I am the current President and CEO of the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization better known as BANCO.I also Pastor of God's Household of faith and community and state activist, who fight for the people.
Last year BANCO partnered with Freshwater Future to complete water testing for residents in Benton Harbor for lead and other metals after the city fell out of compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule.The Michigan Department of Environment Quality Grand Rapid District Office and wrote Mayor Marcus Muhammad and the City Manager Darwin Watson a letter stating. The major finding below indicate a number of areas needing immediate attention by the city, many of which have the potential to impact public health by allowing or introducing contamination to the water supply
This is of utmost important. A review of the financial information finds the city presently lacks an adequate financial mechanism to conduct necessary staff to properly maintain and operate the water system. We strongly advise the city Manager and the Mayor to work with qualified financial consultant to identify the revenue necessary to support operation and maintenance and to implement effective revenue collection methodologies. Investment from the city's rate payers is essential for resolving the below significant deficiencies and for ensuring the long term vitality of the water system.
Neither the other remaining elected officials of Benton Harbor, nor the citizens were provided a copy of the letter from the Department of Environment Quality.
Banco went out to get more more testing which confirmed that there is a major lead and copper problem in the city of Benton Harbor's water. This resulted in more testing and distribution of water filters for all the residents of Benton Harbor.
We must confront the Benton Harbor city Manager and Benton Harbor Mayor and force them to tell the truth about the water. Clean water is a human right.
I am available to speak about issues. I have engaged young in voting activism across the country. I have organized workshops on various issues including social justice and environment issues and medical and mental health issues in justice system. I am the recipient of many awards, including the state of Michigan Outstanding Citizen Award. Please contact me at 269 -925-0001.