MARCH 12, 1943
NEW YORK, Thursday—I was much impressed last night by the way in which the Rochester Youth Council had organized its evening meeting. There must have been at least 3,600 people filling every seat of the big auditorium, even in the top gallery, and by far the majority of them were young people.
That their own high school chorus sang most beautifully, the cantata, "I Am An American," was doubtless an attraction, but they listened to a report on the work of the committee and two lengthy speeches. For young people to spend a long evening at a meeting, when there is a great deal for them to do in these war time days, shows an interest in their responsibilities for the present and the future, which is very encouraging.
In addition, it shows a valuable ability to organize. I think a feeling of unity of purpose is also beginning to develop between old and young. In this meeting there were included all the youth-serving agencies, which meant that the actual youth organizations had as advisers the adult leaders of many agencies dealing with youth. I think a growing joint effort is going to enrich and strengthen the work of all organizations.
After the meeting was over, Miss Hildur Coon and I had a little time to talk quietly with President and Mrs. Valentine in the library of the beautiful Eastman house. At midnight President Valentine put us on our train, which was already a half hour late and so did not reach New York City this morning until after 8:00 o'clock.
This morning I have seen Mr. Wilbur Phillips, who is anxious to try a plan which he worked out in Cincinnati and in other communities. It gives the consumer an opportunity for organization, which perhaps may be valuable. I do not feel able to judge it, but I hope that people with more experience will go into it, for it seems to me consumers are little organized in this country and, therefore, obtain comparatively little recognition.
To be sure, all of us are both producers and consumers, but we are so much better organized as producers, that, perhaps, we should think of ourselves more frequently as consumers. The women who spend so much of the family income should be more vocal and active in consumer organizations.