Editor’s note: Nearly 200 protestors mobilized by Flint City Councilman Wantwaz Davis, including people from local unions (UAW, MEA, SEIU), community activists, and residents alike gathered at Flint’s Farmer’s Market on Friday, September the 12, 2014. They held a demonstration opposing Michigan’s current Governor Snyder’s campaign fundraiser.
FLINT, MI — Under Michigan’s Emergency Manager law, the city of Flint is run from Lansing, the state capital. Flint’s city council, mayor, and charter have no power. Residents have no voice. All local decisions are made by Gov. Snyder and carried out by an Emergency Manager he appoints.
This is dictatorship and it is dangerous!—not simply dangerous to our fundamental rights, but dangerous to our very health.
Financial Emergency ‘Fixes’ Cause Health Emergency Crises
The United Nations has declared “safe, clean, accessible, and affordable drinking water and sanitation” to be a human right. Water shutoffs and unsafe water deny this right and put entire communities at risk of disease and other health complications.
The recent multiple fecal contaminations of Flint’s water supply (triggering boil water alerts) are the direct result of the decision to abandon the Detroit water supply for a new Lake Huron pipeline. Independent auditors commissioned by the State called this a “major risk” and said Flint and Genesee County residents would be better off staying with the Detroit regional authority, but Governor Snyder’s Emergency Manager pushed the plan through anyway.
Now everyone is paying high water rates because those fees are the security for bondholders in the new pipeline deal underwritten by J.P. Morgan Chase and UBS. That’s the “comeback kid” in action!
Our Public Health at the Expense of Our Public Wealth
Through Snyder’s Emergency Manager, the State of Michigan handed private Flint corporation, Uptown Reinvestment, $5.65 million in grants and low-interest loans to create “an emerging health and wellness district” downtown. Flint’s Emergency Manager also awarded Uptown a 12-year, $1 million tax abatement and $880K in federal community development block grants for the project that:
• Privatized control of the once-public Flint Farmers’ Market.
• Gifted publicly-owned Genesee Towers to Uptown for $1.
• Setup Michigan State University’s Public Health program as Uptown’s tenant in the old Flint Journal building.
If State resources exist for “public health districts” that benefit wealthy private interests, Governor Snyder can allocate resources to address actual public health emergencies arising from soaring water rates, water shutoffs, an unsafe water supply, and the theft of local democracy.
Lower Water Rates Now! Stop Water Shutoffs Now! Safe Water Now! Restore Democracy Now!
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