Citizen's Association

First Urban Reform Group in America - Founded July 24, 1874

The Citizen's Association would come into being when Marshall Field and other leading voices called a meeting in order to convince the city council to modernize the fire department and better protect the city against future fires.

They pressed for the hiring of a former NYC fire commissioner to revamp the fire department. The city council refused this suggestion, unless his salary was privately paid for, leading the Citizen's Association to put up $6,500.

The scope of the group grew with the explicit aim of improving the urban environment. After fire protection, they turned to the issue of a new city charter.1

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