Feb. 12 update: 41 groups now signed on!
What: Press Conference: Citizen Groups Unite for Water Justice
Citizens Demanding Government Accountability for Protection of Safe Drinking Water; 38 Groups Release Solidarity Letter from West Virginians to the citizens of Flint, Michigan
When: 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 9
Where: Lower Rotunda, WV State Capitol
Why: To call on our elected officials and regulators to live up to their responsibility to protect our basic right of access to safe water. Government failings that led to the 2014 West Virginia Water Crisis, and following crises in Toledo OH, Sebring OH, and Flint, MI harm public health and cost businesses and taxpayers millions of dollars.
Yet the WV Legislature continues to roll back protections for our water supplies. The Public Service Commission may abandon its duty to investigate what went wrong, and what needs fixed. Our congressional members seek to block proposed federal water protections at every turn.
With our letter of solidarity to the residents of Flint, MI from 37 West Virginia groups, we come together in solidarity with communities across this state and nation to remind decision makers that water is everyone’s priority. We need commitments to protect water supplies and upgrade water infrastructure, everywhere, and especially in communities home to low-income families or people of color.
Speakers: Natalie Thompson, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition: Welcome and introduction of speakers.
Crystal Good, Affected citizen: Reading of the solidarity letter from West Virginians to the citizens of Flint, Michigan.
Obi Henderson, Charleston resident: The call for water justice.
Karan Ireland: Advocates for a Safe Water System: The need for full investigation of lessons learned from water crisis.
Junior Walk, Coal River Mountain Watch: Growing up in WV with poisoned water.
Angie Rosser, WV Rivers Coalition: Current legislation rolling back water protections.
Gary Zuckett, WV Citizen Action Group: Closing and Q&A.
Who: Advocates for a Safe Water System / American Friends Service Committee / Appalachian Catholic Worker / Catholic Committee of Appalachia (WV Chapter) / Charleston WV Branch NAACP / Christians For The Mountains / Coal River Mountain Watch / Concerned Citizens of Roane County / Covenant House of West Virginia / Doddridge County Watershed Association / Friends of Water / Greenbrier River Watershed Association / Huntington-Cabell Branch of the NAACP / Kanawha Forest Coalition / Keeper of the Mountains / MelRose Ministries for Positive Transformative Change / Mountain Lakes Preservation Alliance /Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition / People Concerned About Chemical Safety /Plateau Action Network / POWHR (Preserve Our Water, Heritage, Rights) / Preserve Greenbrier / Preserve Monroe / RAMPS (Radical Action for Mountains’ and People’s Survival) / Stories From South Central, WV / Southern Appalachian Labor School / South Central Educational Development, Inc. / West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy / West Virginia Chapter NAACP / West Virginia Chapter of Sierra Club / West Virginia Citizen Action Group / West Virginia Clean Water Hub / West Virginia Direct Action Welfare Group / West Virginia Environmental Council / West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition / West Virginia Interfaith Power and Light / WV FREE (West Virginia Focus: Reproductive Education and Equality) / West Virginia Rivers Coalition and these individuals: Crystal Good @cgoodwoman / Ellen Allen and Sue Julian / Helen Gibbins / Karan Ireland / Maya Nye / Paula Swearengin / Shirley Rosenbaum
Note also a scheduled meeting of the Joint Legislative Oversight Commission on State Water Resources on Feb. 9 at 4:30pm in the House Chamber to review the recommendations of the Public Water System Supply Study Commission.