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article imageOp-Ed: Flint water crisis — Petitions call for governor's resignation

By Karen Graham     Jan 14, 2016 in Politics
The Flint water crisis is a never-ending story in Michigan, and now a page has been turned in this politically charged story. There have been at least 12 petitions filed asking that Gov. Rick Snyder step down.
The Detroit Free Press is reporting on Thursday that an additional eight recall petitions have been filed with the Secretary of State against Gov. Rick Snyder for his role in the Flint water crisis.
This brings the total of petitions filed so far to 12, all calling for the governor's recall from office. Seven of the new petitions come from Detroit pastor Angelo Scott Brown. Previous attempts by Brown at filing petitions ended in them being rejected because of the recall language submitted to the state Board of Canvassers.
The language in Brown's rejected petitions made reference to events that had occurred during Snyder's first term in office and weren't relevant to the referenced accusations. Also, the reasons for recalling the governor were not stated clearly and concisely.
The eighth petition was filed by Flint resident, Quincy Murphy. He is seeking to recall Snyder “for failing to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Flint, which has resulted in a state of emergency for Genesee County because of toxic lead levels in the drinking water.”
Rochelle Riley, a columnist for the Detroit Free Press talked with NPR's Ari Shapiro. Riley wrote in the Detroit Free Press that Governor Snyder will always be known "as the governor whose team poisoned potentially thousands of children with lead."
Besides the apparent lack of any interest by state officials in getting to the bottom of the complaints of residents about the water, the state totally ignored the Virginia tech studies and the studies by local doctor, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, regarding the high lead levels. Riley says people are now asking how long the governor knew about the problem before he decided to act.
And that is the big question being asked by a lot of people all over the state of Michigan. In the interview, Riley said, "Dennis Muchmore, Governor Snyder's chief of staff, wrote a July 22 Department of Health and Human Services email expressing concern about how they were handling the water crisis." (This was July 22, 2015).
Riley says the governor didn't respond or apologize, he didn't do anything until December, even though he said he hadn't been aware of the water crisis in Flint until October 2015. It is Riley's contention that offering bottled water and filters are not enough, and she is right because the full bill for this mess hasn't come due yet.
There will be hundreds of thousands of dollars required to cover the cost of developmental, learning and social services needed for all the children affected by lead poisoning. Not only that, but for thousands of residents in Flint, they can't use the water coming into their homes for anything but flushing the toilet or taking a bath or shower, yet they are getting a water bill every month, which they have to pay.
The Washington Post likens the water crisis in Flint to "democracy co-opted by corporate concerns and functions -- attention to cost savings before any and all things. Of course, the Flint situation is just adding fuel to the fires of discontent in our elected government officials, and it appears to be a very telling sign of the way things are going in this country.
Flint, with a population of around 99,000 people is a majority African-American city, but that shouldn't make any difference to anything when it comes to the health and welfare of people in this country. Flint has been in an almost constant state of economic crisis, with all kinds of state cutbacks. But this is not the time to look at the economics, simply because the lives of almost 100,000 people are at stake.
The Board of Canvassers will meet within the next two weeks to look over the recall petitions. If any is approved, the petitioners will have 60 days to get 790,000 signatures to get the issue put on a ballot.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Flint michigan, 12 petitions filed, Water crisis, held accountable, incompetence
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