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Mark Schauer talking with voters
Mark Schauer
Goal Thermometer
It's bad enough that the nation has abandoned Detroit, but it's even worse that Gov. Rick Snyder has apparently washed his hands of any responsibility for it. That's an apt metaphor, considering what's happening in the city right now.
The latest sign of Detroit’s decline came from the city’s water department, when it said in March it would begin shutting off water for up to 3,000 homes and businesses a week in an attempt to stop the utility from sliding even further into debt.

The announcement sparked outrage among activists groups, who say the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) is going after the city’s most vulnerable citizens to shore up its bottom line.

Now those groups have called on the United Nations to intervene. In a letter sent to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation last week, local nonprofit Detroit People’s Water Board, Food and Water Watch and Canada-based Blue Planet Project pleaded for the world body to weigh in on the shut-offs.

Yes, citizens of the U.S., citizens of Michigan, have had to apply to the UN to try to get water service for the most basic functions of life. When Gov. Rick Snyder signed "emergency manager" legislation, he said: "These new laws recognize and respect the needs of citizens and will deliver meaningful reforms to keep Michigan on the path to prosperity." Either Detroit residents aren't considered citizens by Snyder's crew, or they don't think water is a need.

Michigan needs a governor for all of its citizens. It needs Democrat Mark Schauer. Give $3 today, to help Mark Schauer take his state back for everyone there.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 12:41 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  MI Maximum Leader Snyder's Emergency Powers (11+ / 0-)

    continue, first managers, then essential resources

    Yes, citizens of the U.S., citizens of Michigan, have had to apply to the UN to try to get water service for the most basic functions of life. When Gov. Rick Snyder signed "emergency manager" legislation, he said: "These new laws recognize and respect the needs of citizens and will deliver meaningful reforms to keep Michigan on the path to prosperity." Either Detroit residents aren't considered citizens by Snyder's crew, or they don't think water is a need.
    Since the nineteenth century, Latin American constitutions have included provisions allowing presidents or legislatures to suspend the rule of law in times of crisis. Throughout Latin American history, these emergency powers were used as ordinary tools not only by military dictatorships
    but also by democratic governments.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 12:56:01 PM PDT

    •  Spin spin spin, a spider's work is never done. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hmi, drmah, AlexDrew, kfunk937

      "Gov. Rick Snyder has apparently washed his hands of any responsibility for it."

      This article from Reuters last Friday contradicts huge portions of this post.

      Michigan gov signing bill Friday to send $195M to Detroit

      Michigan Governor Rick Snyder on Friday signed into law bills that complete funding for a key component of Detroit's plan to adjust $18 billion of debt and exit the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

      http://www.reuters.com/...

      •  @odlid: F.Y.I. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peregrine kate

        RE:
        "... Michigan Governor Rick Snyder on Friday signed into law bills that complete funding for a key component of Detroit's plan to adjust $18 billion of debt and exit the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history."

        ... On Dec. 4, 2013 according to WALLACE TURBEVILLE, Senior Fellow at Demos and author of the report, "The Detroit Bankruptcy", and formerly a Vice President at Goldman Sachs in the municipal finance department:

        ... OK, let me do the last part first, why is debt being talked about, and let’s get that out of the way. $18 billion is a fantasy number. And I can explain—I can start the explanation by just saying one of the components of that is $5.8 billion of water and sewage revenue bonds. Those revenue bonds are for a system that’s not just Detroit; it serves 40 percent of the population of the state of Michigan. That’s three million people. Detroit is 700,000 people. The emergency manager added that into the list. It has Detroit on the cover sheet. I mean, that’s what it says: Detroit. But the—that’s not debt of the city, and it isn’t paid from the budget of the city, and it’s for this broader enterprise. So, just as an example, the $18 billion number is a fantasy.  [emphasis mine]

        But, more importantly and more sort of centrally, the idea of some gross debt number being important is just not true. Municipalities have historically gone bankrupt infrequently. It’s getting more frequent because the recession. This is the backwash from the recession. And as property values crashed, property taxes, which are a fundamental revenue base for cities, went down, but there was a time period where that decline occurred. That didn’t happen all at once. Property values went down. Reassessments occur over time. Eventually, it hurts the cities. Cities—cities are all about cash—cash in, cash out. Now, a lot of debt can cause you to have to pay a lot of debt service, meaning your annual payment, but if you think about what happens to people, as long as you can pay your mortgage, you’re in good shape, and especially with municipalities who can tax and have access to states, and they have taxing power. It’s all about having the cash to go forward. So what’s happened to Detroit is, they’ve had a tremendous decline, a 20 percent decline in tax revenues since the Great Recession, and, again, this really unfortunate and possibly planned cutting of the state revenue sharing at the worst possible moment.

