No matter your level of attention to the news cycle, it's likely you're aware of a poisoned drinking-water crisis currently besieging the city of Flint, Michigan. It's a heartbreaking story of the sort that you imagine wouldn't happen in your own backyard.
But, there's a lot to understand with this complicated problem, and many headlines to digest. Beyoncé is raising money to help via Formation World Tour ticket sales. Cher is making donations of bottled water. But maybe bottled water isn't the best solution? Only a few presidential candidates have been talking about it consistently on the national stage. And now, it's evolving into a cry for help from the mayor of Flint as well as Michigan congresswomen and men asking for federal funding anywhere between $55 million and $1 billion. And there are a series of lawsuits in the works as well.
All the while, children are facing real, irreversible risks of mental impairment from exposure to lead. And a plan to rebuild the infrastructure of the city to address the root of the problem seems distant at best, and unattainable at worst.
So, for anyone who's unclear about what exactly is going on in Flint, and what we can all do to help the people living there, we're breaking it down. Hit play above for a clear look at the facts, from our day spent in Flint with Chelsea Clinton and Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician and one of the first to speak up about what was happening with the water in the city, and how dangerous that would prove for the community there.
The moment when Clinton speaks about how if she had been living in Flint "I might have miscarried my second child" pulls the personal, universal nature of this crisis into sharp contrast. Because what happened (and is currently happening) in Flint could have happened in any of our hometowns, threatening our families and our futures. So, helping undo that damage should feel just as global a responsibility.
Feeling motivated to do something to help? The United Way of Genesee County has a fund set up where 100% of donations go to help buy filters and clean water as well as supporting emergency needs and providing preventative help.