Sewer Socialism is a term described the American socialist movement that centered in Milwaukee Wisconsin. With the creation of the Socialist Party of America, this group deemphased social theory and revolutionary rhetoric and in favor of honest government and efforts to improve public health. The Sewer Socialists fought to clean up what they saw as “the dirty and polluted legacy of the Industrial Revolution,” cleaning up neighborhoods and factories with new sanitation systems, city-owned water and power systems, and improved education.
In 1910, the Socialists won most of the seats in the Milwaukee city council and county board. This included the first Socialist mayor in the United States, Emil Seidel, who also received the nomination for Vice-President on the Socialist Party ticket in the 1912 election with Eugene Debs.
This movement ended in 1960 when Frank P. Zeidler left his office as Milwaukee mayor.