Aaron Appel

Aaron Appel

Aaron is DJJ's water justice team chair.

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I first came to know about the Detroit water shutoffs during a service trip while I was a student at Oberlin College. On the trip, I found myself at a town hall meeting in which United Nations special rapporteurs were investigating whether or not the shutoff campaign was a violation of human rights. Although I grew up a mere 25 minutes away, I had no idea that anything was wrong with anyone’s water in Detroit. Despite continuing to study the water crisis after my return to Oberlin, I had no sense of the scope of this issue until moving to Detroit after my graduation. I spent 6 months as a full-time volunteer with a grassroots community center on the West side of Detroit that functioned in part as a water distribution hub. Over those months, I spoke with dozens of people whose water had been shut off or was in danger of shutoff. It was a maddening experience to only be able to offer large jugs of water to people sitting in our organization’s meeting room who were ashamed at what they viewed as not being able to provide for their families, and terrified that Child Protective Services would take their children away if their waterless status was known. I was outraged, but didn’t feel that I had any grounding in what to do to address the crisis. It was not until I was approached by Detroit Jews for Justice organizers that I saw a way to jump into the fight. Over the last two months, I’ve been able to hold a coordinating role in DJJ’s water justice campaign, which has given me a way to live out my deeply held vision of a Detroit that cares about its citizens enough to guarantee them affordable and safe water.

Our forward motion on the water issue is not possible without the the resources that DJJ can marshall for organizing and programming, and the day-to-day work of our staff. Moving forward with this vision, however, is not possible without you. DJJ is an organization built off of the time, talent, and treasure of people like you and me. Please consider making a small donation to our campaign to ensure that DJJ continues to have the resources to do this important work. This is an opportunity for financial investment in these efforts, but if our water work has piqued your interest, please let me know so we can find a way for you to join the fight for water justice, as well -- [email protected] 

Aaron Appel's latest activity
signed up on 8 Days of Water Justice 2018-11-28 08:13:37 -0500

8 Days of Water Justice

DJJ leaders are developing a social media campaign that will tie the story of Hanukkah to our struggle for water justice.

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Subscribe below to receive daily emails throughout Hanukkah, with educational content on local water issues and clear 

actions you can take to advocate for clean and affordable water. Or, keep checking this page and our Facebook page for daily updates!

Learn more about our work in partnership with People's Water Board Coalition at detroitjewsforjustice.org/water

 

 


Day #1: GET YOUR MACCABEES!

Click the picture above or this link to access Day #1's video, hosted on our Facebook page.

You can find a transcript of this video here.

ACTION ITEM: GET YOUR MACCABEES!

  • Like and share this post on Facebook & Instagram -- tag your friends in it with you. (Make sure to “tag friends” instead of just @-ing them, so it appears on their timelines!)
  • Not on social media? We’ve got you covered. Visit detroitjewsforjustice.org/water and click on the “8 Days of Water Justice” tab to subscribe and receive daily emails that you can easily forward to your network.
  • CAN YOU RECRUIT 5 MACCABEES OF YOUR OWN, like the 5 sons of Mattathias to do this work with you? Share it with your folks, your family, your congregation, your bubbie… let’s get started!

 


Day #2: SHEDDING LIGHT ON THE SHUT-OFFS!

Click the picture above or follow this link to access today's video, hosted on our Facebook page.

You can find a transcript of this video here.

ACTION ITEM: CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES! STOP THE SHUT-OFFS!

  • Implore your representatives to co-sponsor and push forward House Bills 4393 and 4389/4390!
  • If your representatives are on the House Local Government Committee, you are in a position to make these bills go through! Demand that they recognize the sanctity of water as a human right, and push them support legislation to decriminalize shut-offs and implement a water affordability plan. 
    • Chair: State Rep. James Lower, 70th District (R) - Montcalm County and Gratiot County
    • Julie Alexander, 64th District (R) - Jackson County
    • Roger Hauck, 99th District (R) - Isabella County and Midland County.
    • Ben Frederick, 85th District (R) - Shiawassee County and Saginaw County.
    • Gary Howell, 82th District (R) - Lapeer County
    • Jim Runestad, 44th District (R) - Highland, White Lake, Springfield, Milford, Waterford
    • Kathy Crawford, 38th District (R) - Lyon, Northville, Novi, South Lyon, Walled Lake
    • Sara Cambensy, 109th District (D) - Alger, Luce, Schoolcraft, Marquette (Upper Peninsula)
    • Jim Ellison, 26th District (D) - Royal Oak and Madison Heights
    • Patrick Green, 28th District (D) - Center Line and city of Warren
    • Jeremy Moss, 35th District (D) - Southfield, Lathrup Village, Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms, Franklin
  • Like and share this post on Facebook & Instagram -- tag your friends in it with you. (Make sure to “tag friends” instead of just @-ing them, so it appears on their timelines!)
  • For more information, talking points and resources, visit https://www.detroitjewsforjustice.org/water

Day #3: OIL FOR LATKES, NOT THE STRAITS OF MACKINAC!

