Pure Michigan

Lake Superior

A few years ago when I drove into Michigan and saw “Pure Michigan” signs everywhere.  I thought it was a refreshing slogan.  Michigan is surrounded by the Great Lakes of Lake Superior, Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan. But then tainted lead pipes in Flint Michigan were found after cost-cutting by all-levels of government, and Pure Michigan became a slogan of hypocrisy for me.

Finally, a settlement has been reached to give help to the residents of Flint Michigan.

From The National Resource Defense Council (NRDC)

“The settlement requires the State of Michigan to provide Flint — a hard-hit, largely low-income community of 100,000 people near Detroit — nearly $100 million to replace the city’s lead and galvanized steel pipes within three years.

It also mandates extensive testing of Flint’s water for lead contamination and ensures that residents have properly installed tap water faucet filters while pipes are removed throughout the city.”

Pure Michigan?


As you drive into Michigan you are greeted with an advertising campaign,”Welcome to Pure Michigan” with images of clean pure water.  Could the millions spent on this campaign have been put into actually keeping their water clean?  Even when Governor Rick Snyder’s administration knew the water in Flint was bad, they told residents it was safe.

Why has telling lies become OK? Why do officials entrusted with our safety make stupid uninformed decisions? Why don”t they get the big picture? Do they become blinded by power and campaign donations? Do they understand the word trust? What needs to change?

No one should be allowed to mess with water or food safety.  As a public, we trust that the best decisions are made for our safety. However, holding elected officials accountable is tough. They know most of us aren’t paying attention and think they can do almost anything without being penalized. Saving money in Flint, Michigan became more important than using good sense . Officials, including Governor Rick Snyder, should all be forced to resign and be banned from government jobs in the future. The fact that lead polluted water flowed into the homes in Michigan in the year 2015-2016 is astonishing.

I would always be wary of candidates that claim they will “cut your taxes”.  Yes, they cut taxes on the backs of the most vulnerable.  In Flint, Michigan officials were more interested in saving money than the health of their constituents.  The only good thing about this situation is that they have been caught.  Unfortunately, caught after harming of the health and future of Flint’s children and residents.  Below is an excellent segment from the PBS Newshour about what happened in Flint:


Pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, who called attention to the elevated lead levels in Flint’s children, explained to NPR how the city’s water came to be contaminated:

“The city of Flint under state-appointed emergency management, almost bankrupt … switched their water source from Detroit, which was fresh Great Lakes water source, which we’ve been using for over 50 years, to the local Flint River to save money.

“And that local Flint River was innately more corrosive than the Great Lakes water source. And the critical corrosion inhibitor, which is mandatory for all drinking water systems to use … was not added to that water.

“So you had a more corrosive water source without the corrosion control added to it, going into an aging infrastructure with a lot of lead plumbing. That was a perfect storm for that lead to leach out of the pipes into the drinking water and into the bodies of children.”







What can you do?

1. Read the paper and pay attention to what policymakers are doing.

2. Call officials, attend city meetings.  Let them know you are not happy.

3. Always vote, and not for the tax cutter!

4. Trust: What can we do to make officials want to earn our trust?  If they want leadership positions, shouldn’t they be role models for the greater good? How do we ever get to that point?

5. Support rules and policy that call for strict clean and water and air standards.