The Peoples Water Board holds its meeting the second
Tuesday of the month at 5:30pm at the Cass Corridor
Commons at 4605 Cass Ave. Enter off of Forest.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Coalition Delivers over 158,000 Signatures to Gov. Snyder and Detroit City Council Calling for an End to the Water Shut-offs in Detroit

Detroit, Mich. – Today the People’s Water Board Coalition delivered more than 158,000 petition signatures to Governor Snyder and the Detroit City Council in front of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center in Detroit. The petitions call for an immediate and permanent stop to the water shut-offs in Detroit, restoration of household water service where it has been shut off, and implementation of the Water Affordability Plan passed by Detroit's City Council in 2005.

"Water is essential to all life," said Dorthea Thomas of Environmental Action. "We're here to deliver these signatures not only on behalf of Detroit's people, but our entire ecosystem. Without a just, equitable and public water system, every plant, animal and person is at risk."

People around the globe have signed the petitions being delivered today. “This issue has reached people all over the world,” said Lynna Kaucheck of Food & Water Watch and the People’s Water Board. “All eyes are on us. How the Governor’s office handles this situation will show whether or not he thinks people and their basic human rights are more important than profit.”

Today’s petition delivery is the next step in an ongoing series of events spearheaded by the People’s Water Board to stop the water shut-offs in Detroit and to implement the Water Affordability Plan. In June, the group and allies reached out to the United Nations, which then filed a complaint against the U.S. Government and the State of Michigan for violating the human right to water and sanitation. In August, the group partnered with 54 other organizations to call on the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to declare a public health emergency in Detroit because of the lack of water and sanitation. Most recently, an injunction was filed in the ongoing bankruptcy trial requesting a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on water shut-offs in Detroit. The request was sent to mediation and a decision is expected tomorrow.

“It is reprehensible that children and families in Detroit are being put at risk of disease because they cannot afford their water bills,” said Sister Mary Ellen Howard, Registered Nurse from Cabrini Clinic. “To maintain public health, water must not only be clean; it must be available and affordable. Our lives depend on it.”

The City of Detroit is in crisis. When 45 percent of the city struggles to pay their water bills, it becomes clear that this is not just a problem with delinquent payment. It is indicative of broader, systemic issues resulting from decades of policies that put profits before people.

“By denying drinking water and sanitation to thousands of Detroiters, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is violating one of their basic human rights,” said Lila Cabbil of Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute and People’s Water Board. “Without water, how are people expected to bathe, flush a toilet or prepare healthy food for their families? We are calling on our elected officials today to put an end to this injustice and turn the water back on.”

Copies of the petitions are also being delivered to the judges overseeing the bankruptcy trial and mediation.

The petition was sponsored by, Daily Kos, Demand Progress /, Democracy for America, Environmental Action, Food & Water Watch, the People’s Water Board, RH Reality Check and Working Families Organization.

The People’s Water Board advocates for access, protection, and conservation of water, and promotes awareness of the interconnectedness of all people and resources. 

The People’s Water Board includes: AFSCME Local 207, Baxter’s Beat Back the Bullies Brigade, Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, Detroit Green Party, Detroit People’s Platform, Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management, East Michigan Environmental Action Council, Food & Water Watch, FLOW, Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit, Matrix Theater, Michigan Coalition for Human Rights, Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute, Sierra Club, Sisters of Mercy, Voices for Earth Justice and We the People of Detroit.

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