Jill Stein To Meet With Flint Residents Calling for ‘Justice & Emergency Action’
Calls Flint Crisis a Symbol of Bipartisan Negligence That's Thrown Ordinary Americans Under the Bus
Dr. Jill Stein is set to make an appearance in Flint this Friday afternoon to support the demands of residents for justice, health and democracy. She is calling attention to unmet critical needs to fix the water crisis inflicted on them. The discussion will take place at the Wolves Den Camp, located at 1115 Mason St. in Flint. Stein was outspoken about the matter during her 2016 Presidential run on the Green Party ticket, demanding accountability from public officials responsible for the crisis. She advocated for pursuing prosecutions of all responsible officials, including Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who appointed the emergency managers that oversaw the disaster, and to whom the managers reported.
For Immediate Release
July, 19, 2017
Vehicle City Greens
Erin Fox (517) 294-9914, [email protected]
Wolves Den Camp
1115 Mason Street
There is mounting evidence that the water crisis has had a substantial harm to the children of Flint. An estimated 8000 children were exposed to unsafe levels of lead in their drinking water. This lead to a doubling of the number of children with unsafe levels of lead in their blood. In addition, infant mortality is on the rise in Genesee County, according to MDHHS, with 13.8 of 1000 children dying in 2015, for a total of 43 deaths. That's an increase of 38% over the 2008 rate of 9.9%. Infant mortality in the County is now more than double the national average. One of the effects of lead on pregnant women is to cause premature birth, the main cause of infant mortality. So the lead in the water may also be responsible for the tragic rise in infant deaths in Flint. Studies are ongoing to determine if this is the case.
Dr. Stein remarked, "We cannot turn our backs on these young people. Funds earmarked for spending on health services for those affected must be expanded. The $15 million dollars granted by HHS is not sufficient to address the long-term health complications. We must expand funding for health care services to victims." Because lead exposure makes it harder for children to learn, educational support should also be provided.
Residents remain fearful that water liens for unpaid water bills could be enforced on their properties, leading to mass foreclosures. Though the Genesee County Treasurer has stated that the county will not take action on water-related liens during the state of emergency, that decision could change at any time, particularly in the event the state pressures the county to collect revenue due to the State of Michigan by the city. "We can't trust that the County will not go forward with the execution of the water liens, Stein remarked. "There will be tremendous pressure from state officials to execute those liens, because Flint remains in receivership. It's simply not enough for Genesee County to state that they will not execute the liens. The unpaid bills should be forgiven. It is an outrage that the residents of Flint are being forced to pay for poisoned water that has sickened and devastated so many families."
"The crisis in Flint is a crisis of water, health and democracy. It results from a bipartisan political establishment that has thrown working people, communities of color and the poor under the bus. The Green Party is here to support you in this struggle, and to help lift up your voices into the political arena. Stein emphatically uttered.
"You deserve elected officials who will serve you, not the real estate developers, the bankers, and the wealthy corporations. The Green Party will stand with you to demand the solutions you deserve, and to support candidates who will meet these urgent needs – resuming water delivery to all affected residents, forgiving water debts and canceling the liens, providing increased medical care and educational support, providing independent water testing, and replacing all pipes within one year. I thank the residents of Flint for your courage to demand the future your deserve."
Stein is a Harvard trained physician who practiced clinical medicine for over 25 years. She co-authored two books on the subject of health and toxic exposures, "In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development" in 2000, and "Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging," which was published in 2009. She received awards for her environmental health work from Clean Water Action and the Toxic Action Center.
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