WASHINGTON, D.C. (KMVT/KSTV) Flint Mayor Karen Weaver traveled to Washington, D.C. today to testify in front of the House Democratic Committee on Steering and Policy. The hearing examined the state of the water crisis in Flint and heard testimony from public health experts alongside Mayor Weaver.
"My students cannot even walk to the nearest fountain to quench their thirst,” said Flint Schools Superintendent Bilal Tawaab. "This has become their new normal.”
An emotional Tawaab and Mayor Weaver sat in front of 35 House Democrats for two-and-a-half hours, discussing the needs of Flint and how Congress can help a city at its knees climb to its feet. She says the emotion reciprocated by Congress members spoke volumes.
"We didn’t know what we had because no one was hearing our story,” said Weaver. "And that’s really important to us to know that we have this kind of support, that we have this backing and this solidarity."
Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI) says the testimony from health experts provided a grim outlook to the Committee when it comes to the lasting effects of the lead exposure on Flint residents.
"Lead exposure can be...it can’t be cured but it can be overcome,” said Kildee. "But it requires treatment, it requires nutrition, and it requires us to move fast.”
Michigan Governor Dan Snyder was invited to attend the hearing as well, but he was nowhere to be found on Capitol Hill. Tawaab says the Governor’s no-show does not send the right message to the children of Flint.
"To be honest, as a child in Flint it would make me feel as if I do not matter,” said Tawaab. "And we truly believe that children in Flint matter.”
Mayor Weaver says this hearing showed that many Congress members stand in solidarity with Flint. She hopes that another high profile politician shows his.
"I’m asking right now, President Obama come to Flint.”