Hillary Clinton – We Cannot Wait to Help the People of Flint
This has to be a national priority. What happened in Flint is immoral.
The children of Flint are just as precious as the children of any part of America.
– Hillary Clinton, House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church
Flint, Michigan, February 7, 2016
Hillary Clinton knows that the children of Flint have waited too long for help. For nearly two years their parents spoke out about problems with the city’s water—only to be silenced and ignored. Later, scientists and pediatricians added evidence to those parental concerns—and yet they were told that they still did not have proof that there was a real problem.
We now know that the population of Flint has been exposed to dangerously high levels of lead in the water—and the children who have been exposed are most likely to suffer long-term consequences. Enough is enough. Hillary Clinton is not going to wait to help the people of Flint. After visiting Flint herself and sending her daughter and senior campaign officials to learn more from community leaders and experts on what the community most needs, today Hillary is announcing that she will:
- Work with Mayor Weaver to Restart More Frequent Home Water Delivery by Hiring Local Residents to Deliver Water. When the Governor recalled part of the National Guard and the state police several weeks ago, the State Emergency Operations Center had to significantly scale back their home delivery of water and their door-to-door public information campaign. Now residents must go to their local fire station to pick up water, which is extremely burdensome for the elderly, the disabled, parents of newborns or those who are working multiple jobs just to get by. Hillary Clinton is committed to raising the necessary resources and partnering with the Mayor and community partners to ensure that local residents can be hired to continue to deliver water so that every resident receives a water delivery every three days.
- Encourage everyone around the country to support the children of Flint by donating to the Flint Child Health and Development Fund, which is working to provide health care and educational support to families in Flint affected by this crisis. We know that lead poisoning can affect kids for their whole lives, so 100 percent of donations will help provide ongoing services for the next 20 years to the most vulnerable families in Flint. Hillary’s effort is aimed at helping the people of Flint make significant progress on reaching their goal of raising $100 million for this critical fund.
- Ask her Hillary for America volunteers to deliver water instead of canvassing for votes. Today, Hillary for America volunteers joined the Red Cross and United Way effort to distribute water to the neediest residents of Flint.
- Provide Connections and Support to Help Health and Education Officials Expand their Capacity. Hillary Clinton has been working in the area of child health, development and well-being for decades and she is calling on experts from around the country to lend their support and services. For example, together with Senator Debbie Stabenow, she encouraged Dr. Irwin Redlener of the Children’s Health Fund to bring two mobile health units to Flint – one to be used for comprehensive primary care and the other to be used to provide rolling mental health services.
These immediate actions are in addition to her continued call for greater federal and state support for the people of Flint. Hillary Clinton urges:
- Congress to put their differences aside and act immediately to pass the emergency funding proposal, put forward by Senators Stabenow and Peters, and Congressman Kildee, to replace and rebuild the pipes in Flint to ensure that families can safely drink again from their faucets. It is an unbelievable abdication of responsibility for Congress to have adjourned for a week’s long vacation without having resolved their differences over funding for Flint, while families in Flint have no access to safe water in their homes.
The Senate should also pass the bipartisan safe drinking water amendments to ensure that the EPA notifies consumers when concentrations of lead in drinking water exceed certain levels and when corrosiveness from water being transported in lead pipes could leech into public drinking water – so that we never have a situation like Flint again where consumers were kept in the dark about the safety of the water they were drinking. This legislation was recently passed by the House under the leadership of Representatives Dan Kildee and Fred Upton, and has been introduced in the Senate by Senators Peters and Stabenow.
Finally, Congress should work urgently to pass the Children's Head Start Intervention for Life and Development (CHILD) Act, sponsored by Senators Peters and Stabenow and Congressman Kildee in the House, which would establish one-time Head Start and Early Head Start grants to areas impacted by water polluted with lead and other toxic substances, including Flint. We know that the children of Flint need early interventions and support to mitigate the impacts of lead poisoning.
- The Obama Administration to continue to build on their actions to increase access to nutrition and health services by providing a Medicaid waiver to Michigan so that every resident of Flint who is 21 years or younger and pregnant women who have been exposed to Flint's lead contaminated water will automatically be enrolled in health care. Providing universal Medicaid coverage to all residents under 21 would allow Flint to build on their Children’s Healthcare Access Program (CHAP) to ensure that every child in Flint has a medical home to coordinate care and needed services.
- Governor Snyder and the state legislature to quickly pass the $195 million proposed by the Governor in his budget to provide the families of Flint access to safe drinking water, physical health, food and nutrition, education, and social and developmental services. And the state should work to immediately provide the $25 million in emergency funding Governor Snyder has proposed as a down payment in the effort to repair and rebuild Flint’s water pipes.
Together, the Governor and Congress should ensure that Mayor Weaver receives the full $55 million in support she needs to implement the Fast Start Lead Service Line Replacement Program so that the water infrastructure in Flint may be repaired to remove any danger of lead poisoning now or in the future.
Even with all of the fixes proposed above, Hillary Clinton believes that Flint, like so many cities that have been left behind, needs real, immediate investments to spur good job creation, rebuild crumbling infrastructure, and connect housing to opportunity. That is why last week, Hillary Clinton released the first part of her “Breaking Down Every Barrier Agenda,” committing $125 billion to an Economic Revitalization Initiative that will grow the economy in communities that are being left out and left behind. Hillary Clinton recognizes that for Flint to continue to rebuild and strengthen, we need real jobs and real economic growth.