The following is an opinion from State Representative Robert Kosowski (D-Westland).  Representative Kosowski represents Michigan’s 16th District.

Last night, Gov. Rick Snyder gave his sixth State of the State address. Not surprisingly, a large portion of his speech was directed toward the water crisis in Flint. I was happy to hear the governor accept responsibility for allowing this catastrophe to reach the level it has. We must remember that this is not a partisan issue, nor should we make it one. The most important thing we can do at this point is put aside our party lines and differences, and come together to help the people of Flint rise out of this disaster.

The governor admitting responsibility is good, but it is only the first of many steps that will need to be taken to ensure this issue is dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible. I do not believe any resources should be withheld from the city of Flint, as its residents deserve full transparency and funding in order for the problem to be dealt with swiftly and completely. 

This is a time when we need to come together as Michiganders. Our top priority should be ensuring that the children of Flint — the most innocent victims in this — have clean, safe water to drink. This Monday, the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, on which I serve, will be traveling to Flint to help pass out filters to residents. The Democratic Caucus is also organizing an event to pass out water bottles and filters to residents as well. As I begin to read through and process the emails that Gov. Snyder has released, I will be curious to see how the timeline and events unfolded. Yes, those responsible should be held accountable. But right now, the main focus of our efforts should be getting the city of Flint and its residents out of this crisis.