Tag Archives: flint

People of Flint demand continued water distribution

State shows it values corporate profits over public safety

Residents, outraged by the announced end of water distribution in Flint and insulted by the Nestle water giveaway days earlier, spoke out Monday to tell how the decision would affect them and present solutions to guarantee everyone can get water they can trust. They reject the idea that every house has safe water because a small sample was under the threshold for lead when thousands of homes still have lead service lines. “And Lead is not the only problem.” Said Michigan United organizer, LaShaya Darisaw. “Legionella bacteria was responsible for a dozen Flint deaths. We need to test for bacteria and other contaminants in all homes before we even consider ending water distribution.”

SAM_1801Tony Paciorek is one Flint resident who depends on water distribution for his daily needs. “It takes 3 bottles of water to make my coffee. 4 if I want oatmeal.” Paciorek said he’d have to pay about $2.67 a gallon for the bottled water after Nestle marks up the price 70,000%. “This is a clear example of how the economy is rigged in favor of the wealthy and their corporations. Those who can least afford it pay the most for water while companies like Nestle practically get it for free.”

Michigan United is calling for a boycott of all Nestle products until everyone in Flint has safe water. Nestle produces Perrier, Poland Springs, Pure Life & Pellegrino bottled waters and other drinks such as Nescafe, Nesquik and Nestea. They also make dog foods like Alpo, baby food like Gerber and adult foods like Hot Pockets and Haagen Dazs.

SAM_1817Monica Galloway, one of several Flint city councilmembers to oppose ending water distribution stood with those affected. “For Governor Rick Snyder to end water distribution in Flint is injustice that clearly demonstrates that inequity and inequality still exist in America.” said Galloway. “This is not about a handout from the State this is about the state righting a wrong.”

Besides continued water distribution and reversing the Nestle deal, Michigan United is calling for a state budget that includes money designated for water testing, Medicaid expansion to cover everyone who has lived or worked in Flint since 2014, and an end to the Emergency Manager Law that led to the water crisis.

Flint residents speak out against court ruling on municipal water contract

Federal Judge advances contract over objections of city council

U.S. District Judge David Lawson ruled Friday that a 30 year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority can go forward over the objections of the Flint city council. Many residents are understandably skeptical of the deal and resent the loss of autonomy of their elected officials.

“Forcing decisions onto the city government is exactly how the Flint Water crisis started!” said Michigan United activist Carly Hammond at a press conference Tuesday outside City Hall. “This contract was negotiated with the state’s best interests in mind, not the city of Flint and certainly not the residents.”

Lead leached into Flint’s municipal water supply in 2014 after a state appointed Emergency Manager ordered that the city switch from Detroit water system to the caustic Flint River in order to save money over the objections of the city council. State officials ignored residents complaints for years before the problem was documented. During that time, scores of people were also infected by the Legionella bacteria. Twelve of them died.

“We want the State and Federal Government to release Flint from the grasp of officials who have no incentive to treat the residents of Flint fairly.” Said Megan Kreger. “If we had been able to maintain authority over our own governance, thousands would not have been poisoned, and hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars wouldn’t have been allocated to fix pipes.”

Capitol Day 2016

Join hundreds of Michigan United leaders and allies from across the state as we take over Lansing in the name of economic, environmental, and racial justice!

Click here to register for Capitol Day 2016 NOW!

We will meet with our legislators to push for grassroots solutions to injustices our communities face. Following the meetings, we will join with allies from across the state to amplify our voices against those causing pain in our communities by carrying out a DIRECT ACTION.

Michigan United will provide buses for transportation from Detroit and Kalamazoo. Detroit will depart from 6451 Schaefer Rd, Dearborn & Kalamazoo will depart from their office at 1009 E Stockbridge Ave, Kalamazoo. A logistics email will be sent to all registered attendees a week before the event with many details, including depart times and locations.

Please click here to register if you plan to attend. A space to enter attendees’ names will appear once you choose how many places you would like to reserve. Please include the names of everyone for whom you reserve a spot.

A light breakfast and lunch will be provided. Please indicate any dietary restrictions when registering.

Childcare will also be provided. Please indicate if you will require childcare, along with their names and ages. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide childcare for children under the age of 2 years.

This is a FREE event. However, we greatly appreciate donations to help offset the costs. Click here to donate now! A donation of $60 more makes you an official member in good standing!

For additional information about Capitol Day 2016, please contact our office, 877-507-7774, ext 725 or email branden@miunited.org.

Job Posting: Flint Water Justice Organizer

Deadline: Candidates must apply by April 18th, 2016.

Michigan United is a statewide coalition of faith, labor, civil rights, business, and social service organizations working together for racial and economic justice through community organizing.

Michigan United is seeking dedicated staff to lead an urgent campaign in Flint Michigan.

The people of Flint have been drinking poisoned water for over a year. This is the result of extreme negligence on the part of the State of Michigan, as well as a likely cover-up. This poisoning takes place within the context of the long-term struggle faced by Flint to overcome poverty, discrimination, and out-sourcing of manufacturing jobs.

The immediate crisis and long-term needs can only be met by rapidly developing the leadership of low-income families in Flint, and advocating for just reconstruction, reinvestment and health plans.

The role of the Flint Water Organizer will be to:

  • Recruit Flint families to join campaigns to win just reconstruction, reinvestment and health programs.
  • Train impacted families to become leaders of advocacy campaigns for community needs
  • Work to support the local leadership coalition
  • Conduct strategic advocacy campaigns to win reinvestment, renewal and just water policies for Flint
  • Support ongoing door-to-door canvasses
  • Develop community education programs on the long-term impacts of lead and copper poisoning
Position requirements.

The Flint Water Organizer should:

  • Have a tireless commitment to social justice
  • Be ready to talk to strangers and ask them to take action
  • Be a self-starter who can see opportunities and seize them
  • Be ready to work in a fast-paced environment with limited supervision on urgent campaign timelines
  • Have experience and public relationships in Flint
  • Have their own reliable car – American-made cars are strongly encouraged
  • Have their own cell phone and computer
  • Be comfortable working with a diverse group of partners, members, and staff; -Be able to work with modern office software.

The position is based in Flint, Michigan. Women, people of color, and LGBTQ persons are strongly encouraged to apply. Pay for this position is commensurate with experience. This position is funded full-time for 6 months, and may be extended pending additional fundraising.

Please send resume and cover letter to: hank@miunited.org

cc: ryan@miunited.org

Subject: Flint Water Organizer