FLINT, MI (WLNS) – Dozens of letters and people have gone to Washington D.C. amid the Flint water crisis, but Wednesday, President Obama came to Flint.
“Well it is good to be back in Flint, Michigan,” Obama said.
In a speech lasting about an hour, the president laid out a list of promises he wanted to make to the people of Flint.
“And that’s why I’m here,” he said. “To tell you directly that I see you, and I hear you, I’ve got your back. We’re paying attention.”
And to get his point across even further he asked for a glass of filtered Flint water while on stage.
“Can I get some water?” he said.
Letting Flint residents know, he’s backing up his words, with action.
“I really did need a glass of water this is not a stunt,” he said.
And while it won’t happen overnight, he says he will do everything he can to fight for change.
“I am confident that Flint will come back,” Obama said. “I will not rest and I’m going to make sure the leaders at every level of government don’t rest until every drop of water that flows to your homes is safe to drink, and safe to cook with, and safe to bathe in because that’s part of the basic responsibilities of a government in the United State of America.
The president also laid out a list of points he wanted to make after getting brief on the extent of the crisis Wednesday while visiting with state and federal officials.
The president talked about using the city’s water.
“If you get the filter and use it properly, that water can be consumed,” Obama said.
He also talked about the risk for children.
“If you know that your child may have been exposed and you go to a health clinic, a doctor, a provider, and are working with them, then your child will be fine,” Obama said.
He also encouraged all parents to take their children to the doctor is they haven’t already.
“These kids will be fine and I don’t want anybody to start thinking that somehow all the kids in Flint are going to have problems for the rest of their lives because that’s not true,” he said.
He also talked about the need for everyone to work together in this process as the city, state, and federal government all work together to fix this crisis.
“We’re going to do everything we can to accelerating new pipes here in flint,” Obama said.
It was a different tone in the room when Governor Rick Snyder took the stage, as many booed him.
“I want to come here to today to apologize,” Governor Snyder said. “To say I’m sorry and I will fix this; today is an opportunity for us to focus in on understanding that we need to work together. We have a short term water crisis that needs to be repaired. We have a long term issue about building a stronger city of Flint, to create job opportunities for everyone and I wanted to come here and tell you, you didn’t create this problem, government failed you, and I apologize and I will work hard to fix that.”
Something Obama worked to neutralize, saying work needs to be done on all levels of government to make sure everyone in Flint deserves the resources necessary to fix a problem that never should have happened.
The governor also said he is committed and looking forward to working with the president and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver to fix this crisis.