Appeal from Rev. Pinikney in Benton Harbor

Stop the water shutoffs

Former political prisoner Rev. Edward Pinkney is fighting water shutoffs in Benton Harbor, Michigan
Former political prisoner Rev. Edward Pinkney is fighting water shutoffs in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

By Rev. Edward Pinkney

Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO) led the fight to solve Benton Harbor’s lead in drinking water crisis. But we are now in the middle of another water crisis that is devastating Benton Harbor residents, because city officials are shutting off the water at homes throughout our community. This week alone more than I00 homes’ water was shut off. Our children must go to school without bathing, and they are also unable to use the toilets. We just lived through one of the worst water crises in the country and now this.

BANCO has been helping Benton Harbor residents pay their water bills. We’re also delivering bottled water to homes. And we are  working with other groups to win statewide water affordability measures, but these solutions are not in place.

Here are two messages we received this week from Benton Harbor residents:

Jamie Crum: “Rev. Edward Pinkney and BANCO helped us get our water turned back on and we appreciate him so much for all the help! The water department told me that we should have paid our bill because the water was good, but the water is not good. They also said that it doesn’t matter that the bill accumulated while the lead was in the water. They said we used the water to flush and take showers, so we have to pay. The lady on the phone was extremely rude, loud, unprofessional, and disrespectful.

Shari Szilagyi: “We are lucky to have a community member like Reverend Ed Pinkney providing funds to help many folks out of horrible situations facing shut offs, and the water is still not safe to drink.”

Water is life! We urgently need your donations to support this work. Here is the link to our GoFundMe.

Thank you in advance for your help!
Benton Harbor Community Water Council
Black Autonomy Network Community Organization
Rev. Edward Pinkney, President

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