WASHINGTON – Flint, Mich., Mayor Karen Weaver pleaded for government support Wedensday – saying “we are not disposable people” at a congressional briefing on the city’s water crisis.
“I’m hoping that my presence and my testimony will help move this issue forward,” Weaver said.
Weaver told the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee that residents of Flint complained to her about hair loss and rashes from the water. She said the most vulnerable victims of the water crisis were pregnant women and children.
“Children are subject to lower IQs when drinking lead-contaminated water,” she said.
Flint School Superintendent Bilal Tawwab said he had to make a decision he didn’t want to make because of the water crisis.
“I had to make the decision that no students should drink water at the schools,” Tawwab said. “We supplied the students with cases of water. … This has become the new norm.”
Tawwab demanded special education resources and lead-free school buildings for children who attend Flint schools.
“We need support now and in the future,” he said.
Weaver said residents of Flint want the government to take action and fast.
“We need bipartisan support now,” Weaver said. “On behalf of the citizens, we need to rebuild our city and trust in our government.”
Neither Weaver nor Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has testified before a congressional hearing on the issue because Weaver, Snyder and other officials were not invited to the hearing on Feb. 3.
The House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform has been asking for Snyder to come to a hearing but the chairman of the committee Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has refused to subpoena him, and Snyder has declined to come voluntarily.
“We will get the governor here,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said both last week and at Wednesday’s meeting.
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Download photos: Flint.zip