i HAPPEN to like the sewer

Sep 2018
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cleveland ohio
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With the creation of the Socialist Party of America, this group formed the core of an element that favored democratic socialism over orthodox Marxism, de-emphasizing social theory and revolutionary rhetoric in favor of honest government and efforts to improve public health. The Sewer Socialists fought to clean up what they saw as "the dirty and polluted legacy of the Industrial Revolution", cleaning up neighborhoods and factories with new sanitation systems, city-owned water and power systems, and improved education. This approach is sometimes called "constructive socialism". The movement has its origins in the organization of the Social Democratic Party, a precursor to the Socialist Party of America.


Campaign poster from the 1912 Presidential campaign, where Seidel was the running mate of Eugene Debs
In 1910, the Socialists won most of the seats in the Milwaukee city council and county board. This included the first Socialist mayor in the United States, Emil Seidel, who also received the nomination for Vice-President on the Socialist Party ticket in the 1912 election, when the Socialists netted 6% of the vote, their highest-ever percentage. Seidel and Berger both lost their campaigns in 1912, but in 1916, a new Socialist mayor was elected, Daniel Hoan, who remained in office until 1940. Socialists never regained total control over the local government as they did in 1910, but continued to show major influence until the defeat of Daniel Hoan in 1940. The Sewer Socialists elected one more mayor in Milwaukee, Frank P. Zeidler, who served for three terms (1948-1960). A member of a Socialist party has not been elected mayor of a major American city since the end of Zeidler's tenure, though Bernie Sanders, independent socialist was elected mayor of Burlington Vermont in 1981

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