At yesterday’s city council meeting, members voted to reject the proposal to increase water rates for the next fiscal year. This is huge. The voting results were 6-2, with one council member not being present. The issue of water affordability is very important, but this decision let’s the people of Detroit know some of their council members realize the ineffectiveness of the current assistance plan in bringing in revenue, as well as the increasing financial strain and, for many, an unavoidable path to life without water that raised water rates would have on the city. I wrote an LTE (Letter to the Editor) describing my reactions to the decision, as well with the intent of placing more pressure on Mayor Duggan to more seriously consider a water affordability plan.
I recently attend a District meeting in District 2. Members of the People’s Water Board and myself were able to directly challenge the Mayor on his reluctance to implement a water affordability plan, even as residents continue to lose water. His response was undesirable to say the LEAST. It was a very frustrating and infuriating experience, but I learned so much. I was able to speak with community leaders and members about their perspectives on water affordability and also what other issues are concerning residents. I never would have expected to be where I am, doing this work. I cannot be more grateful for this experience and opportunity.
On a lighter note, here’s a picture of me looking uncomfortable between two couch potatoes at the Science Center.