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advocates. His one success as a humorist was when he observed: “There was no applause when I mounted this platform." A ripple of laughter followed. But the crowd was clearly laughing at Mr. Crowley and not with him.
Crowley announced he was there to answer questions. Assemblyman Clark of Oakland bluntly demanded whom Crowley represented.
The attorney hesitated.
"Real estate interests,” he finally said. When pressed further he stated that a “real estate man named Moody" had sent him to Sacramento.
Crowley contended that two propositions confronted the committees :
(1) Is such legislation necessary?
He stated that it is not necessary, because the Statutes are full and complete on this subject. He held that it would not be carried out, and demanded if the committeemen thought there would be a rush of heroes to close tenderloin places should the measure become a law.
But he held there was danger in putting into the hands of irresponsible persons the power to attack property. He held that under the bill's provisions no apartment or office building in San Francisco would be safe against attack
Senator Grant asked Crowley how he would enforce the law, if he discovered that the District Attorney were also acting for vested interests which had part in tenderloin exploitation.
"That is another matter," replied Crowley.
"Why," demanded Senator Anderson, "if the District Attorney has power to attack such abuses, are you so alarmed about the passage of Senator Grant's bill?”
"I'm not alarmed about it,” replied Crowley, "but I believe its passage would be an act of folly.”
The meeting concluded without the measure's opponents having made any impression against it, while its proponents had scored at every point.
During the legislative recess the proponents of the bill canvassed the entire State in its promotion. Women's organizations circularized every county and district. The women's organizations which definitely endorsed and worked for the measure represented a membership of about 50,000 organized women. They included the Women's Christian Temperance Union, the Federated Women's Clubs, the Civic League, the Juvenile Protective Association, besides many smaller bodies. The Women's Christian Temperance Union alone, during the constitutional recess, arranged for speakers in twenty-three counties.
When the second part of the session opened, all California had a clear idea of what the bill meant and what was to be accomplished under it. And the sentiment was universal for its passage. Literally thousands of telegrams and letters were received by Senators and Assemblymen urging them to support the act. No better publicity work was carried on for or against any other measure. And the remarkable part of it was that the work was done by women, who were entirely ignorant of legislative methods, inexperienced in publicity,
unfamiliar with political conditions. The incident demonstrates what enlightened public opinion can accomplish when real interest is aroused.
The effect upon many members of the Legislature was amusing. They were being showered with letters and telegrams instigated by agents of public service corporations, urging them to defeat the Conservation bill, the Insurance bill, the Workmen's Compensation bill, and many others. But they did not show resentment at receiving these inspired, corporation-instigated communications. They were, however, very much put out at receiving from disinterested citizens requests for their support of the Abatement act. But resentful though they might be, they returned to Sacramento prepared to act in accordance with the general demand that the bill be passed.
But the supporters of the measure found when they returned to Sacramento that before they could pass their bill they must clear the way of an obstruction that had been cleverly raised against it.
THE BEBAN RESOLUTION.
A few days before the Legislature reconvened for the second part of the session, Senator Grant announced in an interview published in the San Francisco newspapers, that he would, when the Legislature reassembled, introduce a concurrent resolution to provide for a legislative commission to make thorough investigation of the contributory and resultant causes of the white slave traffic. Senator Grant had his resolution ready when the Legislature reconvened. But within ten minutes after the Senators had taken their seats, and before any business other than the appointment of the usual committee to notify the Governor that the Senate was in session, Senator Beban 332 introduced a Senate resolu
332 Senator Beban had been elected to the State Senate from that part of San Francisco in which that city's far-known Barbary Coast was located. The Senator has been active in San Francisco politics for many years, coming into prominence during the Schmitz-Ruef regime. He had held several positions of public trust. He was one of Tom Finn's deputies, when Senator Finn was Sheriff of San Francisco. He had also served as a deputy under a former San Francisco sheriff. At the time the 1913 session convened, Senator Beban was holding a $150-a-month job on the San Francisco waterfront.
Senator Beban had also served several terms in the Legislature, having been elected originally to the Assembly. His record on moral issues was that of the average San Francisco member. In the 1909 Assembly, for example, Beban was one of the most consistent opponents of the Walker-Otis Anti-Racetrack Gambling bill. He voted every time against this measure. At the final vote only ten Assemblymen voted against the bill, Beban was one of them. (See Table D, “Story of the California Legislature of 1909," or Assembly Journals for that session.)
Beban entered the Senate in 1911. The Senator followed the example of Senator Wolfe and Tom Finn in opposition to Local Option legislation. He voted against the Local Option measure on every rollcall save one. On that rollcall, Senator Beban voted
tion, calling for the appointment of a Senate committee of five members to make investigation of the social evil problem.
At Senator Beban's request, the resolution was sent to the Committee on Rules.
The resolution gave evidence of having been hastily drawn, being incomplete in several particulars. The committee333 corrected these defects, provided a fund of $1,000 for the investigation, and reported the resolution back with the recommendation that it be adopted. 334
for the Local Option bill as it had been amended under the leadership of those who were not to put it mildly, friendly to such legislation. Among other remarkable provisions of the amended bill was one that liquors should not be drunk or consumed in quantities of less than two gallons. Assemblyman March, of Sacramento, when called upon, in the Assembly, to vote on this question, stated that he refused positively to vote for a provision which would require him to
"drink two gallons of ·booze' at a time, and compel him to go into the street to do it.”
Senator Beban, however, was one of the legislators who voted for this provision. The incident was considered "a great joke on the 'drys'."
To the peculiar sense of humor with which some are gifted, the Beban resolution was no doubt regarded as “a great joke on Grant," and
those who, with Senator Grant, were laboring to secure the passage of an effective redlight abatement law.
333 As a matter of fact, however, but three members of the committee, Boynton, Gerdes and Lyon, passed upon the resolution. The two other members of the committee, Thompson and Cartwright, had not returned to Sacramento from the constitutional recess.
334 The Beban resolution, as amended by the Committee on Rules, and adopted by the Senate, read as follows:
“Whereas, There are now pending before the Senate and under consideration before committees of the Senate, bills pertaining to the abatement of houses of ill-fame and so-called 'social evil or white slave traffic;' also bills relating to minimum wages for women in the State of California; and
“Whereas, It is developed in her sections of the United States, through official investigation, that there is a close relationship between those two measures in that
inadequate standard of wages for working women and girls which makes it impossible for them to procure employment at a compensation suficient to maintain themselves in decency and in comfort has been a potent factor in many of them seeking lives of shame; be it
“Resolved, That a special committee of five Senators be appointed by the President of the Senate to investigate all phases of the so-called social evil or white slave traffic and the relationship of the same to the wages of working women in California, to report