        Source: Detroit Bankruptcy: Wall Street, Lost Revenues Forced Decline, But City Pensioners to Pay the Costs
  •  I guess people should just not have to pay their (9+ / 0-)

    bills year after year?

    •  You actually get to the issue. (9+ / 0-)

      Detroit provides water for the region and because many are not paying their water bills, the cost is going up for the surrounding suburbs. I just read this morning that Grosse Point Park is planning on building their own water system and I suspect that many other suburbs will do the same.

      So where does this leave Detroit? With an oversized water system that isn't funded. Sound familiar? This is an infrastructure asset that the city owns that will be abandoned much like everything else that was once an asset for the city.

      •  @Yoshimi ... F.Y.I. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peregrine kate

        re: "... Detroit provides water for the region and because many are not paying their water bills, the cost is going up for the surrounding suburbs."

        If/When you have time, please watch this video interview: "Water is a Human Right: Detroit Residents Seek U.N. Intervention as City Shuts Off Taps to Thousands".

        According to Meera Karunananthan, international water campaigner for the Blue Planet Project:

        ... And when you look at the number, the amount, the average household income in the city of Detroit is something like $25,000. I compared that to our situation here in Ottawa, Canada, where the average household income is in the range of $90,000, and we pay something like $50 a month for our water and sewerage bills. So, the rates are exorbitant and unaffordable in a city where the poverty rates are as high as they are in the city of Detroit.

        In addition, the Democracy NOW! interviewer asked the following question:

        ... Maureen Taylor, I have to ask you, there’s been basically no federal aid for Detroit. There was a measure to give about $300 million that’s been proposed in private and federal funding. But seeing how banks, how auto companies got big bailouts, and Detroit was left to bleed, it’s a city that’s four-fifths black, 80 percent African-American. Do you think racism is at play here?
        Just for the record, I agree with Maureen Taylor, State Chair, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization when she stated that:
        ... Racism is always at play. People of color can never escape the shadow of the plantation. But we are moving quickly, not away from that, but we are joining this question of black and white with green. This is about greed. This is about the fact that there used to be about 1.4, 1.5 million people that lived in Detroit, and just in Detroit. And what was popular here was Dodge Main, Chevrolet Gear and Axle, Huber Avenue Foundry, Lynch Road Assembly, Rouge Plant, the great Rouge Plant, where the great, late General Baker worked for many, many years. And these factories built something called a middle class across the country.

        Just where I live in Detroit alone, 400,000 manufacturing jobs have disappeared. No one can take that kind of a hit. And where did they go? They went the way of technology. That’s the technology that used to enhance labor, now replaces labor. So R2-D2 robots now work at these, quote-unquote, "factories." These dinosaurs are gone. And so those good-paying jobs left with them. And, of course, you have people of color—let’s go get them first. Of course, you have blue-collar workers—let’s go get them first.

        But this is more egregious. A woman and a child living on welfare in Michigan gets $420 a month in cash assistance. That tabulates to $5,040 in a year. This no-good, trifling, backstabbing Kevyn Orr, the emergency manager, is getting a thousand dollars an hour. This man makes $8,000 in one day; and a family of two, $5,040 in a year. It’s outrageous. And then to come after folks that have lost work, that have lost jobs, that are sticking and staying in Detroit to try to help to rebuild and repopulate my city, and then to say, "What we’re going to do is turn your water off because you can’t pay for it"? Not going to tolerate this mess.

        [Emphasis mine]
        Source: Water is a Human Right: Detroit Residents Seek U.N. Intervention as City Shuts Off Taps to Thousands
    •  we pay for big oil year after year (17+ / 0-)

      and global warming is devastating fresh water supplies. Big oil hasn't paid its bill, but the nation is.

