Flint Mayor to Speak at Democratic National Convention

A Hillary Clinton campaign official confirmed last week that Flint, Mich., Mayor Karen Weaver is among a new group added to the lineup of speakers at the Democratic National Convention, kicking off tonight in Philadelphia, Pa.


Weaver (www.cityofflint.com)

A time and date for Weaver’s speech was not immediately made available.

“Mayor Weaver is truly honored and has accepted the invitation to not only attend the convention, but to speak as well,” said City of Flint Spokeswoman, Kristin Moore, in a statement last week. “When she will address the crowd and what she will say is still being determined. What the Mayor does know at this time is that she is excited about the opportunity and the chance to ensure the City of Flint remains in the national spotlight.”

Weaver has been vocal about her support for Clinton’s run for president while Clinton also was one of Weaver’s early supporters regarding the Flint water crisis. In February, Weaver credited Clinton with helping the city get help with the crisis.

“We know things were not moving, the state was not stepping up,” Weaver said at the time. “The governor wasn’t moving that up until Secretary Clinton started talking about it on the political level.”

Clinton, meanwhile, was an early supporter of Weaver when news about Flint’s water crisis and lead contamination from old pipes went national. Clinton has made Flint’s water crisis a central part of her pitch to black voters, visiting Flint in early February.

Many Democrats, including former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, have called for the resignation of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican.

Flint’s drinking water supply was first contaminated with lead starting in April 2014 when the city, while under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager, switched the source of supply from Lake Huron water supplied by the City of Detroit to Flint River water treated at Flint’s city treatment plant. Michigan Department of Environmental Quality officials have acknowledged they made a mistake when they failed to require the needed corrosion control chemicals to be added to the water.

As a result, lead leached from pipes and fixtures into the drinking water and tests showed lead levels spiked in the blood of some Flint children. Although the city switched back to Detroit water in October, officials say the potential for harm continues because of damage done to Flint’s water distribution infrastructure.

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