Dirty Water, Dirty Politics: A Toxic Mix in Detroit and Flint, Mich.
The alarm Leid Stories sounded in August 2014 about a “water crisis and massive public-health catastrophe” in Detroit and Flint, Mich., is only now getting national attention—now that it isn’t just a “black” problem. In Detroit, still reeling from severe austerity measures imposed after the city’s forced 2013 bankruptcy, water shutoffs continue unabated for thousands of homeowners too poor to pay; about 80,000 are behind in their water bills. In Flint, tens of thousands of people have been exposed to lead-poisoned and bacteria-infected water after the cash-strapped city, now under emergency management, switched its water supply from Detroit and instead was drawing its water from the extremely polluted Flint River.
Curt Guyette, an investigative reporter for the ACLU of Michigan, broke the Flint story. He return to Leid Stories to provide a comprehensive update. Abayomi Azikiwe, a Detroit organizer for the Workers World Party and editor in chief of the Pan-African Newswire, is Leid Stories’ correspondent on Detroit’s forced bankruptcy and its aftermath; he reports on the city’s continuing water crisis.