There’s a water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
Children are being rushed to the hospital with irreversible brain damage. The federal government has declared a state of emergency. Dangerous water contamination is causing residents to go blind, develop skin lesions, and lose hair and even their memory – just from bathing in their own homes.
The entire community is living in fear – all because Governor Rick Snyder wanted to save money, and switched the city's water supply from one of the largest and cleanest water supplies in the world to the highly corrosive Flint River.
Meanwhile, Michigan’s Governor has been cozying up with Nestlé, allowing it to pump 200 gallons of fresh water every minute out of the state’s reserves.
I have two kids, and my family has lived in Michigan for generations. It’s terrifying that we need to be afraid of a simple drink of water. That’s why I started a petition on SumOfUs Community asking Governor Snyder to stop the privatization of our public water, and instead invest in public clean water for all of us.
Nestlé is the largest owner of private water sources in Michigan – water the people of Flint sorely need – and the water-guzzling corporation has deep ties to Governor Rick Snyder’s office. This is the same office that thought nothing off undermining the public system that was supposed to keep the people of Flint safe.
Deb Muchmore, the head spokesperson for Nestlé Michigan, is married to Governor Snyder’s chief of staff. As Michael Moore wrote recently, "The Muchmores have a personal interest in seeing to it that Nestlé grabs as much of Michigan's clean water as possible.”
Nestlé has been repeatedly sued over its aggressive acquisition of private water reserves and the alarming amounts of water it sucks out of Michigan’s ground. The multinational has been under fire in Michigan since 2003 when a judge ordered Nestlé to stop its operations due to ecological harm and a massive reduction in water levels from its operations. Even as recently as last year, Nestlé Waters CEO Tim Brown said that if he could bottle more of drought-stricken California’s water for profit, he would.
As far as I’m concerned, allowing companies like Nestlé to do whatever they want comes hand in hand with undermining the public water system we rely on. Water problems across the state are due to corruption, self-interest, and putting the public’s interest last. And we’ve had enough.
I've been a SumOfUs member for little over a year and already, I have seen the organization fight back against water privatization in Oregon and in Canada, and I’ve started this petition so we can fight for Michigan too. We need to come together behind the people of Flint and say enough is enough.
Thanks for all you do,
Life-long Michigan resident, and SumOfUs supporter since 2014
After Bottling Michigan's Clean Water, Nestle Comes Under Fire For Ties To Snyder Admin, MintPress News, Feb 3, 2016
Michael Moore: 10 Things They Won't Tell You About the Flint Water Tragedy. But I Will, HuffPo, Feb 1, 2016
“Privatization is not the solution”: Michigan Activists Fight for Water Justice, In These Times, July 15, 2