PRESS RELEASE – Water Affordability Plan Petition Campaign Launched

For immediate release: March 9, 2009

For more information contact: Maureen Taylor, chairperson, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization – 313-964-6018.

Water affordability petition campaign launched!
Voters can support it in November election.

Michigan Welfare Rights Organization launches a petition campaign to put a water affordability plan on the November, 2009 ballot. The campaign was launched with a spirited meeting of over 40 volunteers, Saturday, March 7, at its offices inside the Central United Methodist Church in downtown Detroit .

The campaign needs signatures of 3% of the turnout for the last mayoral race, or about 7400 signatures. Campaign leader Ann Rall said that the campaign’s goal is 10,000 signatures by May 18.

The plan ensures that every Detroiter will have water from their publicly-owned utility, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD). The plan reduces the monthly bill based on affordable structured rates and ends the practice of mass water shut-offs. It has been successfully implemented in other cities.

“Water is a right that all Detroiters deserve. This plan, originally passed by Detroit City Council in 2006, was not implemented by the DWSD. The people need to speak and win our right to affordable water,” declared Marian Kramer, co-chair National Welfare Rights Union and active in organizing the campaign.

“Now more than ever Detroiters need affordable water, as more people lose their jobs and city and state budgets are balanced on the backs of the poor,” said Maureen Taylor, chairperson of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization. “We can win it but only if we get organized. Once we win it in Detroit , we will move the campaign to the suburban communities serviced by DWSD where people are suffering from this recession, too.”

Volunteers are needed to circulate petitions. Contact Michigan Welfare Rights Organization at 313-964-0618 or at www.MWRO.org. MWRO is also on Facebook and Twitter.

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