Today, I start a new series that I hope to continue for a while. Because, well, there’s a lot to fix in this world. Starting today, every Wednesday, I’ll be posting a call to action about something that I think is important, and how to take action.
This week: The water crisis in Flint, Michigan
In short: Governor Rick Snyder is estimating that it will take TWO MONTHS for the citizens of Flint to have clean water again. This is TOO LONG! You know how inconvenient it is when there’s a storm or public works maintenance and you have to boil all cooking and drinking water/not take showers/use bottled water for the 24-72 hours of the outage? Imagine doing that for TWO MONTHS. And they’ve already BEEN doing that for months! It’s simply unacceptable. Did I mention that the citizens of Flint are still being BILLED FOR WATER and are expected to pay those bills even as they are also having to buy bottled water? Did I mention that testing kits are available for pick-up at fire stations but you have to get yourself to one of them on your own? If this were happening in any other industrialized country, we would be wagging a judgmental, shaming finger of “how COULD they?!”
If you need to read up:
Who to contact: your elected Federal officials
Why? If you are not a citizen of Michigan, it is not particularly effective to call/write Michigan public officials. However, the FBI is now involved in an investigation and we need to make sure that our Federal elected officials know that we are watching and want them to be involved.
Here’s an easy way to find out who they are and how to write them:
*Bonus: This site also gives you access to their voting records as well as which bills they are actively working to get passed into law.
What to do: Call/write and ask for these things:
1) Clean water for Flint
2) Restoration of executive authority of Flint’s democratically-elected mayor, Karen Weaver
3) Federal investigation of Governor Rick Snyder’s actions and the actions of his appointees in creating this crisis
If you want some suggested text to copy/paste when writing, I give you this:
Dear Senator/Representative _____________:
The water crisis in Flint, Michigan is a public health crisis. Water is a human right. What Governor Rick Snyder has done in Flint, Michigan is not only immoral, unethical and deplorable, it also constitutes a crime against humanity. I request that you do everything in your power as my elected official to help the citizens of Flint, Michigan. Please aggressively and enthusiastically support whatever actions the Federal government is legally allowed to take in order to restore clean water to the citizens of Flint as soon as possible.
Governor Rick Snyder has said that he hopes to restore clean water within two months; this is unacceptably long. Unclean water is THE leading cause of death and disease in the world, causing ~50% of all deaths worldwide. His leadership is not working and it is threatening the lives of the citizens of Flint. Please do whatever you can to restore executive authority to Flint’s democratically-elected mayor, Karen Weaver. She did not cause this crisis but she is perhaps the only elected official taking the lives of the electorate seriously. Allow her to help the citizens who elected her to do just that.
After clean water has been restored, I also ask that you pursue a federal investigation, and if warranted, a prosecution of Governor Rick Snyder as well as any of his appointees responsible for endangering the health, safety, and lives of U.S. citizens without any good reason to have done so.
Your City, Your State