The year was 1890, the state of Michigan was just starting to get away from the stagnant republican control and beginning to move towards a democrat state. This move however did not stop mayor elect Hanzen S. Pingree from Detroit from taking office.
He was a progressive thinker who was young and full of ideas that would ultimately help the “common man” and this is why, even though he was a Republican candidate, he was elected as mayor. As mayor he changed many policies that help “progressive” lawmakers of the future progress in social reform. In his time in office he pushed utility companies, and railways to lower their rates. He also urged arbitration when strikes occurred instead of simply sending in the militia to break up the strike. He even went as far as to sell his prized horse at public auction to help raise money for a financial relief fund and also opened up public vacant lots for gardens to grow food for citizens impoverished during the 1893 recession.
Pingree was even elected governor and wanted to stay mayor of Detroit at the same time but was not allowed to do so. During his stent as governor he kept trying to improve labor relations and fought to bring an end to corrupt business practices. Unfortunately most of his reforms were not accepted and in frustration he resigned in 1901.
In my life I have not seen a politician who has truly cared about his people like the way Pingree did. Governor Snyder for example has done almost anything he can to avoid helping the people of Flint during this water crisis.
I believe that it should be the people in office’s job to make laws and policies that benefit the majority of the people. When things aren’t running optimally they need to get the opinions of the masses and make changes and in this day in age we are not seeing this. We are unfortunately subjected to politicians personal agendas and most of the time the “common man” is of no importance. We as a society need more lawmakers and politicians like Pingree if we are wanting to advance as a society and to help the greater good.