News & Media

For Immediate Release: January 14, 2021

Contact: Erin Williams | ewilliams@faithinaction.org | 202-748-0699

FLINT, MI – On Tuesday, it was announced that former Michigan governor Rick Snyder along with several former officials would face charges related to the 2014 Flint water crisis. The decision to switch the city’s water supply to the Flint River in 2014 led to numerous health and home problems, including several individuals contracting fatal illnesses. Eileen Hayes, executive director of Faith in Action federation Michigan Faith in Action, and clergy leader Bishop Bernadel Jefferson of Faith Deliverance Center in Flint and a commissioner of Beecher Metropolitan District, shared the below statements:

“This is a step in the right direction. It felt as though the governor was getting off scot-free and that other players who were also bad actors were getting away with it too. The idea that now, something is going to happen – there is some solace in that. For seven years we’ve been dealing with physical and emotional problems due to our bad water. We can’t trust it to this day – not even to eat,drink, wash vegetables, or anything you would do in another community. This is still not a safe community as it relates to water and we are still paying outrageous bills. There is not enough to take care of everyone who has had to deal with the excessive rates, appliances that no longer work, and deaths in our families from people who were poisoned by lead and other bacteria in the water. This is a start – but it’s not finished.” – Eileen Hayes, executive director, Michigan Faith in Action

“Snyder did not protect and serve the people. He did not look out for our well-being, and for that he should be held accountable. He said we weren’t worth coming to see. He wanted to be the one in charge, but held no accountability. Myself and several other pastors put pressure on him for years to take action and he rejected our claims. General Motors said the lead corroded their parts and he gave them permission to go back to Detroit, but did he care enough about the community, the people who were getting sick? If it’s corroding pipes and metal, what do you think it did to our insides? He handicapped our children and curbed the growth of our society. It won’t bring us back but at least he will get a pinch of the pain and agony that we have and are dealing with and may never overcome.” – Bishop Bernadel Jefferson, Faith Deliverance Center, Flint MI, and a commissioner of Beecher Metropolitan District

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Michigan Faith in Action is a movement of people of faith, institutions and organizations together to build community and to address the root causes and results of poverty, violence and division in our state. For more information visit www.michfa.org/

Faith in Action, formerly known as PICO National Network, is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. The nonpartisan organization works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 46 local and state federations. For more information, visit www.faithinaction.org.

Faith in Action is a 501c(3). Faith in Action and its affiliates are non-partisan and are not aligned explicitly or implicitly with any candidate or party. We do not endorse or support candidates for office.

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