Sign the petition: Water is a human right and a public trust. Turn the water back on in Detroit!

Water shutoffs by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) have forced residents out of their homes to live with neighbors and family. Detroit's water infrastructure needs adequate investment, not the Emergency Manager's cruel attempt to balance the system's budget on the backs of the poor. Instead of repairing the crumbling water infrastructure, or ensuring corporations pay the $9.5 million owed to the Department, Detroit is still trying to further chip away at the poor. In the face of overwhelming unemployment and abject poverty, this aggressive, uncivil process is unsustainable and creates the potential for disease and medical emergencies. It puts the whole community and our environment at risk.

The Mayor has taken control of DWSD in an attempt to provide political cover to the Emergency Manager, announcing a new series of customer service-type programs. But the DWSD still requires families to suffer a water shutoff, go deeply into debt, or come up with a large down payment on their outstanding balance.

The City Council's affordability plan from 2005 would provide relief for all families living at or below 175% of the federal poverty line and correct for the excessive charges DWSD has passed on to their households. The 2005 plan recognizes that it's a violation of the public trust and human rights to deny water to families facing financial hardship.

We insist that city government and all parties to the bankruptcy mediation return to that understanding of their responsibilities to the people of Detroit. We must start by working with the government, and other leaders to encourage the consideration of a just, sustainable plan to reduce the DWSD's environmental impact and protect the public health of all people.

Sign the petition telling the judicial mediators structuring the bankruptcy settlement for the City of Detroit, and all parties to the negotiations, that they need to ensure that the DWSD stops the shutoffs, turns the water back on, and immediately implements the Water Affordability Plan passed by Detroit's duly elected City Council in 2005.

Petition text:

Petitioning the Hon. Gerald Rosen, the Hon. Sean Cox, the Hon. Stephen Rhodes, and all parties currently engaged in mediations regarding the future of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD): Implement the Detroit City Council's 2005 Water Affordability Plan for all households at or below 175% of the federal poverty level, end the shutoffs, turn the water back on, and preserve the public trust and access to the municipal water supply in accord with international human rights standards.
Daily Kos
Demand Progress /
Democracy for America
Environmental Action
Food & Water Watch
People's Water Board
RH Reality Check
Working Families Organization