For Immediate Release
July 12, 2004
Rhonda Anderson, (313) 965-0052
Ruth Caplan, (202) 244-0561
Highland Park Water Crisis the Subject of Meeting and Film Screening
Activists Focus on Water as a Human Right
The City of Highland Park’s water situation is going from bad to worse and folks in the area are coming together to address the problems. Many Highland Park residents find themselves unable to pay for one of life’s most basic necessities: water. Now, the Highland Park Administration has decided to sell off the water system. This decision comes despite two votes, one of them unanimous, by the Highland Park City Council to reject the plan and despite the history of price hikes and mismanagement faced by other cities that sell off their water systems. Residents of Highland Park will be given no opportunity to weigh-in, either through vote or public hearing, on the plan to privatize the system.
Maureen Taylor of the Welfare Rights Organization is inviting the public to a discussion and film showing to raise awareness about the problems of water privatization. The event takes place Thursday, July 15, 6:00 to 9:00 pm at First Unitarian Church, 4605 Cass Avenue at the corner of Forest in Detroit. The new PBS documentary film “Thirst” will be shown at 6:15, followed by a panel discussion on the implications of local and world access to an adequate supply of water.
Rhonda Anderson, Sierra Club Environmental Justice Organizer, says that national Sierra Club policy is clear that "access to clean, sufficient and affordable drinking water is a human right necessary for health and survival." Taylor of the Welfare Rights Organization agrees, stating, “Water comes from God and no human should take it away.”
Although Highland Park residents have experienced the shut off of household water by the city over the past two years, turning over the management of the municipal system to a private entity is no way to solve the problem.
“Highland Park residents need water to live and their voices must be heard,” says Ruth Caplan of Sierra Club’s Water Privatization Task Force. “The people must have a chance to vote on whether they want their water system run by a profit-making company.”
Kim D. Hunter
Sierra Club, Mackinac Chapter
2727 Second Avenue #318
Detroit, MI 48201
313-965-0053 - fax