From the Sugar Law Center
The inhumane conditions in Flint, Michigan demand immediate action. All options should be considered and acted upon, including immediate replacement of damaged and dangerous pipes, comprehensive alternative delivery systems to provide safe water to households, and evacuation and housing of the most vulnerable populations and from the areas with the highest lead levels. We support efforts to provide bottled water at distribution centers and applaud all who have volunteered their time and energy in this efforts. But, these actions alone do not provide a sustainable solution. Families are still bathing and washing their dishes and clothing in water that contains high levels of lead. We urge the federal government to go beyond holding the decision makers who caused the crisis responsible, and go a step further and demand immediate actions to directly aid families living the areas with higher levels of toxins in their water supply. We welcome the involvement of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and efforts to hold responsible state officials accountable, but more needs to be done to protect the families.
We will continue to push forward with our lawsuit challenging the emergency manager (EM) law in Michigan that put the very people who caused this tragedy in power. Sugar Law Center’s emergency manager lawsuit alleges that the law violates our civil rights and immunizes emergency managers from accountability to local residents. We will keep you updated as it moves forward in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. In the meantime, we ask that you join us in helping Flint families.
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Rashida Tlaib: Personal account of what is happening on the ground
I personally visited several homes in Flint, Michigan this past weekend to help provide the updated information residents need to protect their health. Every person I met was confused and angry. So many felt misled as the word came from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the filters the State of Michigan provided are not equipped to clean such high levels of lead in the water. Some had not heard about the announcement to stop using the filters.
One of the stories shared by another volunteer broke our hearts. A mother of an infant who was breastfeeding her child for six months was boiling the water to clean her feeding supplies. She didn’t know that boiling lead-contaminated water makes it worse. She was devastated and felt an overwhelming amount of guilt that she drank toxic water and may have passed the toxin to her baby through her breast milk. Worse yet, the State of Michigan denied anyone who could not provide an identification card access to bottled water. She was one of the people turned away. Although the State has stopped asking for ID cards, the injustice continues as this mother and other human beings to live under these horrendous conditions. They deserve better.