Baltimore, MD -- Today, the Baltimore Right to Water Coalition delivered a second letter, on behalf of 26 organizations, to Mayor Jack Young urging him to order his administration to expand water bill relief during the COVID-19 crisis.
You can read the letter and view the full list of signatories here.
The letter echoes the demands of Councilwoman Shannon Sneed, who sent a letter to Mayor Young last Thursday asking the Mayor to eliminate water and sewer charges all on residential and small business accounts and suspend the Account Management, Infrastructure, Stormwater and Bay Restoration fees for 180 days. Her letter also calls for Young to instruct the Board of Estimates not to use this suspension of water payments to raise rates, as well as committing to aggressively seek federal funding to cover the cost that DPW will incur through this relief effort. The letter was co-signed by Council President Brandon Scott, Councilman Zeke Cohen, Councilman Ryan Dorsey, Councilman Bill Henry, Councilwoman Sharon Green-Middleton, Councilman Kristerfer Burnett, and Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke.
Two weeks ago, the Baltimore Right to Water Coalition sent a letter to Mayor Young and the City Council, asking for them to take additional measures to ensure all Baltimoreans have access to safe, affordable water during this pandemic. Councilwoman Sneed’s proposal takes water bill relief a step further, by entirely eliminating water bills for 180 days.
With the release of the new sign-on letter, Rianna Eckel, Senior Maryland Organizer with Food & Water Action issued the following statement:
“Baltimoreans need water bill relief now more than ever. Baltimore’s workers are facing unprecedented economic suffering. More than 11,000 Baltimoreans have filed for unemployment in the last month. It’s time for Mayor Young to stand up for water justice during this crisis. We encourage him to support a 180-day moratorium on water billing, and join an earnest conversation with the Council and advocacy leaders who are urgently calling for action.”