      Easy to blame poor people in Detroit now, wait until some more cities enter crisis stage as providing water becomes an impossibility and prices rise.   No one is immune from the way that rising demand, aging infrastructure, shifting populations and climate change are going to change how we live.   We aren't going to be able to pay in the future either.

      •  bingo! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jfromga, Anika, Eric Nelson, CFCLFM

        "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

        by Sybil Liberty on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 02:04:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There is no water shortage in Michigan (13+ / 0-)

        Detroit Michigan ahs access to one of the largest fresh water supplies in the world, The Great Lakes.  This is about maintaining the system of water distribution.  Great Lakes water can only be used in the Great Lakes draining area.  Illinois can not pump Lake Michigan water to west and south of Chicago, because all of Illinois is not in the Great Lakes drainage.  My home state is supposed to be better than this.  

        •  I agree (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sb, northerntier, Cali Scribe, annan, dfarrah, NewtC

          that the problem in Detroit right now is that the water is available (though the Great Lakes are drying precipitously in geological terms so that may not always be the case).

          My response was both admonition and caution for the supercilious tone of the post that indicated that the only reason these folks in Detroit weren't paying their bills is that they are some kind of deadbeats by choice.  

          I pointed out there were much bigger deadbeats in the world with less reason and we pick up the tab for them.

          Furthermore,  people who think this can't be them, aren't looking very far down the road.  This could be a large percentage of everybody not being able to afford water as the impacts of global climate change worsen.  Not to mention private companies scheming with right wing legislators wto privatize water delivery.   The people sneering now may be the next victims of circumstances beyond their control.

      •  Water is Life (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jfromga

        So the Constitution guarantees life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing is more essential to life than water, yet somewhere along the line we took it from the people, gave it to either government agencies or private companies, then priced it out of reach for many, particularly the poor and sick. We subsidize Big Oil to the tune of over 5 billion a year, but can't subsidize a basic necessity of life for our citizens. The rich love to bequeath large sums to their alma mater or the arts and sciences; it would be great if they would help those closer to dire need.

    •  I'll take this one. (7+ / 0-)

      Water is not an option for life. People living together need to have it or they die. Do you suggest that people with no money should die?

      A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

      by onionjim on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 01:59:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Average bill in Detroit = $75 month. (10+ / 0-)

      Nationwide average = $40.  If Detroit has excess capacity, it only makes sense to have the treatment center serve a wider region.  But no one wants to take on the debt, so Detroit will further sink and wasteful facilities will be constructed where other localities are flush with resources... for now.  

  •  Thanks for keeping a spotlight on Michigan (16+ / 0-)

    In the ever-fluctuating contest for most repugnant governor, sometimes Snyder doesn't get the attention he deserves. What's going on there is still horrifying, and we need to guard ourselves against outrage fatigue. It can always get worse.

    "Tea is soothing. I wish to be tense." - Rupert Giles

    by CelticOm on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 01:12:53 PM PDT

    •  that's what he's counting on. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      northerntier, Eric Nelson

      In his case, the less publicity he gets, the better for him electorally. He wants to give the impression that everything's ok.  He doesn't want attention.

      A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

      by dougymi on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 02:26:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It’s UN HRC... Human Rights Council (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northerntier, Anika, drmah, kfunk937

    Proud to be part of the 21st Century Democratic Majority Party of the 3M's.. Multiracial, Multigender and MiddleClass

    by LOrion on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 01:48:49 PM PDT

  •  How very distressing (5+ / 0-)

    Don't any of these people think for one moment how badly this will make Gov. Snyder feel? You're a bunch of heartless bastards, embarrassing him like that!

    And for what? A little bit of water! Just go down to the store, there's bottles and bottles of it.

  •  Detroit means "Black" to racists. (9+ / 0-)

    Detroit means "Black" to racists.

  •  "American Exceptionalism" (9+ / 0-)

    rick snyder brings a whole new meaning

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 01:52:19 PM PDT

  •  I have traveled all over the world. (9+ / 0-)

    Who would have though that I didn't need to leave our borders to visit a 3rd world land?

    Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

    by Mike S on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 01:52:34 PM PDT

  •  CA has Rolling Blackouts, MI has Rolling Droughts. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    unclebucky, sb, lippythelion69

    Exceptional Americanism.

