Target: Sue McCormick, Director of Detroit Water and Sewerage Department
Goal: Stop cutting off water service to thousands of people in a major U.S. city
Earlier in the year, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) shut off the water supply to thousands of residents in Detroit, Michigan. This act was part of the department’s ramped-up program of compensating for some of the staggering debt that Detroit faces. In effect, water services were shut off to thousands of Detroit residents who are behind on paying their water bills. This has affected 27,000 Detroit residents so far this year and will affect even more individuals if action is not taken against this problem. The United Nations (UN) has called for a federal investigation of this water supply shut-off issue.
Many of the affected residents are low-income African Americans, and African Americans make up 80% of the population of the city. The poverty rate is 40%, and the water supply problem exacerbates the problems already prevalent for African American residents living at or below the poverty line.
Two representatives from the United Nations personally visited many of the affected individuals in Detroit and were shocked by their testimonies about the water shut-off. Affected residents expressed hardships such as not being able to bathe or eat in their homes, receiving high and unreasonable bills, having water shut off without notice, and frustrating encounters with department representatives.
Experts on the matter have suggested that the federal government look into investigating whether the water shut-offs are disproportionately affecting African Americans and other groups that are protected against discrimination.
By signing this petition, you are urging the DWSD to cease cutting off water services to city residents, and to work out payment plans with those having difficulties paying their utilities bills.
Dear Ms. McCormick,
Hearing about the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department cutting off water services to residents who were lagging behind on their water bills was quite a shock. These residents are not able to sustain their basic daily needs without running water, and face numerous health problems as a result. This leads to additional issues on top of not being able to pay for utilities bills.
Please stop cutting off water services to the Detroit residents, and work towards solutions to ensure that residents are receiving adequate water services. Water is a necessary factor for a person’s standard of living, and simply cutting off water supply for low-income residents is not a solution to the debt problem in Detroit.
[Your Name Here]
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