March 25, 2016

Demanding democracy and accountability in the wake of the flint water crisis


This week, a team of Corporate Accountability staff joined Flint community leaders Nayyirah Shariff and Melissa Mays to speak truth to power in Washington, D.C.

Our mission: Ensure the private water industry does not profit off Flint’s water crisis.

Our strategy: Advocacy in the halls of Congress and at news outlets like NPR.

This powerhouse group met with staff members for Senators Stabenow, Casey, Wyden, and Menendez, and reporters at NPR and The Detroit News.

In these meetings, we challenged several federal-level bills pushed by the private water industry that could open the floodgates for privatization contracts around the country.

To learn more about the private water industry’s attempts to exploit the tragedy in Flint, check out this this op-ed by Corporate Accountability President Kelle Louaillier, featured in the inside-the-beltway publication The Hill.

On World Water Day, the White House held a corporate-saturated water summit. While Melissa and Nayyirah were not invited, the summit featured private water industry players with disastrous track records like Veolia, American Water, and the National Association of Water Companies.

To ensure that the voices of the residents of Flint were represented, and to demand that their crisis not be used for the private gain of the water industry, Melissa and Nayyirah delivered statements in front of the White House as the summit was wrapping up inside.

Here’s an excerpt from Melissa’s statement:

“[The situation in Flint is] identical to what happens with privatization.  You have a company that comes in, makes all the decisions  for you, reaps all the benefits, takes all the profits, and leaves you with a destroyed water system.  We don’t want the same thing that happened in Flint to happen to you.  So we’ve come here to ask to stop using our name in order to get these bills passed through that will not actually help Flint at all, but will actually help these private companies profit off of our tragedy.” 

As Nayyirah and Melissa continue their advocacy in Flint, we continue to grow the movement to increase public funding for our water systems.

Join us. Watch Nayyirah Shariff, Melissa Mays, and other members of Corporate Accountability explain why they are part of the movement:

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