Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Kamryn, Payton, and Tra'Vaughn Lightfoot tested positive for lead, and the family has now joined a class action lawsuit to hold local and state officials responsible. (Photo: Courtesy Lightfoot Family)

Knowing "Spotlight Will Pass," Community Seeks Answers for Flint's Future

"It's an atrocity, what's happening here. It shouldn't be happening in America, but it is."

Deirdre Fulton

After fresh calls for Gov. Rick Snyder's resignation emerged from Sunday night's Democratic debate in Flint, Michigan, local and national activists came together Monday morning to bear witness to and demand concrete solutions for the city's ongoing lead-poisoning crisis.

"It's an atrocity, what's happening here," actor and environmentalist Mark Ruffalo said at a press conference at St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church in Flint, where he was flanked by Flint Rising community organizers as well as representatives of national groups like Green for All and NextGen Climate. "It shouldn't be happening in America, but it is."

"It goes against the very nature of American democracy to subject citizens to the mistreatment that the residents of Flint have borne the brunt of for years," added Van Jones, former green jobs advisor to President Barack Obama and founder of Green For All, who joined Ruffalo in calling for Obama to declare the situation a national disaster. "Situations like Flint don't develop overnight; they are the result of long-standing neglect from all parts of our society."

The event marked the launch of the Support For Flint's Future bus tour, which will make visits across the beleaguered city in order to "provide a megaphone for the community leaders and organizations working to address the crisis in Flint," according to Vien Truong, director of Green For All. 

"Residents have gone through some of the worst years in recent history and now deserve the best the country has to offer—in expertise, support and resources to help Flint make a comeback," she said. 

Specifically, the campaign will support and highlight three key demands from local group Flint Rising:

  1. Reimbursements for residents that have been forced to continue paying for contaminated water;
  2. New pipes that deliver clean drinking water, with the jobs going to local residents; and
  3. Long-term infrastructure investments in Flint to counter the brutal financial impact of the crisis.

Indeed, such support is critical as the community prepares to inevitably move out of the public eye. "This has been a spotlight here...that will pass," said organizer Art Reyes on Monday. "That's why it's critical that we're building local power."

Snyder, for his part, used the occasion of the debate to blame government bureaucracy for the public health emergency in Flint.

Meanwhile, seven Flint families filed a class action lawsuit on Monday against Snyder as well as government officials and corporations. Seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages, the suit—one of several to have been filed over the last few months—alleges that tens of thousands of residents have suffered physical and economic injuries and damages as a result of the water crisis, while officials failed to take action over "dangerous levels of lead" in drinking water and "downplayed the severity of the contamination."

People are tweeting about the Flint's Future campaign under the hashtag #FlintRising:


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

'Witness Intimidation. Clear as Day': Jan. 6 Panel Teases Evidence of Cover-Up Effort

"Add witness tampering to the laundry list of crimes Trump and his allies must be charged with," said professor Robert Reich.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Bombshell After Bombshell' Dropped as Jan. 6 Testimony Homes In On Trump Guilt

"Hutchinson's testimony of the deeply detailed plans of January 6 and the inaction of those in the White House in response to the violence show just how close we came to a coup," said one pro-democracy organizer.

Brett Wilkins ·


Mark Meadows 'Did Seek That Pardon, Yes Ma'am,' Hutchinson Testifies

The former aide confirmed that attorney Rudy Giuliani also sought a presidential pardon related to the January 6 attack.

Jessica Corbett ·


UN Chief Warns of 'Ocean Emergency' as Leaders Confront Biodiversity Loss, Pollution

"We must turn the tide," said Secretary-General António Guterres. "A healthy and productive ocean is vital to our shared future."

Julia Conley ·


'I Don't F—ing Care That They Have Weapons': Trump Wanted Security to Let Armed Supporters March on Capitol

"They're not here to hurt me," Trump said on the day of the January 6 insurrection, testified a former aide to ex-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo