4 episodes

All the Water in the World and None of it to Drink is story of what happens when structural racism, disinvestment, and local and state policy decisions align to cut off the water of 141,000 in the Great Lakes State's largest city over a decade. But more than that, it's a story about how we have created the conditions for widespread failure in disinvested cities, and then act with shock and disdain when their local structures fail.
In 2022, Detroit put in place a water assistance plan that, on the surface, was everything activists ever asked for. But one year in, problems and distrust persist. What does it take to move forward after a decade of harm? And what do the suburbs and bigger governments owe the city?
If you're interested in any of the academic background behind this podcast, or in the action steps we talk about in episode 4, you can find them here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13Findz_i-5Me8sJpfjgOrG66MXth5QExPJ06cVXY5-I/edit?usp=sharing

All the Water in the World, and None of it to Drink Evan Kanji

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

All the Water in the World and None of it to Drink is story of what happens when structural racism, disinvestment, and local and state policy decisions align to cut off the water of 141,000 in the Great Lakes State's largest city over a decade. But more than that, it's a story about how we have created the conditions for widespread failure in disinvested cities, and then act with shock and disdain when their local structures fail.
In 2022, Detroit put in place a water assistance plan that, on the surface, was everything activists ever asked for. But one year in, problems and distrust persist. What does it take to move forward after a decade of harm? And what do the suburbs and bigger governments owe the city?
If you're interested in any of the academic background behind this podcast, or in the action steps we talk about in episode 4, you can find them here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13Findz_i-5Me8sJpfjgOrG66MXth5QExPJ06cVXY5-I/edit?usp=sharing

    3. Lifeline

    3. Lifeline

    In June 2022, the city of Detroit announced a new water assistance plan, called the Lifeline plan, to replace the shutoff moratorium in place during the pandemic. On paper, it's a lot of what advocates have been asking for for the last decade. So why aren't people happy?
    We explore the issues community members have with the lifeline plan, from a lack of trust in implementation to a lack of funding that means it can only reach a small fraction of the people who need it.

    • 26 min
    4. The Road Ahead

    4. The Road Ahead

    As the series comes to a close, residents and others share their perspectives on what justice looks like, and who/what currently stands in the way.
    Action steps that we discussed in the podcast, and the tools you need to do them, are here: docs.google.com/document/d/13Find…ng=h.1schb48mxq04

    • 45 min
    2. “Just Tell the Truth”

    2. “Just Tell the Truth”

    Water shutoffs are just one part of a long history of distrust between the community and the department--a history that makes moving forward difficult, especially when the community feels the department hasn't taken accountability for it.

    So as the department implements the new Lifeline rates, which in many ways are an answer to the community affordability demands of the last decade, what stands in the way of trust?

    • 32 min
    1. The Genesis: Affordability, Shutoffs, and the Roots of Predation

    1. The Genesis: Affordability, Shutoffs, and the Roots of Predation

    From 2014 to 2020, Detroit put in place the harshest water shutoff policy in the nation-shutting off the water to 141,000 households who were behind by as little as $150 or two months on their water bill. Families with young children, elders, and the medically vulnerable lived without running water, sometimes for months. What set this crisis in motion? And what forms of structural racism, disinvestment, and policy created the conditions for Detroit to prey on its own residents?

    • 53 min

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