In 2014, residents of Flint, Michigan began to complain about the taste and color of their tap water, and despite complaints of lead poisoning from children and families, state regulators insisted that municipal water was safe to drink.
Almost 3 years later, Michigan’s Attorney General has announced criminal charges against 13 officials in the role they played that led to the contaminated drinking water. Meanwhile, residents of Flint STILL can’t use their tap water to cook, bathe, or drink without filtering it first and 9,000 children have lead poisoning.
I think we can all agree that this is an injustice. But when you consider the fact that 41% of people living in Flint are poor, and 57% are African American, it raises additional questions about the government’s failure to act.
But while Flint’s officials have failed to protect its citizens, and the country has largely turned its back on a humanitarian crisis, here’s how we can help:
- If you have the money, consider donating to The United Way of Genesee County’s Flint Water Fund.. 100% of your money will go towards buying filters, bottled water, and other prevention efforts.
- Or, consider donating to The Flint Water Study, a team of researchers analyzing hundreds of lead kits and calling residents to keep them informed—something Michigan officials failed to do.
- One final organization work considering– Action of Greater Lansing. It is a task force delivering water and information to the city’s undocumented communities that are largely being ignored or excluded from other relief efforts.
- If cash is tight, you can still demand political action from Governor Snyder. Sign this petition demanding the state stop making residents pay water bills for contaminated water.
Like many state efforts to cut costs, America’s poorest, most vulnerable citizens are the ones paying the price in Flint. Let’s show Flint that the country has not forgotten about it, that we will hold our officials responsible for public health, and that we will not allow this crisis to continue.