Hello Again, Beloved Community,
Here’s to hoping that the holidays are a time of joy for you all! Let’s jump right into the thick of it, it seems covid is going nowhere soon, so what does that spell for those of us who have been unemployed; underemployed ; and even those of us who remained gainfully employed , yet struggled with pandemic price gouging; bills overwhelming us and the other difficulties we are facing due to the constant and multiple changes in how we conduct business and daily living throughout this horrid pandemic.
There are many people in our communities, especially our most vulnerable, frontline communities, of which I am a proud member of, that despite our strength and resilience are still drowning in the deep end. With bills being unaffordable for many, and the inevitability of water shutoffs returning soon, there is yet another water issue we are facing, the issue of LSL’s, or lead service lines throughout our communities is a harsh reality. We see it in Benton Harbor, Flint; Highland Park, Detroit, Hamtramck’ Royal Oak Township and other cities that seem to have large black and brown populations or residents with lower incomes.
Clearly it is systemic; economic; and environmental racism, but to those of us living it is a reality of our life. As I sit in these meetings gathering information to help institute change and equity for communities, I am often the only black face, or one of two or three, and definitely I may be one of two that are directly impacted by these issues. We need to stand as residents and have our voices heard, we know what’s going on in our communities and are the ones that bring the lived experience of what’s needed in said communities. Therefore we should fight for a seat at the decision making table and demand our rights , the most basic of which is the human right to water and sanitation regardless of ability to pay the exorbitant rates that continue to creep up only to soothe the souls of the bond holders and corporate greed .
I know this isn’t my usual type of post but this is a CALL TO ACTION!! For we all can play a part, no matter how big or small, in fighting for our communities;our livelihood’ and at this rate our very existence. As always Contact us at http://www.peopleswaterboard.org, our FaceBook page; Twitter, or Instagram. THE PEOPLE’S WATER BOARD COALITION TURN THE WATER ON, KEEP THE WATER ON! WE NEED WATER AFFORDABILITY! with your thoughts and ideas, and subscribe to this blog. Until next time, keep your head above water!
Nicole Hill is a directly impacted resident of Detroit, a member of the People’s Water Board and Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, and a Tri-chair for the Poor People’s Campaign. She is a mother of 7 and is devoted to combating poverty on all levels through her work in water affordability and social change.