For Immediate Release:
Contact: Daniel Wein, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Ruffalo Joins Green for All, NextGen Climate, Local Flint Residents to Call for Solutions to Ongoing Water Crisis
FLINT, Mich. -- Today, actor Mark Ruffalo, Green for All Founder Van Jones, NextGen Climate President Tom Steyer and Green For All Director Vien Truong came together to stand in solidarity with the organizers responding to the Flint water crisis and fighting for long-term solutions for Flint. The “Support For Flint’s Future” bus tour -- one day after the Democratic Debate in Flint -- was organized by Green for All to support the people and organizations that have been on the forefront of addressing and responding to the crisis.
See photos here: http://bit.ly/1QCdqNL
See video from today here: http://bit.ly/1Qybipb
The tour was formed to support and highlight three key demands from local group Flint Rising:
Reimbursements for residents that have been forced to continue paying for contaminated water;
New pipes that deliver clean drinking water, with the jobs going to local residents; and
Long-term infrastructure investments in Flint to counter the brutal financial impact of the crisis.
At St. Michael’s Church, Flint Rising organizers Art Reyes, Nakiya Wakes, Desiree Duell and United Association Local 370’s Harold Harrington joined national leaders to outline the water crisis’ dangerous impact on residents’ health and call for lasting solutions. The trip also featured site visits to Hurley Medical Center with Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician who first sounded the alarm to dangerously high lead levels in local children and founded FlintKids.org; a briefing on water testing from Water Defense at a stop overlooking the Flint River; and a meeting with Harold Harrington, the business manager of the local plumbers’ and pipefitters’ union.
“Our kids are sick, we can’t bathe at home, and we need more sustainable solutions than bottled water,” said Nakiya Wakes. “This is our community and our home. We need investments in Flint, and we need them now. ”
“What is happening in Flint right now is a disaster, and the time has come for President Obama to officially designate the water crisis as such,” said Mark Ruffalo, Actor and Founder of Water Defense. “The United Nations has already declared access to clean water indispensable for leading a life in human dignity. It’s incumbent upon all of us to bear witness to the damage done in Flint and communities like it from environmental racism. This means addressing the underlying issues that allowed for the Flint Water Crisis to take place, and empowering the groups trying to build a long-term future for their city.”
“It goes against the very nature of American democracy to subject citizens to the mistreatment that the residents of Flint have borne the brunt of for years,” said Van Jones, former green jobs advisor to President Obama and founder of Green For All. “The time has come for President Obama to declare what has happened in Flint a federal disaster, and meet it with the federal resources the problem requires. Situations like Flint don’t develop overnight; they are the result of long-standing neglect from all parts of our society. Addressing these issues starts with lifting up local community leaders and addressing their demands.”
“We’re here today because we believe that access to clean, safe water is a basic human right, and that right has been denied to families in Flint,” said NextGen Climate President Tom Steyer. “From Flint to Ohio to my home state of California, too many Americans are being denied clean water and left without a voice and without a seat at the table. We have to fix this, we have to fight for clean water and demand justice for every single American.”
“The time has come for President Obama to formally declare the Flint water crisis a federal disaster,” said Vien Truong, Director of Green For All. “Flint has experienced the worst of America in this crisis. People have lost their kids, their livelihoods, and their drinking water. Flint now deserves the best America has to offer, which means federal resources that put Flint back to work fixing the pipes and addressing this public health emergency. With the right investments, Flint’s future is bright.”
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