Speakers from Flint, MI held a press conference urging Congress to ensure immediate, dedicated funding for replacing the corroded water lines in Flint before the end of the 114th Congress
WASHINGTON DC – Today, speakers from Flint, Michigan held a press conference urging Congress to ensure immediate, dedicated funding for replacing the corroded water lines in Flint -- whether it is included in the water resources bill or a year-end spending bill – before the end of the 114th Congress.
The House and Senate have each passed a version of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). The Senate’s version contains $100 million in immediate funding for Flint and provides funding for other communities with high lead levels. The House version authorizes Congress to spend money on Flint’s infrastructure, but it does not provide funding.
The leaders from Flint are supported more than one hundred diverse organizations who released a letter urging Congress to take action to address the lead crisis in Flint before the end of the session.
Below are short quotes from the speakers today:
Dr. Karen Weaver, Mayor of Flint: “Health officials still haven't deemed the water in Flint safe to drink without a filter and they don't know when it will be, if that isn’t an emergency I don’t know what is. We need our leaders to continue supporting and fighting for the people of Flint to help us get the resources needed to replace all of the lead-tainted pipes in the City and repair the infrastructure left severely damaged as a result of the man-made water disaster. This tragedy has gone on for over two years, we need help from Congress to fix this problem now."
Frances Gilcreast, President of the Flint Branch of the NAACP: “This is a violation of our civil rights as citizens of this great nation. We live in a state that is surrounded by five great lakes, by fresh water. Yet we have been poisoned -- not by ourselves but by our government. Our citizens have been suffering for almost three years. We need infrastructure revitalization. I get sore thinking what the future of Flint looks like if this is not remediated.”
Gina Luster, Flint Community Organizer: “In Flint, we are still where we started. I have to send my 8 year old daughter off to school with her backpack more full of water bottles than books. There is no way around not having clean water. There is no Band-Aid, it has to be totally and completely fixed.”
Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation: “Clean water is essential for every American. We call on all members of Congress—Republicans, Democrats and Independents—to invest in the infrastructure and natural systems that support this basic right. At a time when Americans are asking whether Washington can get anything done, helping Flint is one issue upon which we should all be able to agree.”
Letter to Congress from 107 Organizations Asking for Immediate Funding – PDF
Audio Recording of Today’s Tele-Presser Event – WAV file for download
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