News from Food & Water Watch’s Water for All Campaign
Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer rights organization, based in Washington, DC,that challenges the corporate control and abuse of our food supply and water resources.
November 2008 Vol. III, Issue 6
While millions of Americans followed the Ohio returns onelection night in anticipation of the country’s next presi-dent, residents in Akron, Ohio were already celebratingone major victory. On November 4, votersthere overwhelmingly rejected Issue 8, which would have allowed Mayor DonaldPlusquellic to privatize the city’s wastewa-ter system.Introduced by Mayor Plusquellic himself,Issue 8 would have leased Akron’s sewersystem to corporate interests, leaving itsmaintenance and operation to a privatecompany in return for almost $200 mil-lion. Plusquellic justified the measure,saying that the money would go to financea scholarship program for Akron youth.Issue 8 was opposed by Citizens to Saveour Sewers and Waters (Citizens SOS),a coalition composed of local labor, faith and community groups.In February, Akron residents snapped into action when themayor proposed leasing the city’s wastewater system. The American Friends Service Committee, AFSCME and othersformed Citizens SOS to introduce Issue9, a ballot initiative that would requireall utility privatization contracts in Akron be subject to voter approval. Issue 8 wasintroduced by the mayor in order to fast-track his proposal.But despite the support of the media,members of the investment community and at least one NBA star, residents re- jected Issue 8 by 62 percent to 38 percent.By contrast, the coalition’s Issue 9 passed by a 2-1 margin. Akron is the third largest US city to passsuch an initiative ensuring that the publichas a role in determining who controlsits water services. Congratulations to Citizens SOS and theresidents of Akron for a hard-fought victory and leading the way in the fight against water privatization!
Akron Sends Message to Water Companies: No ThanksOpposition to Water Privatization Begins Flowing in Trenton, NJ
In Trenton, New Jersey area residents are mobilizingagainst the privatization of that city’s suburban watersystem. The City of Trenton has proposed selling two-thirdsof its drinking water service area to American Water in adeal that could be worth up to $120 million dollars.The initial agreement of sale was between the two parties was negotiated in December of 2007. Any final sale,however, must be approved by the state Board of PublicUtilities, which oversees private water systems in New Jersey. The city is proposing to sell only the parts of theirsystem that deliver water to the surrounding townships. A group of citizens, calling themselves FLOW (For LocalControl Of Water), is reaching out to local officials, press,and national organizations to derail the privatizationdeal. Trenton FLOW fears that city officials have rushed
Virginia Governor Stands up toBottled Water
Hats off to Virginia Governor Tim Kaine for takingaction in October to end the use of state funding forbottled water purchases! In addition to cutting thestate’s budget, the decision will reduce energy use (inthe production and transport of bottled water) and
help keep landlls from piling up with empty bottles.
Encourage your governor to follow Governor Kaine’slead and take back the tap!
to finalize the sale without proper public participation inhopes of paying off the huge city debt. Stay tuned for moreon developments in Trenton.