Freedom Friday: Stop The Detroit Water Shut Offs
The City of Detroit is shutting off water to thousands of residents resuming a condemned practice of denying water and sanitation service to low income households. Meanwhile, Detroit and surrounding cities are in the middle of an alarming Hepatitis A epidemic! This public health crisis has led to national travel warnings not to go to Michigan.
People's Water Board, Moratorium NOW, and the Michigan Poor People's Campaign are organizing weekly Friday protests until the Mayor calls a moratorium on the shut offs. Please take a moment to click on the invite button on this event, invite your facebook friends, and share.
We will be meeting at the Spirit Of Detroit and marching a short distance to Campus Martius. Please join us to express your public concern!
Please call Valerie Jean (313-704-5150) if you have any questions about this event.
Background: The Detroit Water and Sewerage Dept shuts off service to customers who are $150 behind and/or 2 months late on their bill. Low income customers are eligible to sign up for payment plans to catch up on current and past due bills with a starting deposit of 10%. If they default, the deposit goes up to 30% then 50% -- a losing formula if you're already struggling to pay the lowest rate.
Let's be honest, no one chooses to live without household water to drink, cook, bathe and flush the toilet. Most low income families can't afford to keep up annual service rate increases and the growing cost of infrastructure repairs that are passed on to customers. What we need is a WATER AFFORDABILITY PROGRAM BASED ON INCOME so that poor families can pay 2-3% of their income instead of double digit percentages like now.
This type of program started last summer in Philadelphia and is a big success! Households with low income vulnerable populations like seniors, people with disabilities, chronically ill persons, low wage workers, kids and babies are more likely to contract water-borne illnesses and experience inadequate access to clean sanitation. Protecting the least among us by ensuring they have safe, clean, accessible and affordable water is a win-win solution for us all! These families can address their basic life-sustaining needs and we all experience safe public health and community well-being. As Michiganders, let's make water a human right for all!