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Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence

Representing the 14th District of Michigan

Congresswoman Lawrence Statement on Detroit Public Schools Drinking Water Shutoff

September 7, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, issued a statement on the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) drinking water shutoff:

On August 29th, superintendent Nikolai Vitti chose to shut the drinking water off to the entire Detroit Public Schools Community District after 16 schools tested positive for elevated levels of lead and copper.

“This week, DPSCD began the school year without safe, clean drinking water. What should have been an exciting first day of school, was overshadowed by fears of lead poisoning and unsanitary learning environments.

“Detroit’s children already face too many uphill challenges to obtain an excellent education, and access to safe drinking water should not be another obstacle any of our children face. We need to address these immediate concerns and do all we can to protect our youth. I urge DPSCD and the city of Detroit to use whatever resources are immediately available to begin fixing our crumbling infrastructure.  Now is the time to focus on preventing another crisis. For too long we have not had the proper funding to maintain our facilities and protect our communities.

“I will continue pursuing this issue until we have results and truly invest in long-term solutions. As the adults, we are the ones who must make the right decisions. Investing in our infrastructure and our children is the right decision. I look forward to working with the state of Michigan, the city of Detroit and the school systems to help secure federal resources in support of this effort. This is not a partisan issue, but a public health issue that deserves our full attention and immediate action.”