FLINT — Yesterday, Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration permanently closed the water distribution sites in Flint, putting an end to the state’s free water bottle distribution to the community whose water was poisoned. The closures come only days after the administration announced their intention to end the distribution, leaving many families in shock. Residential water lines were damaged when the governor-appointed emergency manager changed the city’s water source to the Flint River in 2014, and will take years to be fully replaced. Today, residents of Flint came to the Capitol to make their objections heard. In response, state Rep. Sheldon Neeley (D-Flint) issued the following statement:
“Flint families barely had time to process their outrage and make plans to find safe drinking water before Gov. Snyder and his administration pulled the rug out from under them and closed the water distribution sites for good. The abruptness of these closures is irresponsible, cruel, and further calls into question the very humanity of the Snyder administration. Unlike the governor, the people of Flint do not have short memories — we remember the last time his administration promised us our water was safe. Until every pipe in this city is replaced, it will be almost impossible for Flint residents to trust their government, and I cannot blame them.
“Flint residents came to the Capitol today to exercise their First Amendment rights and protest this unjust treatment from their government. As Zora Heale Hurston once said, ‘If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.’ The people of Flint are tough, and they have been through enough in the past four years; they will not let history write this story for them. I am proud to stand in solidarity with them at the Capitol today, and I will do all I can to help them receive the justice they deserve.”