    If the Kochs are so damn sure their ideas are so damn great, why are they so damn secretive?

    by here4tehbeer on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 01:58:57 PM PDT

    •  iirc, we haven't had a rolling blackout since 2005 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AlexDrew

      Hardly comparable to having your running water cut off, is it?

      "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

      by Sybil Liberty on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 02:14:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Crap - that should have been "had" (big thumbs on (0+ / 0-)

        little keyboard). And comparable depends on ones situation I suppose.

        Having experienced extended periods of both no utility power and no utility water, I'd say they both suck in their own unique ways.

        If the Kochs are so damn sure their ideas are so damn great, why are they so damn secretive?

        by here4tehbeer on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 02:40:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is what fascism looks like these days. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc, Eric Nelson

    "Really nice, but also very serious about his job." Jackie Evancho on President Obama 6/7/12

    by BarackStarObama on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 02:02:59 PM PDT

  •  Add to the list of disgrace Rick Snyder. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sb, peregrine kate, AndyZ, Eric Nelson

    Yesterday Bobby Jindal jarred the airwaves with his version of Ted Bundy. I hope the voters are paying attention to the ideology that these Republican governors have.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 02:04:39 PM PDT

  •  What everybody misses about this story (11+ / 0-)

    Detroit has nearly half a million residents. It borders a major river and is just at the edge of one of the Great Lakes, which is why the city was located there in the first place...the water. Lots of water for floating in, and drinking, and washing.

    Now. If you have thousands of people, let alone millions, without clean running water and working toilets, what do you think they're going to do? Why, go to the river and canals and the lake for their drinking water, to wash themselves and do laundry, and to empty their raw sewage into. Also, summertime is here, which in Michigan means that the mosquitos and flies are going to be out en masse. DOES ANYBODY SEE A POTENTIAL PUBLIC HEALTH PROBLEM HERE?

    •  My guess is that if you can't afford water (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sb, Rick Aucoin, Keninoakland

      you can't afford to get to the river. Living in Chicago I know poor people who never leave their neighborhoods because they can't afford to leave.

      It's sad but I suspect people will live off of pop and chips, the staple of many poor communites.

      •  I'm talking dysentery, typhoid, cholera (6+ / 0-)

        I was born in Detroit and lived in nearby suburbs most of my life (including now.) This is not a hypothetical to me. I know it's hard to comprehend that diseases of the developing world could hit a major American metropolitan area, but any epidemiologist will tell you this is what you get when you have a critical mass of people without access to clean water and toilets.

      •  Bathrooms (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kfunk937, Yoshimi

        As in there are none, if there's no water.

        And that public health reason is reason enough to provide at least part time water.

        That's manageable, if not ideal. It keeps water use down. If it's on a schedule you can plan around it.

        When we lived in Turkey we only had water during certain times, and you cope.

        It's not great, but you cope.

  •  Let's send our good jobs overseas, (10+ / 0-)

    cut off long term unemployment, gut the social safety net, then cut the good for nothing lazy ass poor off essential services because they can't pay for them.  Yay 'Murca

    The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. Molly Ivins

    by MufsMom on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 02:12:55 PM PDT

  •  Ohhh black people aren't citizens.... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, MufsMom, sb, peregrine kate, AndyZ

    they're blahhhh citizens....

    {/snark}

    Ugh. --UB.

    The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

    by unclebucky on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 02:14:57 PM PDT

  •  America, in general, is poorly managed. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sb, Rick Aucoin, kfunk937

    We allow cities and counties to control so much of the infrastructure and services that people need, whether or not that is an efficient model.  

    I mean right now, the US House is arguing whether or not to let the each state keep its own gas tax money and not have any collective money for regional projects.

    It took a court order to mandate a regional sewer system in Northeast Ohio, when growth in the suburbs began to overwhelm existing sewer systems.  The individual suburbs couldn't work together and the county was ill-equipped.

    Same in Michigan.  There is no regional coordination of water services.  So a huge facility will go under-utilized because no one can pay for it.  And the people who could pay for it will build another facility to service them.

    Is that smart?

  •  See?? The Republicans were right! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE

    Another self-fulfilling prophecy: the UN being drawn into domestic American affairs. Those people on the right are GENIUSES the way they keep bringing on the disaster scenarios they warn about.

