Baltimore bans water privatization

Protects water system from corporate control

On Election Day, November 6th, 77% of the voters in Baltimore approved Question E, a charter amendment that declared their water system to be a “permanent, inalienable asset of the city.” No corporation can take away its water and sewer system to make a profit.

This is a historic step in the battle for public control of water.

Skyrocketing water rates and cruel collections are the rule in a city where thousands don’t have running water, have been evicted, and face foreclosure for unpaid bills. For at least 25 years, large corporations have aggressively lobbied to get control of Baltimore’s water system. The companies offered up-front cash that would have been an expensive loan, paid by residents through higher water bills, job losses and worse service.

When the city started putting in new water meters to “improve billing” in 2017, Baltimoreans felt the privatization threat. Baltimore’s elected officials recognized the importance of preserving public control of this critical resource. They put forward an anti-privatization charter amendment and a grassroots-powered movement inspired and educated voters. By passing Question E, Baltimore has outsmarted predatory private companies, stopped these schemes, and protected its water system from extreme privatization deals. — From a Baltimore Contributor

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