Action Alert

The Flint Water Crisis - What Caused It?

The Flint Water Crisis - What Caused It?

The Flint, Michigan, water crisis is the result of years of ruthless policies that have disproportionately affected people of color. Little has been said about the cause of the Flint River pollution itself; the river was polluted by industry that has not been held accountable. When Gover­nor Snyder installed an emergency manager whose job was to impose austerity, he instructed that manager to cut the budget and the cost of services at every turn, and effectively took away the peoples’ voic­es. When residents complained and even yelled, they were not heard; instead they were placated and even outright lied to. Although water delivery has seen some improvement, little has been done about the water pollution. Today, the poor disproportionately pay for this situation.

Underfunded schools in disrepair, a lack of public transportation, a dearth of fresh fruits and vegetables, or even a grocery store, high rates of maternal and child mortality, and a plentitude of environmental toxins are making people sick. These are the intersecting pressure points that are currently attack­ing the sanity, the health, and the lives of the people, including the children, of Flint.

But the most horrific aspect of this situation is that the problem is bigger than Flint. These conditions are a national issue. African-American children suffer from lead poisoning across the country at three times the rate of white children, yet the Center for Disease Control’s Healthy Homes/Lead Poisoning Prevention Program budget was cut in half in the 2016 fiscal year. The federal government must provide the fund­ing to address these significant physical and mental health inequities.

Posted or updated: 3/3/2016 11:00:00 PM

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PDF opens in a new window Download the Flint Water Crisis flyer

Take Action:

  • Join the Color of Change’s campaign to restore the funding to the Center for Disease Control’s Healthy Homes/Lead Poisoning Prevention Program for fiscal year 2017 now.
  • Look into issues of safe drinking water in your community, and how pollution may disproportionately impact communities of color. Call for state and federal accountability for Flint, MI, and for all communities facing toxic drinking water.
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