The Fight for Water Justice Continues!
Water is a human right and a basic necessity, but it has been a source of oppression for thousands of people in our city. Since 2014, JUFJ has worked in coalition with organizational partners and impacted residents, including through the Baltimore Right to Water Coalition, to fight for water justice. This was JUFJ’s first local campaign in Baltimore and while we’ve achieved some major wins over the past few years, the fight continues.
The campaign’s previous wins include:
- In 2014-15, the One Baltimore coalition, which we were a member of, successfully fought an effort to privatize our City’s water system.
- With the Right to Housing Alliance, we stopped the city from shutting off water for thousands of regular people — while corporations that owed thousands in unpaid tax bills had all the water they wanted.
- The Baltimore Right to Water Coalition, led by JUFJ and Food & Water Watch, won a one-year and then a permanent ban on the city selling people’s homes for unpaid water bills.
- In the 2018 election, we supported a winning ballot measure permanently preventing the privatization of Baltimore’s water system.
- In 2019, we passed the Water Accountability and Equity Act, which established affordability and accountability in our city’s water billing system. Under this law, residents will only pay what they can afford for water, and there will be a dedicated office to help them with their bills. Renters, who routinely face eviction for unpaid water bills, will finally be protected by this law.
- In 2020, we worked to pass the modifications bill of the Water Accountability and Equity Act, which created a timeline for implementation. It also included strengthening language and ensured affordability access for renters. This modifications bill was crucial to implementing the WAEA.
This campaign has been a long five-year journey, but we have made it this far because of the determination of our partners and coalitions. Together we have held our city’s leaders accountable, brought injustices to light, and demanded access for all Baltimoreans to the basic human rights of water and shelter.
Stay tuned for actions you can take to ensure water justice in our city. Want to get involved in the campaign? Meet with us!