January 20, 2016

Statement: Water crisis in Flint preventable, tragic and human-made

Please see Deputy Campaigns Director, John Stewart’s statement below:

“President Obama’s declaration of a state of emergency is an important step in order to deliver the disaster relief Flint needs. However, we must not confuse this situation with some unpreventable “act of god.” This crisis was human-made and would have been prevented had the city’s water system been funded adequately in the first place.

At its core, this situation underlines the pressing need to reinvest in our country’s aging public water infrastructure. Over the past decades, the federal government has ignored the dire investment gap in our nation’s water infrastructure, saddling states and cities with astronomical maintenance and improvement costs. Because of these funding gaps, cities across the country have been forced to find money in other places to support their water systems, sell their systems off to private corporations, or in the case of Flint, cut costs with catastrophic and heartbreaking consequences.

This is simply unacceptable. As a country, we must demand our leaders ensure that cities across the country have the funding they desperately need to upgrade and maintain their public water infrastructure. It’s a public health imperative.

Water is not only a human right, it is crucial for human survival. No water system should ever be managed in a way that threatens access, even in these times of tight city and state budgets. We stand in solidarity with the people of Flint and we call on our leaders at the local, state and federal level, to reinvest in our water systems to make sure that no city faces the same preventable crisis that Flint faces today.”


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