The NAACP Legal Defense and Educations Fund, Inc. (LDF) strongly supports the bipartisan, bicameral legislative package on water rights introduced by Michigan legislators today. These bills would establish sanitary and affordable water as a human right and reform the process for terminating water service to ensure proper due process is given to all customers.
The bills introduced would affect all Michigan residents. They would change state law to ensure that water is recognized as a human right; require that water samples are collected according to proper procedures; prevent utilities from charging customers for service if bills have not been delivered; institute shut-off protections; and create a water affordability plan.
LDF’s advocacy for the legislation continues its work in Detroit on behalf of low-income communities of color whose access to water was threatened and even terminated through a series of callous administrative actions that penalized indigent residents. Last year during the height of the water crisis, LDF supported the efforts of local attorneys and community groups, and called for an immediate moratorium on Detroit’s water shut-offs.
Monique Lin-Luse, LDF’s Assistant Counsel who has worked with Detroit residents on this issue, said, “This legislation is the next necessary step in ensuring that low-income communities have a basic right to water and that proper protections are in place to secure that access. It is inconceivable that, in 2015, safe drinking water is not available to every Michigan resident, regardless of economic status.”
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is not a part of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) although LDF was founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. Since 1957, LDF has been a completely separate organization. Please refer to us in media attributions as the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund or LDF.