LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Freedom Fund launched a new digital ad today titled Demanding Answers, calling on Governor Gretchen Whitmer to take action to help the residents of Benton Harbor whose drinking water contains dangerous levels of lead.
Residents of Benton Harbor are demanding to know why Whitmer still isn’t providing all available resources to distribute safe drinking water. Distribution sites are running out of water, short on volunteers and some didn’t open at all. When bottled water distribution efforts failed, Governor Whitmer was nowhere to be found.
Whitmer’s administration has known for years that the water in Benton Harbor had dangerous levels of lead. Despite all the problems with water distribution, Whitmer has refused to declare a state of emergency. On October 20, 2021, Gongwer Michigan reported: “The state has the tools it needs to respond to the lead contamination in Benton Harbor's drinking water and has no plans to declare a state of emergency, a spokesperson for Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday.”
“Whitmer’s administration has known for years that the water in Benton Harbor was unsafe and yet the residents still don’t have reliable access to safe alternatives like bottled water,” said Tori Sachs, executive director of the Michigan Freedom Fund. “Benton Harbor residents left empty-handed after waiting hours for bottled water. The situation on the ground could be improved if Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency. Instead, she refused and went to D.C. to dine with Kamala Harris and defy their local COVID rules at a bar. Families in Benton Harbor deserve clean, drinkable water, not Whitmer’s cold shoulder.”