Bad River girls. Photo: Rebecca Kemble
UPDATE: The Water Privatization Bills (AB 554 and SB 432) have moved out of committee and will be headed for a full vote in the Assembly and the Senate. Contact your Senator and Representative and tell them to vote NO! NO MORE FLINTS!
Find your elected officials Wi Legislature http://maps.legis.wisconsin.gov/
With our hearts in Flint, the world is watching the nightmare of privatized water and corrupt politicians in Michigan. Over 200 of children have been permanently damaged by lead poisoning due in large part to the privatization of the water systems. Now children in other major cities in Michigan are also testing high for blood-lead poisoning.
Now, today, a bill is rapidly moving through the Wisconsin legislature that would make it nearly impossible for We the People to stop the privatization of our water.
Assembly Bill 554 which will create the same privatization of Wisconsin water supplies that led to the Flint disaster, has passed the State Assembly and is in the Senate Workforce Development Committee. That committee is made up of 3 Republicans and 2 Democrats, and is poised to pass their version of this legislation, Senate Bill 432.
Some backstory: in 2009, the City of Milwaukee was exploring the possibility of privatizing its municipal water. Here is a contemporary Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal article about it, and a later story from Food and Water Watch after the idea was scuttled. Basically, local residents rose up against the proposal and fought it; the Milwaukee Common Council stopped its study of the proposal.
The current legislation would make it nearly impossible to do what the citizens of Milwaukee did in 2009. Rather than being able to stop privatization while it is still an “idea,” citizens would need to collect signatures and put a referendum on the ballot to stop the process in-progress: time-consuming, expensive, and subject to the special interest money bound up in today’s elections.
According to an aide at the office of Rep. Tyler August(R-Lake Geneva), the proposal’s lead author, another aspect of the bill will allow private entities to “buy into” county-owned water supplies, thereby gaining control over area water. For example, a corporate farm could purchase water rights from the county and gain control over how the local water is used.
Please pass this on to as many people as you can and tell them to contact the members of the Workforce Development Committee and express their opposition to SB432.
Tell them NO MORE FLINTS!
Rep. Tyler August (608) 266-1190 Rep.August@legis.wisconsin.gov, sponsor
Senator Roger Roth (Chair) (608) 266-0718 Sen.Roth@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Richard Gudex (Vice Chair) (608) 266-5300 Sen.Gudex@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Duey Stroebel (608) 266-7513 Sen.Stroebel@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Chris Larson (608) 266-7505 Sen.Larson@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Julie Lassa (608) 266-3123 Sen.Lassa@legis.wisconsin.gov
Our very lives depend on it.
Overpass Light Brigade Photo: Lisa Moline
This weekend the Overpass Light Brigade did a photo shoot to raise awareness about the proposed legislation and asked the public to contact the members of the Workforce Development Committee to inform them of citizen opposition to the bill.
Adapted from badscience original article here.