Friday, January 30, 2015

Flint Democracy Defense League Plans Four Meetings on City's Water Problems
Ron Fonger |
By Ron Fonger |
January 29, 2015 at 9:04 AM

Members of the Democracy Defense League announced plans for a series of meetings about Flint water during this news conference Jan. 5.

Erin Kirkland
The Flint Journal

FLINT, MI -- A task force that formed earlier this month in response to water issues in the city has announced the times and dates of four February meetings.

Flint Democracy Defense League Water Task Force members have said they are meeting to develop a game plan for fighting "plummeting water quality, soaring water rates" and the use of police to make arrests for water theft."

"I've attended a series of meetings where the discussion was what was wrong with the water," said organizer Nayyirah Shariff. "We've never really got to (discussing the) solutions."

"I hope everyone who is concerned about the water will attend," Shariff said.

The scheduled meetings are:

Feb. 2 at Bethel United Methodist Church, 1309 N. Ballenger Hwy., from 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Feb. 9 at Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, 424 Kennelworth St., from 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Feb. 16 at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, 1401 E. Stewart St., from 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Feb. 23 at Woodside Church, 1509 Court St., from 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m.

The Democracy Defense League's Water Task Force announced plans for the meetings in the days following the city's announcement that it was in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act because of elevated levels of total trihalomethanes (TTHM) in water samples last year.

Although city officials have told residents the water is safe to drink, notices mailed to customers have warned those with a compromised immune system, who have an infant or who are elderly that they should seek advice from their health care provider before continuing to use Flint water.

The Democracy Defense League is a relatively new group that has been involved in bottled water giveaways since the city switched the source of its drinking water from Lake Huron to the Flint River.

Although the city and Genesee County are partners in the Karegnondi Water Authority, which is building a new water pipeline to Lake Huron, the project isn't expected to be completed until sometime in 2016.

The county has continued to buy Lake Huron water from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department in the meantime, while the city tapped into the river.

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