After the State of Michigan stripped the residents of Flint of their ability to elect local representatives, state-appointed officials decided to use the Flint River as a water source without adding corrosive controls. As a result, lead leached from the water pipes and poisoned the drinking water, causing untold damage to the people of Flint.
In January 2016, the ACLU of Michigan, working with the Natural Resources Defense Council, filed a federal lawsuit against state and city officials seeking a court order requiring them to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act. The goal of the lawsuit is to require the state and the city to replace the lead pipes and, in the meantime, ensure that officials deliver safe drinking water.
Judge David Lawson heard oral argument on the state and local governments’ motions to dismiss the case in May 2016.
Concerned Pastors for Social Action
Concerned Pastors for Social Action is a nonprofit association of religious leaders from more than 30 predominantly African Americans churches in Flint and surrounding communities. The group was formed more than a half-century ago to safeguard the lives of the underserved and improve the quality of life for all Flint residents.
A Flint resident since 2002, Mays grew alarmed over the water following a city-issued boil-water advisory in 2014. Since then, she has worked diligently to raise awareness in Flint and around the country about the dangers of the Flint water crisis. A mother of three sons, Mays fears that exposure to Flint's lead-contaminated water may have jeopardized the health of her family.
ACLU of Michigan attorneys Michael J. Steinberg and Brooke Tucker; NRDC attorneys Dimple Chaudhary and Sarah Tallman; and Glenn Simmington for plaintiff Melissa Mays.