A lefty look at Detroit's water tug-of-war

PHOTO COURTESY VALERIE JEAN
Photo courtesy Valerie Jean

The lefty mag In These Times has a piece from Lauren Gaynor on the water situation in Detroit. Choice quotes:

Activist Valerie Jean Blakely: City officials “are selling this narrative that Detroiters are sitting in their homes with big screen TVs and refusing to pay their water bills. This is just not true. I can tell you that these people are living in complete poverty.”

• Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing: “Every effort should be made by all levels of government to ensure that the most vulnerable are not evicted from or lose their housing as a result of water shutoffs or water bill arrears.”

 "Detroit businesses such as the Chrysler Group collectively owe more than $20 million in back payments to the water department, but their taps have not been turned off. And Detroit’s Marathon Refinery received $175 million in tax breaks from the city for an expansion of its operations, including the water-intensive process of refining Canadian tar sands oil."

Read the full piece here.

About The Author

Michael Jackman

Born in 1969 at Mount Carmel hospital in Detroit, Jackman grew up just 100 yards from the Detroit city line in east Dearborn. Jackman has attended New York University, the School of Visual Arts, Northwestern University and Wayne State University, though he never got a degree. He has worked as a bar back, busboy,...
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