My name is Nsedu Obot Witherspoon. I’m the executive director of a national non-profit called The Children’s Environmental Health Network based in Washington, D.C. We are in receipt of the President’s national plan to impact our infrastructure and hopefully enhance it and address many issues. Do we agree that our infrastructure is failing in many ways, and our roadways and our bridges and our water systems are in desperate need of help? We sure do. Do we believe that this plan will help us get there? Unfortunately, it will not. From where we stand, it will help to create additional divisions among already impoverished communities. In particular, I’d like to challenge President Trump and members of Congress to really take a important step back and think about, and ask yourself, “How is this plan planning to address the most vulnerable and really protect all families?” The most vulnerable being our children, our children of today and our children of the future. It is a right that everyone in this country should have access to quality, affordable, clean water to drink and to survive, and unfortunately, that is not our reality today. The millions of lead piping in our country that desperately needs to be replaced as quickly as possible and needs the funding to do so. The untreated raw sewage and many other ways that our drinking water supply and runoff causes much pollution in our drinking water and concern are all important for us to address in a meaningful way together collaboratively. It is not at all gonna be helpful to focus in on loopholes or giving paybacks to companies. We need to be thinking about affordable solutions for addressing these infrastructure issues. In particular, I’m talking about our water right now ’cause it’s so universal and so desperately needed across the country to have a clean drinking water supply. And again, thinking about our most vulnerable, who do and have a right to be protected and have the responsible adults around them make the best decisions possible so that there is a true just future for them. Thank you.
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