Three leaders of the water justice team -- Barry Rubin, Rondi Brower, and Lori Lutz -- completed an awesome project in service of our work with People's Water Board Coalition, surveying candidates in the November election about their stances on water issues and providing a resource with the results. PWB has talked about this idea for the past couple years and we were so excited to help make it happen!
At right: Rondi Brower, a leader of the candidate survey project and member of the DJJ water team, tabling with People's Water Board at a candidate forum, distributing survey info.
Now that we've seen the election results, this tool will help PWB find new allies and strengthen relationships in the Michigan legislature; and we saw that the project significantly informed the candidates about water issues as well. We got a huge positive response from PWB and we're excited to learn from our experience and repeat this survey process for future elections. You can find the questions we asked and the tabulated results below!
Candidates were asked whether they agreed with the statements below, and on a scale of 1-5 whether they would make this issue a legislative priority.
1) I believe each person in Michigan has the right to safe, clean, affordable and accessible water for drinking, cooking and sanitary purposes.
2) I believe that it is the duty of the legislature to ensure that all Michigan residents have safe, clean, affordable and accessible water.
3) I believe that a water affordability program will better meet the needs of low-income households than water assistance programs will.
4) I believe that a water affordability program based on household income must be established in Michigan.
5) I support the decriminalization of the act of re-connecting water service where the shutoff was on account of inability to pay.
6) I support a requirement that all Michigan water providers must submit an annual report, available to the public, stating water
rates, how they were determined and how many shutoffs they performed the previous year.
7) I support a moratorium on all water shutoffs pending the adoption of a water affordability plan, with particular attention to vulnerable populations.
8) I support mandatory water testing for lead and other contaminants in schools, day care centers, universities, hospitals, and veteran’s facilities.
9) I support full line replacement (from water main to private house/building) by the government of all lead service lines.
**47 candidates responded, many in support of the issues we're working on. Find the results on People's Water Board's webpage here!**