Flint Journal founder and CEO Jeff Chait will host a series of video shows on the Flint Water Crisis starting Sunday that examine the city’s water infrastructure, how it’s been impacted by its own failure to take responsibility for its water supply, and the challenges facing Flint families as they deal with the fallout from its lead-tainted water.
The Flint Journal is the city-owned local publication that has a presence in nearly every city across the country, and Chait’s series, entitled Flint, will look at the city and its residents’ struggles with its water and other issues.
The series is expected to take up a large chunk of the Sunday night primetime lineup, with Chait previewing each episode in a video that will run at 8 p.m. on Monday.
Chait said he hopes the videos will serve as a reminder to the public that this is a story about Flint.
“What the public needs to know is that this water crisis is not the story of Flint,” Chait told BuzzFeed News in an email.
“This is a Flint story.”
He added that he is hopeful that the videos are going to prompt conversations about the city that “go beyond the rhetoric of what happened.”
“The truth is that Flint’s water crisis was not caused by a single individual.
It was caused by many of the systemic and systemic failures in the city government,” Chahait said.
“The people who made Flint water a toxic waste are still out there in the community and their families are still struggling.”
The videos will be hosted on YouTube, with the goal of generating awareness about the issue.
Chach said he wants the public to see that the city was trying to fix its own problems, and that the public is fed up with the way things are going.
“We’re not talking about a perfect system here, and I think that’s a good thing,” Chach told BuzzFeed.
“We’ve got to do better.
But the bottom line is that the system that failed us, the system we’re in right now is failing us.”
The Flint water crisis began in March 2014, when Flint residents began reporting elevated levels of lead in their water.
The city’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has said the water was treated at high levels of corrosion and did not contain high levels.
A federal judge ordered the city to install corrosion control equipment, but residents continue to find lead in the water.
Chalked up to nearly 400 lead-contaminated homes have been deemed unsafe for drinking.
The city’s chief financial officer and a state inspector general have been investigating Flint since early 2016, but they have yet to find the root of the problems.
The state has also taken control of Flint’s Department for Health and Human Services (DHHS), which has overseen Flint since it was founded in 1921.
The state of Michigan sued the city last year, claiming that the department failed to follow its own environmental and public health laws.
Flint residents filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in September, seeking to block the DEQ from taking over the city.
The suit is still pending.
Chichait said the city has been unable to hire a lead-safe manager and have its own independent oversight body.
Chait said it’s important to remember that the water crisis in Flint is a national problem, and it’s the responsibility of the government to address it.
“It’s time for the federal government to step up and do what’s right here in Flint,” he said.
Chach said the series of videos will also be an opportunity to educate the public on the challenges faced by Flint residents.
“I think the video series is going to be a great way to do that,” he added.
“There are people out there who want to be informed, and there are people who don’t want to get informed.”