October 8th, 2018
Free – Riverwise Edition #8 Just issued
Thinking for Ourselves
Thinking for Ourselves
The push for local and state-wide policies to protect our water is accelerating. This past week saw both a successful student walk-out on count day in Detroit emphasizing the crisis of safe water in the schools and the need for a water affordability plan and a declaration of faith in support of water as a human right by people of faith. On Oct 4th people gathered at the Spirit of Detroit to celebrate over 240 signatures of faith leaders in a call to all people of good will to become stewards of our waters. Faith leaders declared they will continue to organize to stop water shut-offs, get those who have been shut-off reinstated, and for a water affordability plan that allows people to pay for water based on percentage of income.
Throughout the state the weekend saw sermons and worship services aimed at raising with congregations our moral responsibilities to one another and the earth. Organizers declared, “This is a critical moment. The faith community can add its prolific voice and use its formidable influence to change the course of history by helping to pass a water affordability plan in Detroit. This would allow people to pay their water bills. The plan would bring in more revenue than the shut-offs. Philadelphia and other cities have adopted a water affordability plan. The plan Philadelphia implemented was first drafted for Detroit.”
On October 10, Flint Strong Stones and We the People of Detroit will again join forces for the 4th annual Imagine a Day Without Water. People of faith, activists, and community leaders will discuss how to advance efforts to protect water and the lives that depend upon it.
This year’s event is be hosted by First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church in Flint.
People are gathering with a renewed sense of urgency because of the recent recognition of the widespread contamination caused by PFAS in drinking water around the state. Michigan was forced to declare a state of emergency over water contamination in Kalamazoo
The Department of Environmental Quality found that more than 1.5 million people have been drinking water with some level of contamination by PFAS.
Reports noted, “The sheer scope of contamination is highlighting concerns about the adequacy of that level and prompting calls for rigid controls on the chemicals, which are not regulated in Michigan public drinking water systems.
Since the first wave of water shut-offs in Detroit and the poisoning of Flint, community activists, people of faith, human rights workers, United Nations officials, students, parents, scientists, public health officials, and school personnel have recognized that we are in a deep crisis over the protection of the most essential element of our lives. Only elected officials seem oblivious.
Organizers of Imagine a Day without water said, “We demand as residents, as parents, as tax payers, as homeowners, as fishermen, as students and stewards, to bring forth the most visionary plan for our future generations. We are One Water from Keweenaw Bay to Saginaw Bay, from Detroit to the Soo.”
It is our responsibility to insist by every means necessary that water and the life that depends upon it be protected.
No water to drink, or even to make coffee with. No water to shower, flush the toilet, or do laundry. Hospitals would close without water. Firefighters couldn’t put out fires and farmers couldn’t water their crops.
Some communities in America already know how impossible it is to try to go a day without our most precious resource: Water. But many Americans take water for granted every day. Imagine a Day Without Water 2018 is the fourth annual day to raise awareness and educate America about the value of water.
Last year, over 750 organizations came together. Will you join us this year
What We’re Reading
Howard Zinn: Don’t Despair about the Supreme Court