Washington, D.C. – Today, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will be visiting Flint, Michigan against the better wishes of the city’s mayor and residents. His Michigan campaign stop is another attempt to engage African American voters – a voting bloc far from Trump’s reach in the polls – without understanding the gravity of Flint’s crisis. Flint serves as a stark reminder that policymakers are neglecting communities—especially communities of color—across the country and they deserve more of an answer than, “what the hell do you have to lose?”
Here are key resources to keep in mind during your coverage of his visit to Flint:
1. While Flint’s lead poisoning epidemic may be unique, public divestment in poor communities of color is not: Far too often, people of color are relegated to living in the country’s most underinvested areas. Flint, once a prosperous city and the birthplace of General Motors, has lost its industrial base over the past few decades, driving an economic decline that has reduced government investment in all forms of infrastructure, including support for the city’s schools. More than 40 percent of Flint residents, 56 percent of whom are African American, now live below the federal poverty level.
Read our analysis on the factors that policymakers and future presidents need to take into account to engage and strengthen communities of color: Lessons from Flint: The Case for Investing in the Building Blocks of Communities of Color
2. The Flint water crisis provides a real opportunity to increase funding for water infrastructure, improve testing and monitoring, and reform regulatory oversight. If Trump were really serious about addressing the Flint water crisis, he would know that there’s much to do about it in Congress.
The Center for American Progress outlines four ways Congress should respond to the issue: How Congress Should Respond to the Flint Water Crisis
Experts from the Center for American Progress Action Fund are available today and this week to comment on Donald Trump’s visit to Flint, energy policy, and overall political engagement of the African American voting bloc. The following CAP Action experts are available for comment:
To request an interview, please contact Beatriz Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org.