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 02:32:12 PM PDT

    •  The Mayors of Detroit have all been Democrats. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      odlid, hmi, AlexDrew

      So, I assume you meant the Democrats bringing on this disaster scenario?  Because the Mayor's office of Detroit is about 1000x more responsible for this than the Govenor's office is.

      "It puts the lotion on its skin, or it gets the GOP again." - The Democratic Party (quip courtesy of Nada Lemming and lotlizard)

      by Rick Aucoin on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 03:30:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Free Trade" is the cause of the crash of Detroit, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eric Nelson, tickledpeep

        Not democratic mayors.

        Take that shit and peddle it somewhere else.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 04:07:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Um, so it's not Republican's fault? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AlexDrew

          I'm not peddling anything that the author of this diary isn't peddling.

          The entirety of the blame for the water situation in Detroit is put on the Republican governor of Michigan.  Not only by the diarist but by the comment I replied to.

          IF that logic is even remotely sound, then the Democratic Mayors of Detroit are even more responsible than the current Republican Governor of Michigan is.

          And don't get me started on Free Trade and the Democrats (Thanks, Bill Clinton!).

          THAT shit got peddled by the Democrats, 20 years ago, successfully too.

          "It puts the lotion on its skin, or it gets the GOP again." - The Democratic Party (quip courtesy of Nada Lemming and lotlizard)

          by Rick Aucoin on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 04:39:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The issue with the rethug governor is his idiot... (0+ / 0-)

            The issue with the rethug governor is his idiotic good old boy city hostage taking system. And many of us tri d very hard to get him recalled over his *emergency manager* plan. Because all it does is allowed him to place whoever he wants in there, and when they STEAL from the city-- as was done in Detroit!--there is LEGALLY NO RECOURSE because protection for his minions is written into his law.

            So yeah. it's a republican at fault.

            Along with corporations we bankrolled and bailed out with tax payer dolllars and THEN got up on national television and said hey.... yeah. our business is in your town, but we don't owe it to you to help create local jobs

            Even tho you kept us from going under.

            With your tax dollars you were not asked about and so that we could still have our bonusw. But we don't owe you jobs.

            Because job creators.

            Still will not allow a Chevy to park on my property over that crap.

        •  Dem mayors (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hmi, drmah, Rick Aucoin, AlexDrew

          have been more than happy to sell public assets to the highest bidders.

          The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

          by dfarrah on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 05:55:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And primary due to the horrific budget problems. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AlexDrew

            It's not like they sold that stuff off for fun.

            Detroit has real, significant, problems.  And they aren't easily boiled down to bumpersticker problems like the diarists "It's the republican governor's fault!"

            Though really the diarist is more guilty of partisan politics using the impoverished of Detroit as props.  :(

            "It puts the lotion on its skin, or it gets the GOP again." - The Democratic Party (quip courtesy of Nada Lemming and lotlizard)

            by Rick Aucoin on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 06:26:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Primarily due to (0+ / 0-)

              our changes in tax structure and the unwillingness of dems to do something significant about unemployment.

              Those horrific budget problems you reference didn't just happen all on their own.

              The changes in tax structure and the war on workers is part of the plan to drown government in a bathtub and create a new serf class to serve those at the top.

              The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

              by dfarrah on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 05:33:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  OHCHR not UNHCR (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah

    The Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation--Ms. Catarina de Albuquerque--is in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), not in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

    So I suspect they were writing to OHCHR not UNHCR.

  •  Hey Detroit (0+ / 0-)

    Did you know you can juice politicians for water to flush? I wouldn't drink it, it's probably full of toxins and fail.

    THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. -- L. Ron Hubbard Technique 88

    by xenubarb on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 02:46:21 PM PDT

  •  Well... maybe people should pay their water bill. (4+ / 0-)

    I paid my bill a few days ago. Because I know that I happen to live in a society and can't expect to not contribute to it.

    Hillary Clinton's Liberal Ranking http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/8/10/122232/619

    by tigercourse on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 03:14:49 PM PDT

  •  Detroit has problems. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pi Li, hmi, AlexDrew

    Detroit's problems are not new, they aren't simple, and they aren't caused by any one solitary facile bumper sticker problem.

    Can the city continue to provide drinking water to people who don't pay their water bill?

    No, it can't.

