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President Obama and Governor Snyder Visit Flint

dickeys top CATER2President Obama and lisa schmidt lawGovernor Snyder Visit Flint

(Crystal A. Proxmire, March 4, 2016)

Flint, MI – President Barack Obama visited Flint on Wednesday for a briefing about the community’s water crisis.  He spoke to a crowd of 1,000 people at Flint Northwestern High School, and even drank from a glass of filtered water on stage.  He and other officials also visited Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.

The President was greeted by Governor Snyder at the Bishop International Airport, along with US Senator Debbie Stabenow, US Congressperson Brenda Lawrence and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver.  Congresspersons Debbie Dingell and Dan Kildee arrived with Obama in Air Force One, as did Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy.

At Flint candlewickshoppeADblueNorthwestern High School, Governor Snyder was booed as he apologized.  “Let me begin by saying I understand why you are angry and frustrated.  I want to come here today to apologize,” he said.

According to a White House Press Pool report, “The crowd got even angrier when Snyder said “we have a short-term water crisis” even as he continued that “we have a longer term issue about building a stronger city of Flint.”

“You didn’t create this problem. Government failed you,” Snyder said.

Several people in the audience responded by shouting “You failed us.”

Snyder continued, saying ‘I will apologize and work hard to fix that.”

Mayor Weaver released a statement about the visit.  “It’s encouraging to know that the President of the United States is very concerned about what’s happened here in Flint and what our children and families are still going through because of this man-made water disaster,” Weaver said.

“I hope his visit will show state legislators and members of Congress how important this issue is. The water is still unsafe. People are still suffering in Flint. We have major health concerns.Schrock2015_SmilingFace_ad The water infrastructure has not been fixed. Businesses are losing money. The people of Flint are paying a high price for the decisions that were imposed on them by mistakes from outsiders, under the oversight of the state and federal governments. We need state and federal funds to address health issues, economic issues, and to replace all the lead-tainted pipes in the city.”

Weaver hopes that the Michigan legislature will pass the $148.8 million state supplemental bill and Congress to pass the $220 million in the Water Resources Development Act that advanced in the Senate last week.

“This funding is critical to meeting Flint’s dire needs for water infrastructure, health, educational intervention, and economic rebuilding. These pending state and federal appropriations would build upon the initial resources that the federal government agencies have already put forward, boosted by the strong advocacy of our Michigan congressional delegation and our key leaders Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Gary Peters, and Congressman Dan Kildee,” Mayor Weaver said.

The Detroit News reports that Genesee Health System, which serves residents in Flint, will receive a $1 million in federal funding to build or renovate a health clinic.

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