Cleveland Plain Dealer October 10, 1907 Magazine Section
In his four-year tenure from 1912 to 1916 Newton D. Baker fostered Tom L. Johnson’s ideal of a Utopia of Civic Righteousness. He coined a new word to designate his policy; it was “civitism,” once described as a combination of “Home Rule and the Golden Rule for Cleveland.”Baker believed that the greatness of a city did not depend on its buildings, either public or private, but rather on the intensity with which its citizens loved the city as their home. Such a pervasive feeling would inevitably produce beautiful parks, cleaner streets, honest government, and widespread adherence to justice as the ideal of its social and economic life. It was his firm intention to make “civitism” mean the same thing for the city that patriotism signified for the nation.