GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Two Michigan cities that have dealt with more than their fair share of struggles were highlighted at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday.
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan had slots on the stage in Philadelphia, sharing their cities’ stories and saying that Hillary Clinton is committed to not only to recovery in their cities, but also in cities across the country.
Weaver outlined the crisis that left Flint citizens with drinking water tainted with lead, “poisoning a whole community and leading to health impacts that may haunt our children for generations.”
Many have blamed the crisis on the emergency manager program passed by a Republican-controlled state legislature, the manager who Republican Gov. Rick Snyder appointed for the city, and the slow response from Snyder’s administration to citizens’ complaints.
“The problems in Flint are not over. The water is still not safe to drink or cook with from the tap. Our infrastructure is broken, leaking and rusting away. Our local economy struggles to rebound,” Weaver said.
Weaver said the help that Flint needs from the federal government to rebuild its drinking water infrastructure has been blocked by the GOP-controlled Congress. She said she’s confident Clinton would make a change.
“She came to Flint when the water crisis hit. She joined with our community groups, our civic leaders and our churches. Hillary said, ‘I will do everything I can to help you get back up,'” said Weaver.
Duggan echoed Weaver’s sentiment as Detroit recovers from a bankruptcy that ended about 18 months ago.
“That’s the idea that drives us and it drives Hillary Clinton, because when she looks at Detroit and every other city in America, she sees the opportunity to create an economy in which everyone benefits,” Duggan said.
Duggan went on to say Detroit’s economic and cultural rebound is happening right now.
“We are going to build a Detroit where it no longer matters if you are black, brown or white. Where it no longer matters if you’re Christian, Jewish or Muslim. Where it no longer matters if you’re gay or straight or whether you’re an immigrant or you were born in the city of Detroit. Everyone will be equally valued and everyone will have real opportunity,” Duggan said.
App users can tap here to watch Weaver and Duggan’s full remarks.
The Michigan Republican Party responded to Weaver’s remarks, saying in part that “Republicans in Michigan are focused on solutions, whereas Democrats are content to use the crisis for political fodder. First, it was Hillary Clinton using a Flint church as a backdrop for a campaign commercial, then going months without mentioning flint again (even while doing a speech down the road in Detroit).”>>PDF: Full statement from Michigan GOP on Flint
Regarding Detroit’s economic crisis, the GOP said, “Michigan Republicans led the charge to create the ‘grand bargain’ to help Detroit reach a bankruptcy settlement. These actions helped right our fiscal path and put the city on the road to a better future.”>>PDF: Full statement from Michigan GOP on Detroit
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