Kary Moss, Executive Director of the ACLU of Michigan, issued the following statement today about the kick-off of the Mackinac Policy Conference this week:

As Michigan's most influential leaders converge on Mackinac Island for week-long policy discussions, the opportunity is ripe to reflect on the policies and practices that turned the city of Flint into ground zero for the worst man-made health crisis in recent Michigan history. Equally important is the opportunity to address issues that have so captured the world's attention –decaying infrastructure, declining quality of life, public education, good jobs, and the impact of shrinking populations.

The crisis in Flint—a predominantly poor, majority African-American city—is an economic and business issue as much as a human rights matter. The city's financial future has been devastated by this crisis.

So far, nothing done even comes close to addressing the problems. At the end of the day, the state legislature must commit to this city. Its members won't do so until they see a political mandate come from those in both the public and private sector. The Mackinac Policy Conference is where that leadership can begin.