Where were you on April 25, 5 years ago? I was here in Kalamazoo, grading final exams, not thinking about my drinking water.
It's been 5 years since Flint, ordered by the emergency manager, switched from using treated water from the city of Detroit to untreated water from the Flint River. That decision, made over the opposition of Flint's elected officials, cost residents of Flint their lives, homes, jobs, and their future, and remains unresolved.
This public health crisis was set in motion to save money. No one responsible has gone to jail, residents have not been compensated, and the safety of our drinking water has been thrown into doubt in a way that will remain for generations.
Water is more crucial for survival than food, yet elected officials disregard public safety to save money and irresponsible corporations dump poison into the environment. We must continue to lift up the voices of the residents of Flint until restitution is made and the guilty are behind bars.
Every elected official needs to be held accountable for the lead and other contaminants in our water. We face a crisis with PFAS and related chemicals in our water, because elected officials were too cowardly, corrupt, or simply unwilling to acknowledge that irresponsible corporations were dumping toxic chemicals into the groundwater. And now, Governor Gretchen Whitmer is sitting down with Enbridge (the Canadian fossil fuel company responsible for spilling toxic tar-sands oil in the Kalamazoo River) to help them continue to operate an oil pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac!
Our silence is over. No longer will we allow elected officials to turn a blind eye to the damage they cause when they put profits before our health.