Residents of Congressional District 44 have elected the best person to address environmental issues in their cities. After being on the front lines of the water crisis brewing in the unincorporated area of Willowbrook, CA, Congresswoman Nanette Barragan has joined with Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison to introduce the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act of 2018 (H.R. 5609).
The bill would provide clean and safe drinking water to millions of people while creating nearly a million jobs.
“This is the type of investment we need to be making in our communities,” said Barragán. “Instead of giving out tax breaks for the 1% we need to ensure cities like Compton have clean water to drink,” added Barragán.
“Today marks the four-year anniversary of the crisis in Flint, Michigan, but the reality is water infrastructure around the country has been neglected for decades,” said Rep. Ellison. “Low-income communities and communities of color can’t be expected to thrive when they lack basic necessities like water. We are one of the richest nations in the world: it is time to guarantee clean water as a right for all.”
“Fourteen million U.S. households are struggling to pay for water that too often isn’t even safe to drink,” said Rep. Ro Khanna. “Decades of federal underinvestment has left many communities, particularly low-income and minority neighborhoods, with leaky and contaminated water systems. It’s past time that we ensure everyone in this country has access to the most basic human need: clean drinking water.”
“A waning federal commitment to public water infrastructure in recent decades has created a growing water crisis in our country, and our most vulnerable communities are taking the brunt of this disinvestment,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of the national advocacy organization Food & Water Watch.
The bill is supported by Food & Water Watch, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), ACRE, Corporate Campaign, Inc., Earthjustice, Greenpeace, Hip Hop Caucus, In the Public Interest, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Lady Freethinker, National Nurses United, Office of Peace, Justice, and Ecological Integrity, Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, People Demanding Action, People’s Action, PolicyLink, Public Citizen, Rural Coalition, Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice, The Story of Stuff Project, National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association, Clean Water Action, United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (USW) and NAACP.