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How Did the Flint Water Crisis Happen?


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Flint’s socio-economic status – predominately poor, predominately of color – may have factored into how the problems were handled.

Fonger: When people say that, I can't help but recognize that there's something to that. We are an old, great industrial town. Flint is where a sit-down strike produced what is the modern-day union movement; the United Auto Workers Union was born here. The city has taken a lot of hard knocks in the past 40 years. We’ve lost a lot of employment. Our crime is high. A lot of people who had the means to leave Flint did so. Our population has fallen from 200,000 to about 100,000. With all of those things happening, a lot of poor people live here. If you think about this happening in a more affluent area…I think the population generally would've been already more mobilized, and more politically connected, to be able to demand that this get addressed. (13:24)

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