The people of Newark, New Jersey—the majority of whom are black and brown—are grappling with a lead contamination crisis that has drawn comparisons with Flint, Michigan. There, the state took control of the city’s water after municipal officials and a private management company failed to provide clean water. In Newark, local residents want to keep their water in public hands. Why? This week, Laura interviews activists working to fix their city’s water through more robust democratization rather than privatization.
“Water is not just infrastructure, it’s life. It’s its own resource before it goes through those pipes. And we need people who understand that. And if we could have that kind of oversight, then we trust whatever administration to do the work, as long as you’re doing the work.”-Sabre Bee
The Newark Water Coalition is an advocacy group that has declared the Newark water contamination crisis a public health emergency. The coalition is working together to inform and educate the residents and other consumers about the dangers and ailments that are associated with the contaminants in the water by way of but not limited to drinking, bathing, brushing teeth. The coalition is calling on our government stakeholders, healthcare providers, faith and community-based organizations to make this public health crisis a priority, allocate the adequate funding to fix our infrastructure, test our people and provide clean water for all!
- Sabre Jordan and Anthony Diaz, Co-Founders of the Newark Water Coalition
- Yvette Jordan, a Teacher at Central High School in Newark, New Jersey