Target: Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan
Goal: Do not make Flint residents pay full price for contaminated water.
Three years on and residents of Flint, Michigan are still advised to filter water before drinking. Despite this, state officials recently ended programs that covered water costs, forcing residents to pay full price for water that may still be contaminated. In a city with high unemployment and low average income, the end of these programs will inevitably increase the number of delinquent accounts. This will undermine efforts to purchase water from the Detroit water system. Furthermore, households that are behind on their water bill lose eligibility for a lead pipe replacement scheme. This means that the state withdrawing support could stall efforts to remove major sources of lead from Flint’s ageing water infrastructure.
Since an unelected emergency manager appointed by Governor Rick Snyder switched the source of Flint’s water to the polluted and corrosive Flint River, a dozen people have died of legionnaires’ disease. Furthermore, children throughout the community were exposed to dangerous levels of lead and other heavy metals, toxins linked to lifelong physical and mental impairment. While levels of lead and other contaminants have dropped in recent months, the water has yet to be declared safe for drinking without a government-approved filter. Many residents continue to rely on bottled water for drinking, cooking, and washing needs. Sign our petition to call on Governor Snyder to halt all plans to make Flint residents pay for unsafe water.
Dear Governor Snyder,
I was shocked to read of plans to suspend the program that helped Flint, Michigan residents pay their water bills. While I recognize that lead and heavy metal levels in Flint water have been falling for the past few months, the water is still not safe to drink without a filter and residents continue to eschew tap water. Furthermore, lead levels are inconsistent within the community, raising the possibility that many in the community will be forced to pay for water that is effectively poisonous.
Not only will ending the program make Flint, Michigan residents pay for contaminated water, but it also creates obstacles for a resolution to the ongoing crisis. As you know, the median income in Flint is significantly below national and Michigan averages, with unemployment standing at 9.87 percent. Cutting the program will result in an increase in delinquent accounts and a funding shortfall for municipal attempts to buy access to the clean Detroit water system. Since households that are delinquent on their water bills do not qualify to have their lead pipes replaced, a spike in delinquent accounts will slow the replacement of the very infrastructure releasing lead into the water. I urge you to continue to support residents of Flint, Michigan in the payment of water bills until the water is drinkable without filters.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Bill Harrison