Baltimore, MD — On Monday at 4 PM, Baltimore City Council President Jack Young will stand alongside community faith leaders, the Baltimore Right to Water Coalition and Food & Water Watch, to announce the introduction of the Water Accountability and Equity Act. The bill aims to increase the availability, affordability, and accountability of basic water and wastewater service for the City. The recent announcement of a forthcoming 30-percent water rate increase adds urgency to the Council President’s ordinance. The effort to establish an income-based water affordability program for low-income residents in Baltimore is advancing with the introduction of this bill. The ordinance will also create an Office of the Water Customer Advocate to assure a fair process for all customers to resolve billing problems.
In November, Baltimore City made history by becoming the first major city in the country to officially ban privatization of the water and sewer system. Without the threats of corporate control hovering around, the Baltimore City Council is working to ensure the public system works for all Baltimoreans as best as possible. A study by independent consultant Roger Colton found that water bills will become unaffordable for households in more than half of Baltimore by 2019 without the passage of a bill like this.
What: Press conference announcing and outlining the groundbreaking Water Accountability and Equity Act
When: Monday, December 3rd at 4 PM
-City Council President Jack Young, Bill Sponsor
-Rianna Eckel, Maryland Organizer, Food & Water Watch
-Rev. Alvin Gwynn, President, Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Baltimore
-Ellyn Riedl, Staff Attorney, Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service
-Zafar Shah, Attorney, Public Justice Center
Where: Baltimore City Council Chambers, 4th Floor, City Hall
Visuals: Dozens of activists with colorful signs and props.
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Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment. www.foodandwaterwatch.org