Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Orr Dumps ‘Hot Mess’ of Water Shut-offs in Duggan’s Lap

For Immediate Release

News from The People’s Water Board

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Contact: Tawana Petty, 313-433-9882

Orr Dumps ‘Hot Mess’ of Water Shut-offs in Duggan’s Lap

People’s Water Board still calls for Water Affordability Program to keep water and revenue flowing 

DETROIT – With the glare of the international media focused on his inhumane water shut-off policy, Governor Rick Snyder’s appointed Emergency Manager, Kevyn Orr, today handed Detroit’s water department back to the Mayor of Detroit, Mike Duggan. Kevyn Orr released a statement announcing that the Mayor would now run the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD). While this is small victory for the rule of law and local control, Mayor Duggan’s reaction didn’t do justice to the hazard or the inhumanity of depriving thousands of children, elders, families and individuals of water.

“We know the Mayor’s been handed a hot mess,” said Tawana Petty of the People’s Water Board. “Orr didn’t relinquish his power over Detroit’s bus system or land management. He dumped DWSD on Duggan because thousands of people have embarrassed him and Governor Snyder by standing with the people of Detroit, protesting in the streets and rallying with Canadians who brought water for families in need. Regardless, it’s now up to the Mayor to implement the Water Affordability Program.”

At the behest of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, the Detroit City Council adopted The Water Affordability Program (WAP) in 2005 after the City’s law department vetted the plan. The WAP creates a safety net to allow low-income residents to pay based on their income. It does away with inefficient, inhumane shut-offs and keeps the system solvent. The plan is needed now more than ever given that Detroit’s water rates have risen 119 percent in the past decade while poverty and unemployment are still at record levels.

 “The crowds that brought media from all over the world were not chanting for ‘more advanced warnings of shut-offs’ as the Mayor said he would have given,” said Shea Howell of Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management. “If you can’t pay the hundreds or sometimes even the thousands of dollars demanded by DWSD, more warning is useless. We’ve received news that 40 people in a Palmer Park apartment have been shut-off. Has Mike Ilitch paid his overdue water bill? Has DWSD moved in to shut off the golf course? No. Corporations can get by while families are deprived. Is this what Mayor Duggan meant when, this morning, he referred to some Detroiters have to pay for the bills of others?”

The Water Affordability Plan can be found online at

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

MEDIA ADVISORY: People’s Water Board and Council of Canadians Bringing Hundreds of Gallons of Water Across the Border to Detroit

For Immediate Release

News from The People’s Water Board

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Contact: Priscilla Dziubek (313) 492-0000; Tawana Petty, 313-433-9882

***Media Advisory***

Rally With People’s Water Board and Council of Canadians Bringing Hundreds of Gallons of Water Across the Border to Detroit

Clergy delivers thousands of faith leaders’ signatures demanding end to water shutoffs

DETROIT – In a convoy of nearly a dozen vehicles, the Council of Canadians will deliver more than 200 gallons of tap water for Detroit families to a rally held by the People’s Water Board on Thursday, July 24 to help thwart the inhumane policy of depriving Detroit families of water. Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones will accept petitions with the signatures of thousands of clergy from Detroit and around the country demanding an end to the water shutoffs. The petitions are to be shared with Mayor Duggan and the rest of the Council.

The rally comes on the heels of 2,000 protestors chanting, “Water is a human right” in the streets of Detroit last Friday. On Monday, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department retreated in the face of overwhelming international opposition to their mass water shutoff policies in violation of the human rights of the poorest and most vulnerable Detroiters.

This historic multi-national Great Lakes gathering will provide some water to besieged families and will highlight how the Water Affordability Plan can avert both a major health crisis and continued human rights violations in Detroit.

Maureen Taylor of the People’s Water Board will present the plan, which was approved by the Detroit City Council in 2005. Maude Barlow, an internationally renowned water rights activist and chair of the Council of Canadians, will also speak. Barlow helped draw international attention to the water crisis when she helped file a successful human rights complaint with the United Nations. Paul Moist, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, will bring support and solidarity from the Canadian labor movement.

Brenda Jones, president, Detroit City Council
Bill Wylie-Kellerman, pastor, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
Patricia Jones, senior program leader, The Human Right to Water, Unitarian Universalist
Maude Barlow, chair, Council of Canadians
Maureen Taylor, People’s Water Board
Paul Moist, president Canadian Union of Public Employees
Detroit families, community leaders and faith leaders

Rally – Keep the Water and the Revenue Flowing. The People’s Water Board will:
Deliver the signatures of thousands from Detroit and around the country demanding an end to water shut-offs to City Council President Brenda Jones
Receives hundreds of gallons of tap water from Council of Canadians
Present the Water Affordability Plan

When: Thursday, July 24, 2014 from 3:30 - 6:00 p.m.

Spirit of Detroit Statue, Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, 2 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Water Bill Financial Assistance Programs

Water Bill Financial Assistance Programs
Below is information about exiting financial assistance programs for residents that live in Detroit.

Detroit Water & Sewerage Department
Phone Number = (313) 267-8000
Website =

Administers the Detroit Residential Water Assistance Program
Phone Number = (877) 646-2831
Website =  
Email Address =

Wayne Metro Community Action Agency
Provides assistance for home owners in Detroit
Phone Number = (313) 388-9799

State of Michigan Department of Human Services
Offering state emergency relief of up to $175
See Wayne County offices at this website

United Way
Phone Number = 211 (landline) or 800-522-1183 (cell)
Website = 

Provides up to $350 for Detroit residents
Phone Number = (313) 964-9094
Email Address =