Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 269
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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 269
 
into the slum. That which had come to be considered an impossible task he did by the simple formula of “putting a man instead of a voter behind every broom.” The words are his own. The man, from a political dummy who loathed his job and himself in it with cause, became a self-respecting citizen, and the streets that had deen dirty were swept. The ash barrels which had befouled the sidewalks disappeared, almost without any one knowing it till they were gone. The trucks that obstructed the children’s only playground, the street, went with the dirt, despite the opposition of the truckman who had traded off his vote to Tammany in the past for stall room at the curbstone. They did not go without a struggle. When appeal to the alderman proved useless, the truckman resorted to strategy. He took a wheel off, or kept a perishing nag, that could not walk, hitched to the truck over night to make

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