More: U.S. Rep. John Conyers Calls Detroit Water Shutoffs Inhumane
Days after a coalition of welfare rights organizations appealed to the United Nations for relief with Detroit water shutoffs, U.S. Rep. John Conyers today condemned the practice by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.
Conyers said he plans to develop a range of solutions to address the crisis, including requesting federal emergency relief.
“Detroit’s water crisis did not happen in a vacuum,” Conyers said in a statement this evening. “Over the past decade, Detroiters have seen their water rates increase by 119%. Over this same period, forces beyond city residents’ control — including a global financial crisis that left one in five local residences in foreclosure and sent local unemployment rates skyrocketing — severely undercut Detroiters’ ability to pay.”
Conyers called the shutoffs inhumane and “economically short-sighted.” He said he plans to introduce legislation to protect access to water during the city’s bankruptcy proceedings and he will be working with members of Congress, state and federal officials in the coming days.
The department announced in March that it was resuming efforts to shut off water service to more than 150,000 delinquent customers in order to collect nearly $118 million in outstanding bills. The department said it would target customers whose bills are more than two months late and would shut off about 3,000 customers a week.
Department officials repeated their defense of the practice today, saying many customers avoided shutoffs by paying their bills, and the department is working to limit shutoffs.
A coalition of welfare rights organizations — including the Detroit People’s Water Board — appealed to the United Nations to have service restored to customers and to prevent more shutoffs.
More at Detroit Free Press.
Detroit’s Water War: a tap shut-off that could impact 300,000 people
A right-wing state and corporate push to cut off water is economic shock therapy at its most ruthless and racist, but resistance is growing
It was six in the morning when city contractors showed up unannounced at Charity Hicks’ house.
Since spring, up to 3000 Detroit households per week have been getting their water shut-off – for owing as little as $150 or two months in bills. Now it was the turn of Charity’s block – and the contractor wouldn’t stand to wait an hour for her pregnant neighbour to fill up some jugs.
“Where’s your water termination notice?” Charity demanded, after staggering to the contractor’s truck. A widely-respected African-American community leader, she has been at the forefront of campaigns to ensure Detroiters’ right to public, accessible water.
The contractor’s answer was to drive away, knocking Charity over and injuring her leg. Two white policemen soon arrived – not to take her report, but to arrest her. Mocking Charity for questioning the water shut-offs, they brought her to jail, where she spent two days before being released without charge.
Welcome to Detroit’s water war – in which upward of 150,000 customers, late on bills that have increased 119 percent in the last decade, are now threatened with shut-offs. Local activists estimate this could impact nearly half of Detroit’s mostly poor and black population – between 200,000 and 300,000 people.
More at The Guardian.
As the Michigan Citizen reported, residents with delinquent water bills are losing their water while prominent Detroit corporations with much larger delinquent water bills are being left alone. The Palmer Park Golf Club owes $200,000. Joe Louis Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings, owes DWSD $80,000. Ford Field owes $55,000. Kevyn Orr is arguing that the shutoffs are necessary to pay for the DWSD infrastructure - yet when Detroit raised $1 billion in bonds to pay for new infrastructure, $537 million of it went to banks like JPMorgan Chase, UBS and Morgan Stanley to pay off interest instead.
- See more at: occupy.com
Detroit is not “Run By Liberals” as the wingnut meme goes, it is being run by dictatorial fiat of Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, who answers only to Republican Gov. Snyder.
Here are some “helpful” suggestions from wingnuts:
Brian H. • 17 hours ago
How about all those Democrat leaders you elected?? Still trying to find a way to blame your parched throats on George W?? Yes, you have a basic right to water, but how do you expect free water, running to your homes, through pipes that someone else paid for and to be installed?? You live next to a BIG freaking lake… Guess what? That’s water- go grab a bucket and work for what you need.
Keninmo ellid • 8 days ago
LOL — Pay your bills, and you get water.
What else do you call a “basic human right”? Food, housing, cars, cell phones, comfy shoes, air conditioning?
Progressives — spouting mush since 1900.
Keninmo sameeker • 12 hours ago
Why? Why should a provider of goods or services take a loss just because the person consuming those goods or services is a deadbeat, and goes looking for a handout?
Let’s put it in a context an Occupy Spacer can understand.
Occupy Space Hipster living in his mom’s basement bums money off mom every month and promises to “pay her back”. Hipster gets $800 in the hole to mom. Dad finds out, and says “Hipster, pay up the money or get the h@ll out of my basement.”. Hipster hits up his deadbeat hipster friend, who we’ll call Hipster 2, to borrow $600 off his mom, who we’ll call mom2. Hipster 2 gets $600 from mom2, and gives it to Hipster, who gives it to his mom. Dad confronts Hipster and says “You paid $600, not $800. Where’s the other $200?” Hipster says “Hey, dude, it got paid by charitable contributions. You should give me a reduced rate.” Dad kicks Hipster in the azz and puts him to the curb.
And GOOD LORD, you idjit — Detroit Water and Sewer Department is….ready for it? Owned, operated and run by….the CITY OF DETROIT! AS A NON-PROFIT!
Now do you see why your post has no merit? Well, given your post in the first place, probably not….
There are MOAR HORRIBLE COMMENTS at the linked articles.