- Twitter / @juliancastro
Five years later, Flint is still dealing with the fallout of the water crisis after then Gov. Rick Snyder (R) decided to change the city's drinking water source to the Flint River to cut costs back in 2014. His decision resulted in nearly 100,000 people being exposed to lead-tainted drinking water.
Within weeks, residents — primarily low-income people of color — complained about the water's smell and taste, claiming it was causing illnesses, rashes, and hair loss among other ailments. Government officials dismissed those claims and insisted that the water was fine.
By 2016, the real impact of the issue became clearer, as the contaminated water from the river corroded many of the city's old lead pipes, poisoning residents. Critics argue that Flint residents were failed by local, state, and federal officials who delayed their response to the crisis.
Castro, a Democrat, visited the First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church in Flint, which has helped residents get access to safe drinking water since the beginning of the crisis. Actor and rapper Jaden Smith has donated a mobile water filtration system to the church, with a promise that he recently fulfilled to donate another. Each system can filter 10 gallons of water in one minute.
Flint’s First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church has been on the front lines of the water crisis since day one—from handing out water bottles, to servicing their Water Box, a filtration system donated by @officialjaden which has replaced 30,000 plastic bottles since March. pic.twitter.com/qxJTouR4Hr— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) June 8, 2019
The people of Flint, Michigan feel fundamentally let down by their government. It’s on all of us to keep sharing their story, and to rebuild their trust with results for their community. pic.twitter.com/ZXlofJn1ux— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) June 8, 2019
Castro's plan includes increased funding for lead poisoning prevention and lead remediation over 10 years, and the creation of a Presidential Taskforce on Lead in Communities to help coordinate response efforts between federal and local agencies.
Five years since the beginning of the Flint water crisis and many folks still don’t have access to clean water. I traveled to Flint this weekend to send the message to folks in this community that on this campaign, and in my administration, we won’t forget them. pic.twitter.com/2DvfZ2wxHR— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) June 9, 2019
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