UCBerkley Haas Center blog targets Detroit water shutoffs and equity issue

The world is watching Detroit. The debate over the Detroit Water & Sewage Department’s action to discontinue water service for Detroit customers that are behind in bill payments has aroused the passions of people throughout the country, as well as human rights advocates within the United Nations. Most recently, Rasheed Shabazz, a Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society Fellow, published a post in the institute’s blog, “Detroit’s Water Crisis: The Flood of Inequality.” John powell, executive director of the Haas Institute, is also co-chair of the Health Authority’s Population Health Council.

“Detroit’s water crisis’s origins go beyond bankruptcy and municipal finance, and its solutions will require empowering city residents, developing dense networks dedicated to identifying and implementing complex solutions and forward thinking that’s deeper than the Great Lakes,” Shabazz writes. “This will all require unthinking the current narrative of the water shutoffs, Detroit’s bankruptcy and how Motown got to where it is today.”

Shabazz says the discussion should involve the connection between the “status of distressed cities and the housing crisis, the culpability of investment actors, and the associated consequences on municipal budgets, metropolitan regions’s concentrated poverty and racial dynamics.”

To read his entire blog post, visit http://diversity.berkeley.edu/detroit%E2%80%99s-water-crisis-flood-inequality.