William Draper Lewis to Sir, January 16, 1913


January 16, 1913.

Dear Sir: --

The Executive Committee of the National Committee of the Progressive Party elected the following persons as members of the Legislative Reference Committee:

Gifford Pinchot
James Garfield
Charles Merriam
Ben Lindsey
Henry F. Cochems
Jane Addams
Francis Heney
Herbert Knox Smith
Walter Weyl
William Draper Lewis, Chairman

The Committee organized on January 9th, and determined to establish a Legislative Bureau to carry on the following work.

A. The maintenance of a directory of Progressive members of Congress and Progressive state and important local offices.

B. The maintenance of a directory of state Progressive legislative committees. (In connection with this work where state legislative committees do not exist the committee to lend its influence to the creation of such committee.)

C. The collection and analysis of legislation prepared by state Progressive legislative committees, and the distribution to legislative committees and party representatives in Congress and State Legislatures of copies of such legislation and analyses together with other information in regard to such legislation.

D. The collection of legislation pending in Congress and State Legislatures on subjects of interest to Progressives.

E. The maintenance of a directory of the sources of information in re matters likely to be the subject of legislation.

F. The maintenance of a record of the votes on Progressive [measures] of party representatives in Congress and State Legislatures.

The Bureau will be temporarily located at the National Progressive Headquarters in New York. It will take a little [time] to organize thoroughly the work of the Bureau, but we hope to get all the various branches outlined, except possibly the system of [analyzing] legislation within the next two or three weeks. [page 2]

Mr. Bernard S. Van Rensselaer has been appointed Assistant in temporary charge of the Bureau, and all communications should be addressed to him at the National Progressive Headquarters, Hotel Manhattan, New York.

The Committee hope by the first of March to be in a position to make an announcement in regard to further work, especially work which will be of assistance to Progressive members of Congress, State Legislators and State Legislative Committees, in the preparation of Progressive measures. For the next two months, however, the work must of necessity be confined to keeping the members of our party in touch with what is being done to further Progressive legislation in all states.

Very truly yours,

W D Lewis [signed]
Chairman, Legislative Reference Committee.