May 22, 2018 (Flint, MI)– On the heels of the 6th annual National Infrastructure Week, Mayor Karen Weaver is urging citizens in Flint, Michigan and beyond to join the push for affordable, safe, and reliable infrastructure. Weaver has joined forces with leaders to initiate a call to action for citizens to advocate for attainable solutions to fix the country’s crumbling infrastructure, especially in economically disadvantaged and communities of color.
“I hope this week has sparked conversation that will lead to legislation and strategies to improve aging infrastructure in my community, and communities all over the United States,” said Weaver. “The people of Flint have learned first-hand through the tragedy of the Flint Water Crisis, that addressing infrastructure needs is something that can no longer be ignored. It is my hope that through this costly and deadly experience, the world will realize that the time to build is now. Not only for aesthetic purposes, but to save lives.”
The Flint Water Crisis, the result of rushed and cost-saving decisions, has made national news. For many years, Flint’s water rates have been noted as among the highest in the country, attributed to multiple issues including, problems with the City’s aging and oversized water and sewer infrastructure. In 2014, to address Flint’s water fund shortfall, State appointed leaders switched the City’s water source to the Flint River. Almost immediately, residents began to complain about the look, smell, and taste of the water. Consequently, this cost cutting measure led to the man-made water disaster as a myriad of water contaminants and water-related health issues ensued.
“Crumbling infrastructure can interrupt daily lives, cause major economic setbacks, and even lead to death,” said Weaver. “Although this infrastructure week has come to an end, I strongly encourage residents of the City of Flint and across the country to reach out to lawmakers and tell them, ‘It’s time to build’.”
To help bring attention to the issue, organizers of National Infrastructure Week suggest using the hashtag #timetobuild on all social media platforms when referencing infrastructure. Mayor Weaver said it is important for leaders in all levels of government to get involved to help improve infrastructure.
“As long as I am Mayor of Flint, I will use my voice to speak up on issues like this. I will also continue to search near and far until Flint has the resources to rebuild its infrastructure in a way that protects our health, creates economic opportunity, and helps make our water more affordable for all residents. We hope to be a model for the rest of Michigan and the entire country.”