I used to be on the regional news fairly regularly. I served a short stint on the Green Bay City Council before fatherhood inspired me to walk away. Sometimes I miss it, but mostly, I’m just glad that I get to be at home with my kids at night. It’s a job that is tough on families and relationships, especially for those of us already working full-time.
Now, my wife is taking a turn in the spotlight. Recently, she spoke out in opposition to a bill percolating through the Wisconsin state legislature that would allow out-of-state corporations to purchase municipal water systems and run them as for-profit enterprises. The local CBS affiliate stopped by our home and interviewed both of us. We stated our opposition to this scheme, promoted by state Republicans and a Pennsylvania company, Aqua America. It’s our belief that if there is a problem with the water system, we want to be able to address it with folks who live in our community and drink our water. Hell, the then-head of our municipal water system was a guest at our wedding, as he was married to one of our close friends. Come to think of it, other wedding guests included our current state assemblyman and state senator- because they are friends of ours who, being residents of the city they represent, answer to their neighbors and to their own families. We want that kind of direct access to people in charge of our municipal services.
Make no mistake- we are happy to pay for the treatment and transportation of our water, but we have no desire to pad the pockets of an out-of-state CEO and his/her company’s shareholders. Remember, probably 30,000 children were exposed to lead and other pollutants in their water in Flint, Michigan because of cost-cutting measures. These measures were enacted by an unelected emergency manager, appointed by Michigan’s governor, Rick Snyder. These rampant emergency takeovers in Michigan are government-sponsored privatization in that they put unelected people in control of public services. We want to be able to hold publicly accountable anyone in charge of my family’s water.
My wife recently wrote about her recent public speaking experiences in her blog, Everyday Sisterhood.
She and I will continue to fight together, for our family and for the community we call home.
Concerns raised about water privatization legislation (CBS- Green Bay, WI affiliate)
Bill to privatize public water has people fighting back (NBC- Green Bay, WI affiliate)
Concerns raised about state senate water utility privatization bill (FOX- Green Bay, WI affiliate)
Privatization on Steroids (a story on Flint, MI on Democracy Now!)
10 Things They Won’t Tell You About Flint (Michael Moore- you may hate the guy, but he’s actually from Flint, so this is worth reading)