    Is there a program by which the State will pay those customer's water bill for them?  No?

    Is there one at the federal level that will make it so the people of Detroit, but not Dallas (for example) get free municipal water?  No?

    Pointing a finger at the Republican governor of Michigan while the diary completely avoid naming the Democratic MAYORS OF DETROIT going back decades that led to this disaster is just partisan sniping using the impoverished as props.

    What is the solution being proposed by the diarist?  Anything?  Other than voting out the Republicans?  I mean, that's a good cause and all, but should we also use that logic to vote out the Democrats, as the Mayors of Detroit have been Democrats since Louis Miriani died in office in 1962?

    Is that your recommendation?  Voting out all the Democrats?  And the Republicans?

    "It puts the lotion on its skin, or it gets the GOP again." - The Democratic Party (quip courtesy of Nada Lemming and lotlizard)

    by Rick Aucoin on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 03:28:22 PM PDT

  •  Many of the buildings they are cutting off (4+ / 0-)

    services for are probably empty.

  •  Ugh... Water water everywhere but not a drop to (0+ / 0-)

    Drink.

    Michigan is arguably the planet's most valuable real estate because of our tremendous water resources, and just look at Detroit.

    Michigan is the first domestic colony in our brave new world. Totally sickening.

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 04:00:23 PM PDT

  •  This diary is a little disgusting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hmi, AlexDrew
    Michigan needs a governor for all of its citizens. It needs Democrat Mark Schauer. Give $3 today, to help Mark Schauer take his state back for everyone there.
    Yes, but all means lets turn what is potentially a humanitarian and public health crisis into a pitch for campaign donations. Where is the mention of all the politicians who, for 30+ years, helped get Detroit into this mess?

    At a minimum, where is a mention of what "Mark Schauer", whom you are using this crisis to crassly, and shamelessly, raise money for, would do to alleviate this situation. To pay the water bills of these people who can't. Let's hear it.  The diarist is the one making the connection between a campaign donation and solving this problem, and the diarist should be able to explain this.

    Rather than a serous discussion of a very serious issue, we get this.  Not a proud moment for this front pager or this site.

    Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

    by Pi Li on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 04:20:09 PM PDT

  •  Another option would be to privitize... (0+ / 0-)

    the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD). Liberals should buy it and they can then give as much water as they want for free.

  •  Poor in America (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah

    Detroit is just trying to match the condition of being poor in 'Murica with the poor of the third world. Next target(s) sanitation/trash disposal services and direct electric power delivery. Further down will be the decimation of transportation infrastructure. 'Muricans will really know what is means to be poor then.

  •  New Orleans Redux (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    This is the latest in an orchestrated effort by the Republican party to kill the city of Detroit so that Republicans will be more likely to win Statewide elections and the state's EVs for President.

    They already did it in Louisiana.

    Philadelphia and Milwaukee are next.

    "The law, in its majestic equality, allows the poor as well as the rich to donate unlimited funds to the politicians of their choice." ---attributed to Anatole France

    by AdmiralNaismith on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 04:55:52 PM PDT

  •  The baseline average bill is from 2002. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib

    There may be this thing called "inflation" that may have changed it since then.

  •  Thank you for making (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    it easy to do SOMETHING to help my beloved home state of Michigan. I am just sick at what is happening back there.

  •  You mean to tell me Gov. Snyder is a better (0+ / 0-)

    governor than Scott Walker! I'm shock, I'm shock I tell you! When are we going to take a looky into Gov. Snyder's books. "Birds of a feather, flock together may their be joined by the tail and rot in jail".

  •  Snyder may have washed his hands for now.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, tickledpeep, kfunk937

    ..until the people can be pushed out of the way for "gentrification" to take place. Not unlike the Jean Klock Park (that eclectablog covered so thoroughly), was turned into a fancy high priced golf complex for the rich

    With republicans in control: People hung out to Dry in Detroit.

    These are some of the GOP steps taken to devalue then "acquire" steal through a whole variety of low down tactics including the "blighted neighborhood" con.

