To: President Barack Obama and Gov. Rick Snyder

Tell Detroit to turn the taps back on: Water is a human right!

Tell Detroit to turn the taps back on: Water is a human right!

Water is a human right and all people deserve access to safe and affordable water. I urge you to step in to support the Detroit community, the quality of life of its residents, and all customers of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department by maintaining full public control of our municipal water system. Restore water services to residents previously cut off, stop the water shutoffs and make sure that water is affordable for all Detroit residents.

Why is this important?

The city of Detroit provides water at wholesale price to the wealthy suburbs; however city residents pay retail price for the water they receive. Golf courses, high rises and commercial buildings currently owe millions in overdue water bills, yet they continue to have water. The State of Michigan owed $4.5 million in unpaid water bills and Emergency Manager, Kevin Orr, forgave everything except $113,000; so far the State of Michigan has paid $19,000.

Residents who owe as little as $40 are having their water shut off with no warning. People are given no warning and no time to fill buckets, sinks or tubs. Families, seniors, sick and injured people and those with special needs are left without running water and working toilets, including vulnerable populations, sick people and others with special needs. People recovering from surgery cannot wash and change bandages. Children cannot bathe and parents cannot cook.

If parents cannot afford to restore water service within 60 days, they are at risk of having Social Services remove their children from the home. If water bills remain unpaid a lien can be placed on the home and the home can be sold. This must stop NOW!

The plan to cut off water to 150,000 households by the end of the summer is part of the plan to sell off and privatize Detroit’s water system. In order to make the utility attractive to investors, lower-income households are being forced to pay exorbitant rates for their water and sewer services or see their access cut. Water rates have risen in Detroit by 119 per cent in the last decade. With unemployment rates at a record high, and the poverty rate at about 40 per cent, Detroit water bills are unaffordable to a significant portion of the population.

Detroit also plans to reduce the African American population from 83% to 53% by seizing homes, separating children from their parents and creating serious health risks to entire neighborhoods.

By allowing thousands of people to be denied access to water and sanitation services, the U.S. government is violating its international obligation to respect and protect the human right to water and sanitation.

Show your solidarity with the people in Detroit. Tell U.S. President Barack and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to uphold the human right to water and stop the water cut-offs, restore water to those who have been cut off and implement the People's Water Affordability Plan.

Monica Lewis Patrick, founder of We The People of Detroit and former Vermont Senator Ben Ptashnik were guests on PDA Radio today; listen to the show to hear the complete story of what is happening in Detroit:

If this can happen to the city of Detroit, it can happen anywhere.

Join PDA, National Nurses United, NetRoots attendees and local Detroit activists for a rally at Hart Plaza at 1pm on Friday, July 18th.

How it will be delivered

Petition will be personally delivered to Gov. Rick Snyder; the press will be invited.


2014-07-17 09:53:27 -0700

5,000 signatures reached

2014-07-11 18:56:45 -0700

1,000 signatures reached

2014-07-11 16:31:59 -0700

500 signatures reached

2014-07-11 15:38:44 -0700

100 signatures reached

2014-07-11 15:35:51 -0700

50 signatures reached

2014-07-11 15:34:15 -0700

25 signatures reached

2014-07-11 15:33:00 -0700

10 signatures reached