schenectady Citizen (weekly) and one or two other publications are helping us. Others will as soon as we have the opportunity to bring the matter to their attention, I feel sure. [page 2]
What we want now, as soon as possible, is a temporary organization that will enable us to get out some literature and a letter head with the names of officers and sponsors for the league so that we can begin the work of getting the forces together for a permanent organization to be launched later on, probably after the fall campaign is over.
With this in mind it was the unanimous wish of those who are handling the matter here in this section that I should write you, ask you to join with us in this effort, and act as the temporary president of the league. Miss Addams has consented to serve as one of the vice-presidents and we hope to get others of equal prominence to go on with us.
Mr. Ricker of Pearsons, Mayor Lunn of Schenectady, or Mrs. Crystal Eastman can tell you more of the plan and as they all have known me for years they can tell you something of myself and my work.
Our plans are all tentative; of course, and we would be glad to have any suggestions that you may care to offer.
May we not hope to hear from you soon and have your acceptance of the position of temporary president?
Very sincerely yours,