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American Immigration and Citizenship Conference

The American Immigration and Citizenship Conference (AICC) and its predecessors, the National Council on Naturalization and Citizenship (NCNC) and the American Immigration Conference (AIC), shared information with and coordinated the activities of organizations and agencies concerned with a more humane, nondiscriminatory immigration and naturalization policy.

The National Council on Naturalization and Citizenship was formed in 1930 as an association of organizations and individuals who sought to reform naturalization laws and regulations. The Council advocated policies and procedures that were humane, uniform, and simple. Among its prominent leaders were Ruth Z. Murphy, Read Lewis, Abram Orlow, and Frank Orlow.Continue Reading »

Naturalization Process in U.S.: Early History

Written by Eilleen Bolger. The first naturalization act, passed by Congress on March 26, 1790, provided that any free, white, adult alien, male or female, who had resided within the limits and jurisdiction of the United States for a period of 2 years was eligible for citizenship. Continue Reading »

Hamilton-Madison House: Reaching the Hard Core of Poverty

This entry was copied from the original document. It is both a history of settlement work on the Lower East Side of New York City and an excellent example of community organization in a racially diverse neighborhood. This proposal was written in the first year that Community Action grants were being awarded as part of the War on Poverty.Continue Reading »

Long, Huey

As the Great Depression worsened, Long made impassioned speeches in the Senate charging a few powerful families with hoarding the nation’s wealth. He urged Congress to address the inequality that he believed to be the source of the mass suffering. How was a recovery possible when twelve men owned more wealth than 120 million people?….In 1934 Long unveiled a program of reforms he labeled “Share Our Wealth” designed to redistribute the nation’s wealth more fairly by capping personal fortunes at $50 million (later lowered to $5 – $8 million) and distributing the rest through government programs aimed at providing opportunity and a decent standard of living to all Americans. Long believed the programs he initiated in Louisiana were effective in lifting people out of poverty, and he wanted to implement this philosophy nationally.Continue Reading »

Henry Street Settlement (1910)

This description of Henry Street Settlement in 1910-1911 is largely copied from the “Handbook of Settlements” written by two settlement house pioneers: Robert Archey Woods and Albert J. Kennedy. The handbook included the findings of a national survey of all the known settlements in existence in 1910 and was published by The Russell Sage Foundation of New York in 1911.Continue Reading »

Henry Street Settlement Pioneers: Lillian Wald and Helen Hall

For its first 74 years Henry Street had but two directors, one served 40 years, the other 34. Our current executive director, Bertram M. Beck, follows the tradition of Lillian Wald and Helen Hall by living in the House at 265 Henry Street.Continue Reading »

African Union Society

Written by Michael Barga. “In 1780, The African Union Society (AUS) was created in Newport, Rhode Island. While most blacks from Rhode Island were free by 1807, strong prejudice and oppression were present before and after that date. The AUS developed partly in response to these difficulties, as well as a forum for black cultural discussion. The society is considered one of the first formal organizations founded by free blacks in the United States.”Continue Reading »

The Plan to End Poverty in California (EPIC)

The nomination of an avowed socialist to head the Democratic party ticket was more than the California establishment could tolerate. Sinclair’s radical candidacy was opposed by just about every establishment force in California. The media virtually demonized Sinclair through a concerted propaganda campaign based largely on smears and falsehoods. Sinclair’s candidacy also set off a bitter political battle both within the Democratic party and with many groups who were opposed to various aspects of the EPIC plan. Sinclair was denounced as a “Red” and “crackpot” and the Democratic establishment sought to derail his candidacy. Despite all of this, Upton Sinclair was very nearly elected Governor of California in 1934.Continue Reading »

Schiff, Philip: A Political Campaign Speech – 1937

“As a united progressive group we do not intend to let go of the tiger’s tail until it has been twisted beyond recognition! A defeat for Tammany in the 1st Assembly District. means a death blow from Tammany in the city. What an opportunity for the American Labor Party and those in sympathy with its aims! For the sake of the thousands who reside in the 1st District., the city and the state, we must not permit it to slip out of our grasp!

“The “Dooling way” is the path to loss of civic self-respect, an acknowledgment of defeat for obtaining the things we want most, an agreement to continue playing with a representative who is tied lock, stock and barrel to a system which has for years been “kidding” the public and is constantly under public scrutiny because of its many excursions into the public through for its own benefit.Continue Reading »

Old Age Security: Abraham Epstein’s View (1934)

We all know, of course, that any program of social security will be complete if complete security is provided and the best kind of security. But I believe that since we are just imperfect human beings, and most of us are imperfect, we should confine ourselves for the present to one problem, at least try to solve one problem at a time, not 100 per cent, or even 90 per cent. If you can only get over that philosophy to the legislatures, I think that all of our problems on social security in this country will be solved.

The reason that there is no perfect remedy for making old age absolutely secure, no matter what principle is adopted, no matter what legislation we enact, is that there will always be certain flaws to make it at least just below 100 per cent perfect, if for no other reason than the fact that the members of the Senate and House of Representatives are fallible people. Some may not believe that, but at least most of us agree on it. Therefore, we cannot expect infallible laws.Continue Reading »

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