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Democratic presidential debate to be held Sunday in Flint, drawing national attention to lead poisoning, harm to city’s children

East County News Service

Photo: Roosevelt Mitchell on Twitter

March 4, 2016 (Flint, Michigan) -- Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) went to Flint, Michigan as part of 26-member congressional delegation to hear firsthand from the residents of Flint about the challenges they faced.

“What happened in Flint could happen anywhere,” said Davis. “People should never have to worry about the safety of their drinking supply and parents shouldn’t be afraid of giving their child a simple glass of water.  Congress must not only act to help Flint but also ensure this doesn’t happen in other communities.”

Davis took part in a “Speak Out” where members of Congress heard from the people of Flint about ordeal they had to live with. Families filled Grace Emmanuel Baptist Church in Flint and told their stories.  The delegation toured Flint and received a briefing from Dr. Nicole Lurie, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services about the ongoing federal response in Flint.

On Sunday, CNN will host a Democratic primary election debate in Flint, drawing national attention to the Flint water scandal.   Both candidates, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders, have been outspoken on the Flint water crisis.

Clinton has said, “What happened in Flint is immoral.”  Sanders has called for the resignation of Michigan’s Republican Governor Rick Snyder, stating, “The governor long ago knew about the lead in Flint's water. He did nothing. As a result, hundreds of children were poisoned.”

Serious health concerns have been raised as a result of increased levels of lead in Flint’s drinking water. It is estimated that at least 9,000 children have been exposed to lead. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of lead exposure, which can cause irreversible brain and nervous system damage.

In February, Davis voted to require water system officials to alert their customers if the EPA notifies them of increasing level of lead.  The Safe Drinking Water Act Improved Compliance Awareness Act (H.R. 4470) passed the House on a strong bipartisan vote of 416-2.  Davis represents the 53rd Congressional District, which includes La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and parts of San Diego, El Cajon, and Chula Vista.



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