|Dear Joe —
If the drinking water in Flint, Michigan was poisoned by ISIS, rather than corporate-sponsored politicians, how do you think President Obama and the Republican-Democratic duopoly would respond?
Lead levels in Flint’s drinking water are so high that the EPA considers it “hazardous waste”. No human being should be condemned to drink water contaminated by a neurotoxin.
It’s an outrage that public officials knowingly allowed this to happen. To prevent this kind of criminal neglect from ever occurring again, we must demand accountability.
We need immediate federal and state intervention to resolve Flint’s water crisis, as well as a massive federal investment in our nation’s crumbling water system, which I’m calling for in my Power to the People Plan.
After Flint’s water supply was switched two years ago to save money, the problems were immediate and included high levels of E. Coli and trihalomethane, a carcinogen – even before the detection of lead. The governor and other state officials failed to take action, despite knowing about the lead contamination.
The Flint water crisis shows what happens when governors such as Rick Snyder end local democracy in order to serve corporate interests.
In fact, this crisis is the logical outcome of decades of betrayal by the bipartisan political establishment serving the economic elite: deindustrialization and disinvestment, abandonment of democracy and neglect of the lives and well-being of poor people and communities of color.
Bottled water will not solve Flint or America’s infrastructure crisis. Instead, a Green New Deal – complete with adequate public infrastructure spending, living wage jobs, a just economy, and the end of poverty – is what Americans want, need, and deserve.
It’s in our hands!