The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt


HYDE PARK, Tuesday—The young people in the Democratic party in New York State are holding a political institute beginning September 6 and running through the afternoon of September 9, which is open to all young voters regardless of party.

These young Democrats hope to give fellow New Yorkers an understanding of government affairs through firsthand discussion with Democratic officials. They will show documentary films, and, of course, movies of sports and social events for variety. This institute will be held at Syracuse University and it is hoped that there will be a statewide interest in it.

The Democratic party feels that young people must learn to take an active part in their government. Otherwise, quite naturally, control will fall into the hands of older people and also of such people as are willing to make it a profession, whereas in our country every citizen should find his place in his party and work in the organization.

There is, I am told, an increasing number of independents, people who do not join any political party. I would like to emphasize that they lose out on having something to say about the people who are nominated for office, since they can work only through nonpartisan organizations. I would almost rather see people join a party and frankly tell that party they may not always vote for the candidates unless the candidates are as good if not better than the opposition candidates.

September 27 is Democratic Women's Day and on that day every woman in the party is asked to give to the financial support of the party, through her local organization.

More and more these days women have money of their own to spend—money they have earned, money that their husbands have given them to spend for the household or for their own interests, and money they have inherited. Organizations and industries are convinced that women are worth much advertising directed at them exclusively, but when it comes to their political interests women seem to be very poor subscribers. Apparently, they think the support of the women's work within the party should be done by men. It seems to me they fail to realize that sometimes the voice of the women should be an independent voice, a voice that speaks out for women and is not just the echo of the men's organization.

This will never be possible, however, until the women do not merely subscribe on the general men's subscription list, but give specific donations to the women's organizations—national, state and local—so that the feminine contingent can run its own offices, think its own thoughts and spread them abroad. That does not mean the women will not support the men's policies. But it does mean that they can present to the men policies and methods of work which have a special appeal to women.

The older Democrats in New York State remember the devoted work of some of the earlier women, the first to organize in New York State. Among them are Miss Harriet May Mills, Mrs. Caroline O'Day, Mrs. Henry Morgenthau Jr., Miss Nancy Cook and Miss Marion Dickerman. I could go on to name many others but these were known throughout the state. They have been followed by many, many others who have done remarkable educational work and still I do not think the women are sufficiently aroused in the Democratic party to their responsibilities or their opportunities and I sometimes think this is equally true of the Republican party.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, September 5, 1951

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.