     • Detroit charging $70 per month - national average $40 per month

     • Detroit water dept stopped sending bills

     • Then installed "smart meters' that read retroactively

     • next; subsequent bills sent were in the $thousands

     • Bills were sent that were from former tenants and abandoned houses

    Even when people make efforts to pay by paying a portion of their water Bill, the water Dept. will not turn their water back on unless they pay at least 30 percent of the amount retroactively owed, which in many case amounts to thousands of dollars

    Link to reverend Al Sharpton (video segment on Detroit): http://www.msnbc.com/...

    Thx Joan McCarter

    P.S. I'm supporting Mark Schauer

  •  I think that the shocking way the demise of (0+ / 0-)

    Detroit is being handled is one of the most shameful travesties in recent history. What can be said for this country that is now renewing the old saber-rattling of 2003 over the Middle East (where we NEVER should have been in the first place unless we had been invited by the governments of those sovereign nations) while a once great city declines and descends and no one gives a crap? Too bad Detroit, it's your own damn fault because you don't sit atop vast oil reserves! That seems to be the prevailing attitude on the part of the feds and even the local government of Michigan. The city of Detroit has made such an enormous contribution to our history and mostly to the American economy over the years that it cannot be minimized. It has produced some of the greatest American musicians to have ever graced the red carpet at the Grammy Awards. All the Motown artists, Madonna, Eminem, etc. (I am naming these artists because of their major musical impact, I am NOT trying to start a debate on the value or likeability of their music) Why is it seemingly so impossible to help some of our own citizens? BTW, I do not live in Detroit and I've never been to the state of Michigan.

  •  P.S. And do not forget about the Diego Rivera (0+ / 0-)

    murals at the Detroit Museum of Art. (I almost did, sorry!)

  •  Water is a Human Right (0+ / 0-)

    ... If/When you have time, please watch this video interview: "Water is a Human Right: Detroit Residents Seek U.N. Intervention as City Shuts Off Taps to Thousands".

    According to Meera Karunananthan, international water campaigner for the Blue Planet Project:

    ... And when you look at the number, the amount, the average household income in the city of Detroit is something like $25,000. I compared that to our situation here in Ottawa, Canada, where the average household income is in the range of $90,000, and we pay something like $50 a month for our water and sewerage bills. So, the rates are exorbitant and unaffordable in a city where the poverty rates are as high as they are in the city of Detroit.

    In addition, the Democracy NOW! interviewer asked the following question:

    ... Maureen Taylor, I have to ask you, there’s been basically no federal aid for Detroit. There was a measure to give about $300 million that’s been proposed in private and federal funding. But seeing how banks, how auto companies got big bailouts, and Detroit was left to bleed, it’s a city that’s four-fifths black, 80 percent African-American. Do you think racism is at play here?
    Just for the record, I agree with Maureen Taylor, State Chair, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization when she stated that:
    ... Racism is always at play. People of color can never escape the shadow of the plantation. But we are moving quickly, not away from that, but we are joining this question of black and white with green. This is about greed. This is about the fact that there used to be about 1.4, 1.5 million people that lived in Detroit, and just in Detroit. And what was popular here was Dodge Main, Chevrolet Gear and Axle, Huber Avenue Foundry, Lynch Road Assembly, Rouge Plant, the great Rouge Plant, where the great, late General Baker worked for many, many years. And these factories built something called a middle class across the country.

    Just where I live in Detroit alone, 400,000 manufacturing jobs have disappeared. No one can take that kind of a hit. And where did they go? They went the way of technology. That’s the technology that used to enhance labor, now replaces labor. So R2-D2 robots now work at these, quote-unquote, "factories." These dinosaurs are gone. And so those good-paying jobs left with them. And, of course, you have people of color—let’s go get them first. Of course, you have blue-collar workers—let’s go get them first.

    But this is more egregious. A woman and a child living on welfare in Michigan gets $420 a month in cash assistance. That tabulates to $5,040 in a year. This no-good, trifling, backstabbing Kevyn Orr, the emergency manager, is getting a thousand dollars an hour. This man makes $8,000 in one day; and a family of two, $5,040 in a year. It’s outrageous. And then to come after folks that have lost work, that have lost jobs, that are sticking and staying in Detroit to try to help to rebuild and repopulate my city, and then to say, "What we’re going to do is turn your water off because you can’t pay for it"? Not going to tolerate this mess.

    [Emphasis mine]
    Source: Water is a Human Right: Detroit Residents Seek U.N. Intervention as City Shuts Off Taps to Thousands

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