Turn on the Water! How Locals are Fighting Back Against the Shutoffs

Turn on the Water! How Locals are Fighting Back Against the Shutoffs

Session Type(s): Keynote

Starts: Saturday, Jul. 19 9:30 AM

Ends: Saturday, Jul. 19 10:45 AM

Room: Grand Ballroom

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is shutting off water at thousands of Detroit residents with outstanding debts each week, even if their debt was incurred by previous owners or is only 60 days late. Not only are these shutoffs a violation of the human right to water, they are also a threat to public health. As the crisis in Detroit escalates, local organizers are banding together to provide relief to residents and demand a moratorium to the shutoffs while also aiming to make sure water is affordable, protected from pollution and stays in the public hands.

At this keynote session attendees heard from Abayomi Azikiwe of Moratorium Now!, Meredith Begin of Food and Water Watch, Monica Lewis-Patrick of We the People Detroit, Jean Ross of National Nurses United, and Maureen Taylor of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization.

Full video:


Peter Hammer

Director Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights

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Maureen Taylor

I am indigenous to Detroit, with ties to all parts of the city, the state, and the nation. I serve as Financial Sec’y of the Nat’l Welfare Rights Union, with a primary task of finding ways to end poverty. I have a Masters Degree in Social Work and have been awarded many local and civic honors.

Other sessions: Fighting for Democratic Practices after an Emergency Manager Takeover in Michigan: Report from the Trenches

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