John Randolph Haynes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

John Randolph Haynes (1853–1937) was a prominent California socialist[1] in the early 20th century who helped steer many of state's reforms during this period. His Direct Democracy League was responsible for the state amendment which brought the reform to the local level and recall of the first public official in state history.

Early life[edit]

Haynes was born in 1853 in Fairmont Springs, Pennsylvania, a coal mining community.[2] During his youth the family removed to Philadelphia where he would eventually go on to earn his medical doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. He opened a medical practice and married women's suffragist Dorothy Fellows.[2]


In 1887, the family removed to Los Angeles where he became one of the city's busiest physicians. In 1897 he helped organize a chapter of the Union Reform League, a socialist movement.[2]

Direct Democracy League[edit]

In 1902 his Direct Democracy League won a state constitutional amendment establishing direct democracy at the local level,[3] and the following year he began advising Gov. Hiram Johnson.[1] In 1904, the league successfully recalled California's first public official.[3]

Later years[edit]

Haynes sat on the freeholders board in 1924 which created the charter that operates the city today,[2] and he would also serve during this time on the civil service commission and as a member of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners.[2] Haynes served on the University of California Board of Regents and nationally advocated for labor protection laws of coal miners and other workers. He was also Southern California's leading advocate for the national Native American population.[2]

Death and legacy[edit]

Haynes died in 1937, leaving behind a political legacy still present today through the Haynes Foundation, a social research institution, and the city's oldest private foundation.[2]


  1. ^ a b "A companion to California history", William Francis Deverell, David Igler. John Wiley and Sons, 2008. ISBN 1-4051-6183-3, ISBN 978-1-4051-6183-1. p. 473
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "About", Haynes Foundation. 2010. Accessed June 12, 2011
  3. ^ a b "The politics of imprisonment: how the democratic process shapes the way America punishes offenders", Vanessa Barker. Oxford University Press US, 2009. ISBN 0-19-537002-3, ISBN 978-0-19-537002-7. p. 53