Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 1 Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

Think of Flint and Vote

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Mary Bell Lockhart       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   7 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Touching 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H1 1/25/16

Author 14724
- Advertisement -

Have you heard about Flint, Michigan's contaminated water, poisoning thousands of residents? Children are sick, their future health is compromised from irreversible lead poisoning and there's been a spike in cases, some fatal, of legionnaires disease. The water pipes of the entire city have been destroyed by corrosion such that they must be replaced.


(Image by elitedaily)   Permission   Details   DMCA

How can this happen, you may ask? The answer is destruction of the deliberative processes of democracy at the local level. Too many of Michigan's citizens stayed home on Election Day and there came into power an extremely conservative legislature that sealed their power in place by gerrymandered districts. While cutting taxes for corporations, that legislature enacted a provision allowing the State to take over cities in financial distress, install a financial manager accountable only to the autocratic Governor, and leave elected city officials completely powerless.

Michiganders rightfully hated that law so much that they passed a citizen's initiative to repeal it. However, due to gerrymandered districts, they re-elected the same State legislators who immediately passed the financial manager law again, now with a provision that it couldn't be repealed by the citizens.

- Advertisement -

Flint lost its auto manufacturing tax base and fell into bankruptcy. Almost half its population is gone. The Governor appointed a financial manager who in April 2014, thinking only of cutting costs, changed the source of Flint's drinking water from the clean waters of Lake Huron to the notoriously contaminated (with automotive waste) Flint River.

As the contamination became evident, State agencies of environmental quality and public health, also under the control of the Governor, failed to act. And the Governor ignored the reports of illness and death for many months. Elected city officials held office in name only and couldn't do a thing to save their own people, though they tried. It took out-of-state researchers and a courageous doctor who treats the children to force the issue.

It gets worse for Flint. Residents now have their contaminated water shut off for not paying the high bills for water they cannot drink. State lawyers cite State sovereignty to block accountability lawsuits.

- Advertisement -

YOUR tax dollars are paying for bottled water to be delivered to Flint residents by that "intrusive" Federal government so many love to hate, because that "over reaching" President Obama sent the National Guard to directly help the people.

The Michigan Governor asked the President to use funds for natural disasters to rebuild Flint's infrastructure. The President had to refuse. The same old awful Federal government is investigating the failure of Michigan state government to meet drinking water standards. Meanwhile, our US Senators and Representatives (also from gerrymandered districts) are passing bills to roll back surface water quality standards implemented by the EPA.

If you can hardly stand the tediously slow and often contentious battles your local elected officials go through on issues like streets, water, schools and sewage, such that you cannot stand to vote in local elections; if you only vote in years of Presidential elections, if you vote at all, and do not know about or do not care enough to vote for your State and Federal Representatives and Senators"; think of Flint, Michigan.

Similar things are happening now in Texas, a direct result of historically low voter turnout in 2014 and gerrymandered districts. Laws to further suppress the vote have been implemented. Texas has NO provision for citizens' initiative to override an off-the-rails State legislature. Legislation was passed blocking cities from limiting fracking within their boundaries. Texas leads the nation in polluting discharges. Texas State government has refused to properly fund public education, its single highest responsibility. They refuse to expand Medicaid to provide millions with health care. The Texas Governor brags about suing the Federal government, promoted scare propaganda that the President would use military exercises to take over the state, and is now pushing a scheme (fortunately going nowhere) whereby states would override Federal laws. Austerity is being imposed with the blessings of corporate wealth all too content with THEIR low-taxes and OUR low-service economy.

Elections have consequences. We can only survive as families, communities, as a state and a nation, if we become informed on the issues and use that information to vote in local, state and national elections. Millions have died and millions more are struggling now to achieve what so many of us take for granted and ignore, our citizenship right to vote. Your vote is your voice (su vota es su voz).

Use it or lose it!


(Image by blogspot)   Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Touching 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

I'm a retired public health worker focused these days on supporting a variety of progressive issues, such as criminal justice reform, energy efficiency, environmental protection, universal health care, civil rights, and worldwide peace and (more...)
 

Mary Bell Lockhart Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Kochs Mess With Texas, Our Minds and Our Future

How the Koch Brothers Mess With the Texas Environment

No Atheists in Foxholes, No Libertarians in Crises

What Ultraconservatives Think They Know For Sure Just Ain't So

How the Koch Brothers Mess With the Texas Environment (Revised)

Debunking Conservative Talking Points on Health Care