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UN experts condemn Detroit water shutoffs

Posted date: October 22, 2014

Mayor’s office says UN is wrong, ‘everybody’s gotta pay’

By Curt Guyette
Special to the Michigan Citizen

During the three days she spent in Detroit investigating the water shutoff crisis, there were a number of times when Catarina de Albuquerque’s jaw literally dropped.

A United Nations human rights expert on issues involving water and sanitation, Albuquerque would sit, mouth agape, astonished by what she was hearing from residents and their advocates.

UN Special Rapporteurs

“I heard testimonies from poor, African American residents of Detroit who were forced to make impossible choices — to pay the water bills or to pay their rent,” Albuquerque said Oct. 20 during a press conference to announce what she and fellow U.N. Special Rapporteur Leilani Farha had learned while in Detroit.

“A woman whose water had been cut off explained that her teenage daughters had to wash themselves with a bottle of water during menstruation, and had to refrain from flushing the toilet to save water,” Albuquerque said.

From the woman who said she stopped cooking rice because of the amount of water it takes, to the parents who expressed fear the state would take custody of their children if it was discovered they lived in a home with no running water, Albuquerque and Farha heard testimony and, during a tour, saw firsthand the effects water shutoffs are having on Detroit’s poorest residents and their neighborhoods.

But what struck her most, Albuquerque said, is the sheer scope of the problem. Through September, according to the Detroit’s Department of Water and Sewerage, service has been cut to more than 27,000 households so far this year. Of that number, about 12,000 remain without water. READ MORE AT THE MICHIGAN CITIZEN

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Election 2014 – District Maps and What’s on the Ballot?


People’s Platform Election 2014

In the last four years, Detroiters and people throughout Michigan have been effected by decisions made, or not made, in Lansing and Washington D.C. This year’s General Election provides an opportunity to influence our representation in the U.S. Congress, the State Executive, Judicial and Legislative Branches, on School Board Members and to weigh in on State Proposals.

Know your District


What is on the ballot in Detroit?

U.S. Congress
Michigan Voters will elect one member to the U.S. Senate. Detroiters from State Congressional Districts 13 and 14 will elect candidates to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

State Executive Branch
Four state executive positions are up for election, the Governor of Michigan, the Lieutenant Governor of Michigan, Michigan Attorney General, Michigan Secretary of State.

State Judicial Branch
Three seats are up for election in the Michigan Supreme Court, one of which is a partial two-year term. State Supreme Court Justices serve 8 year terms. Detroiters will also vote for Circuit and District Court Judges.

State Legislative Branch
Detroiters in State Senate Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 will elect representatives to the Michigan State Senate. Detroiters in State House Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 will elect representatives to the Michigan House of Representatives.

State Proposals
Proposal 1 overturns a law allowing the state to establish wolf hunting seasons in the Upper Peninsula. Proposal 2 overturns law allowing the Natural Resources Commission to directly designate game species.

School Boards
There are four seats on the Detroit Public School Board of Education and four seats on the Wayne-Westland Community School District Board of Education up for election as well.

Jump to Platform District Pages!

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