Anita MonCrief, director of Activist Training at Solutions Institute, appeared on Tuesday’s Breitbart News Daily with SiriusXM host Matt Boyle to talk about the work her group is doing in Flint, Michigan.
“The Solutions Institute has been in Flint for at least six months now. It’s a bipartisan effort that we put together,” she explained. “We’re working with the local community because a lot of people aren’t paying attention to Flint right now, so they don’t understand that people can’t bathe in the water. They’re getting rashes. Their hair is falling out. You have to brush your teeth with bottled water. Thanksgiving dinner, I saw one post where little Miss Flint said that her mom used 144 bottles of water to cook the dinner.”
“It makes no sense the government hasn’t stepped up, so I’ve been working with conservatives, people from Anonymous, anarchists, libertarians – it’s just across the board. We’ve been coming in and doing water drops in the communities. Over Thanksgiving, we did a Thanksgiving dinner for the community. We did a panel discussion and a water drop that weekend,” MonCrief said.
Boyle asked her to provide a brief summary of the Flint water crisis for listeners outside the community.
“What happened is they switched over their water source,” she said. “They were using the Detroit water source, but last year, I’d say about a year-and-a half now, they made this big announcement that they were trying to cut costs, and they were going to switch over to Flint River. Flint River has been contaminated by years of runoff and things from the auto industries that are there, especially GM, and they weren’t treating the water.”
“What happened is that the water started coming through, and it was filled with lead,” she continued. “So not only did it coat the pipes in lead, but there was all types of other bacteria in the water, which caused Legionnaire’s disease and a host of other illnesses. Then they came in, and they fixed the problem with the lead to some degree, but what happened after that is because they put all these chemicals in the water, now there’s excess amounts of chlorine and other chemicals coming through the pipes. The residents’ homes are still contaminated with lead, and they have to be changed.”
“It is something that has happened progressively over the course of two years now, but what people tend to focus on is just the lead. They don’t think about the host of other bacteria and chemicals that are affecting the community. When I was there, I took a shower the first day. The next day, I noticed my skin started breaking out. So when I left Flint, I didn’t take a shower, I brushed my teeth with bottled water, and I got on a plane, because I had the luxury of coming home. The residents of Flint don’t have that luxury,” MonCrief said.
She said that since Flint is “a low-income community, and they’re constantly struggling just to survive,” the Solutions Institute and its bipartisan coalition were planning a morale-boosting ‘Christmas in Flint” event that would include a toy drive, free school supplies for the January back-to-school season, pictures with Santa, and a live DJ.
“It’s really just to bring some joy to the kids,” she said. “We’ve been collecting toys for the past couple of weeks. We’ve having a water drop on Sunday after the event. The event’s on Saturday, and on Sunday, we’re doing a water drop where we go around to the low-income communities. We’ve got people coming in from four different states, bringing bottled water for us to pass out to the residents.”
MonCrief said more help is needed from around the country and directed listeners to the Solutions Institute website to make a donation. She can also be contacted through the Solutions Institute’s Facebook page, and she is active on Twitter.
“We’d love to have some resources to continue buying uniforms and toys,” she said. Boyle noted that donations for such goods, as well as school supplies and drinking water, can be purchased through Walmart or Amazon.com and shipped directly to Flint. MonCrief provided an address for shipping: 428 Delia Street, Flint, Michigan 48505. She also noted that Walmart ships free for orders more than $50.
Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.