Restore Clean and Abundant Water Supply to Minority Community

Target: Philip Gunn, Speaker of Mississippi House of Representatives

Goal: Fund repairs for degrading water infrastructure in Mississippi capital.

Nearly 200,000 Mississippi residents are now without a reliable water supply, and officials cannot assure them when this crisis will end. Jackson’s OB Curtis water treatment facility reportedly suffered significant damage a month ago, which compelled the city to issue a boiled water alert because of raw, untreated water present in the pipes. Due in part to flooding, backup pumps have also failed, and the city’s water supply has been cut off “indefinitely.” The governor issued a statement claiming “until it is fixed, it means we do not have reliable running water at scale. It means the city cannot produce enough water to fight fires, to reliably flush toilets, and to meet other critical needs.” Frustrated residents and experts believe this catastrophe was years in the making and could have been avoided with better leadership.

Just last year, Jackson’s water system endured another serious setback when winter weather froze and burst pipes. These incidents are part of a 30-year-plus pattern of problems with infrastructure that needs repairs and upgrades now to the tune of two billion dollars. Despite calls for investment after the issues last year, the state legislature has not budged in providing this long-overdue funding. Critics point to the city’s 80 percent-plus Black population as a key reason for this lack of urgency from Mississippi’s leaders.

Sign the petition below to demand these politicians prove accusations of environmental racism wrong by making long-overdue investments in their capital city.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Speaker Gunn,

Brown water unfit for consumption, water pressure so low that bathing or cooking is impossible, mile-long lines for bottled water, and shuttered schools and businesses across the landscape: this is the sorry state of Mississippi’s capital city right now. For some residents, it’s been their reality for weeks, months, years, and even decades.

You have had ample warning about Jackson’s aging water infrastructure, yet as disaster after disaster has accumulated the legislature has done nothing to remedy the crisis affecting the lives of 180,000-plus of your constituents. This lack of action and absence of empathy only bolsters the arguments of critics who claim environmental racism. Do you really want to be known as the next Flint, Michigan? Or do you want to provide all of Mississippi’s citizens with clean, drinkable water as their basic and fundamental right?

Invest in your capital. Invest in your communities. And invest in human dignity.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Nabi Sohrabli


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