Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI,5) was in Chicago this weekend, where he held an open discussion about the Flint water crisis, leading to a very spirited debate on the accountability of government and the risks facing under-served communities in America.
The town of Flint, Michigan, made national headlines when high levels of lead were found in its water supply. It is estimated that up to 9,000 children could have been exposed to the contaminated water. Exposure to lead at a young age is known to result in developmental problems for children. The town is also dealing with an outbreak of Legionnaire's disease, which could possibly be linked to the lead-laden water pipes.
Abrar Quader, director of Government and Community Partnerships for the Compassionate Care Network, told Progress Illinois the issues that led to the Flint water crisis could be repeated wherever there is old infrastructure.
"There are communities like Flint all across America," said Quader. "If we don't address it from a public health perspective, it could become a national epidemic."
"What's happening in Flint, what's happening on the South Side of Chicago, what's happening in all underserved communities, there's a link. We need to connect the dots," Quader added.