Click the picture above or follow this link to access today's video, hosted on our Facebook page.

You can find a transcript of this video here.

ACTION ITEM: HOLD OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS ACCOUNTABLE! #SHUTDOWNLINE5!


Day #4: REDEDICATING OUR SANCTUARY!

Monica Lewis Patrick

Click the picture above or follow this link to access today's video, hosted on our Facebook page.

You can find a transcript of this video here.

ACTION ITEM: DONATE TO WE THE PEOPLE OF DETROIT'S YOUTH-LED WATER TESTING

  • We The People of Detroit is stepping up to do the direct work of water testing in places that the government has overlooked. Click HERE to give directly to the We the People of Detroit!
  • Like and share this post on Facebook & Instagram -- tag your friends in it with you. (Make sure to “tag friends” instead of just @-ing them, so it appears on their timelines!)
  • For more information, talking points and resources, visit https://www.detroitjewsforjustice.org/water and https://wethepeopleofdetroit.com/

Day #5: SCARCITY, ABUNDANCE & WATER PRIVATIZATION!

Click the picture above or follow this link to access today's video, hosted on our Facebook page.

You can find a transcript of this video here.

ACTION ITEM: INTERROGATE YOUR OWN SENSE OF SCARCITY AND ABUNDANCE! 

  • Instead of advocacy or donations, today's action item involves self-reflection - an essential part of engaging in activist work that is grounded in empathy and solidarity. 
  • Take a look at your own water bill. Calculate how much of your monthly income goes to paying for water. Is it within the EPA-recommended 4.5% guideline? Is it upwards of 10%, the average water bill for low-income residents as reported by researchers at the University of Michigan?  What trade-offs would you make if you had to pay such high rates? What trade-offs do you make?
  • Consider: Do you see scarcity where there is actually abundance, or vice versa? Why? How might corporate interests affect this perception?
  • Like and share this post on Facebook & Instagram -- tag your friends in it with you. (Make sure to “tag friends” instead of just @-ing them, so it appears on their timelines!)
  • For more information, talking points and resources, visit https://www.detroitjewsforjustice.org/water 

Day #6: PUBLICIZING THE MIRACLE!

Click the picture above or follow this link to access today's video, hosted on our Facebook page.

You can find a transcript of this video here.

ACTION ITEM: PUBLICIZE THE MIRACLES & THE INJUSTICES! CALL AND TAG @MAYORMIKEDUGGAN WITH YOUR MESSAGE! BUILD THE NARRATIVE THAT METRO DETROIT JEWS STAND FOR WATER JUSTICE!

  • STUDY "America's Secret Water Crisis," the groundbreaking report from Food & Water Watch that shows the depth and breadth of the water crisis across the country. 
  • PUBLICIZE the media from Sunday night's Illuminating Water Justice action, available on our Facebook page, the Detroit Jewish News, and more. We need to build the awareness that Metro Detroit Jews stand up for water justice!
  • CALL & TAG  Mayor Duggan (@MayorMikeDuggan) with the following message, or a heartfelt message of your own:
    • "Mayor Duggan, 70 Metro Detroit Jews gathered on Hanukkah to voice our support for ending water shut-offs, implementing a water affordability plan, and restoring water to shut-off households. We know these solutions are critical to protect the health of our neighbors and the moral conscience of our region and we ask for your commitment to these policies in 2019.”
  • Like and share this post on Facebook & Instagram -- tag your friends in it with you. (Make sure to “tag friends” instead of just @-ing them, so it appears on their timelines!)
  • For more information, talking points and resources, visit https://www.detroitjewsforjustice.org/water 

Day #7: REBELLING AGAINST IDOLATRY

 

Click the picture above or follow this link to access today's video, hosted on our Facebook page.

You can find a transcript of this video here.

ACTION ITEM: LINK UP WITH THE POOR PEOPLE'S CAMPAIGN! SUPPORT THE #GILBERT7!


Day #8: INCREASING THE LIGHT!

Click the picture above or follow this link to access today's video, hosted on our Facebook page.

You can find a transcript of this video here.

ACTION ITEM: RSVP FOR DECEMBER'S DJJ ORIENTATION & GENERAL MEETING! GIVE A DONATION TO DJJ!

  • Keep increasing the light by staying involved with DJJ: RSVP for the upcoming orientation or general meeting!
  • Become a monthly sustaining donor to DJJ to sustain our efforts to mobilize the Metro Detroit Jewish community to work for racial and economic justice, or give a one-time donation before the end-of-the-year!
  • Like and share this post on Facebook & Instagram -- tag your friends in it with you. (Make sure to “tag friends” instead of just @-ing them, so it appears on their timelines!)
  • For more information, talking points and resources, visit https://www.detroitjewsforjustice.org/water 
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