On Saturday, March 7th, dozens of Detroit residents and activists will meet for a kick off rally to stop water shut-offs in Detroit. MWRO is coordinating a petition drive to put on the November ballot a measure that will prevent the shutting off of water to residents, especially low-income families and seniors.
For the past several years, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Dept (DWSD)–the third largest municipal provider in the country–has shut off water service to over 70,000 households. Between 2002-2003, over 40,000 homes were without water service because of their inability to pay!
Water is a human right. It is owned by no one and those who are tasked with processing it to ensure that it is safe to drink and use also have a responsibility to make sure that it is affordable and accessible to all!
Detroit residents and community organizations have battled for over seven years to draft and enact a water affordability program. These efforts have been stalled, switched, and squashed by local politicians and corporate interests who are concerned not with families but with profits. Moreover, the DWSD Board of Directors has made no effort to investigate the public health crisis associated with massive water shut-offs.
Several Detroit and Highland Park documentaries have been made that illustrate the desperation and fear experienced by families living without water. In Michigan, the crisis is exacerbated by Dept of Human Services case workers who can and do remove children from homes without the proper utilities.
Join the “Our Water, Our City” rally on Saturday, March 7, 2009 from 10am-12pm at Central United Methodist Church (23 E. Adams, 4th Floor, downtown Detroit). Flyers available on the MWRO website.