The dumb asses over at the North Miami Beach commission have decided to privatize the city water system and voted last night to move on to the next phase of negotiations with CH2M, the same multi-billion dollar corporation that runs Pembroke Pines’ water system–a city that was recently FINED for elevated trihalomethane (TTHM), a chemical known to cause long-term health problems. People were pissed.
“Not a single one of you have put your name out to run for office and put yourselves out there and sacrificed the time,” said Vallejo to a crowd of angry constituents, before voting for the exact opposite of what they demanded.
The arrogant, unchallenged authoritarian you hear talking there is Mayor George Vallejo (who was previously probed by the FBI in regards to this deal) making bullshit excuses to go against his own constituents. All of the constituents at the meeting vehemently opposed corporations handling their water, but Vallejo voted in favor of allowing CH2M to begin negotiating a contract for water management water in North Miami Beach, Aventura, Sunny Isles Beach and Miami Gardens. That’s over 180,000 residents.
One resident dropped a shocking bomb on the audience:
You heard that right. So in the Arab nation of Qatar, they will be hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Guess who won the contract for managing the construction of sports facilities: CH2M. You want to know how CH2M is treating the migrant workers from Bangladesh, India and Nepal building that sports facility? Like shit. They literally exploit their workers with delayed salaries, horrendous working conditions and violence. People are DYING because of CH2M’s shitty ability to care about human life.
And if that’s not a testament to their ethics, take a look at the unacceptable levels of TTHMs in the city of Pembroke Pines. They obviously don’t mention this scandal in their proposal because who in their right mind would hire an incompetent, piece-of-shit company to handle their water, right? Just kidding. Pembroke Pines’ water was out of compliance for at least a year before receiving a fine from the Florida Department of Health, who promptly informed consumers that the water was unsafe to drink.
Soon after, the city sent out their own pamphlet that contradicted the state’s report, insisting that the water was safe. The health department has launched a full investigation after the city misled their residents about water quality test results, and the problem can be traced back to the owners of the privatized water system. Just last week, the city’s mayor covered up the scandal, insisting “everything is fine.”
In what felt like a group of chauvinists asserting their authority ‘for your own good,’ the commissioners showed infomercial type presentations trying to sell their constituents a product they never asked for. And the rest of the choices weren’t that good either.
You know who else was on that list? Veolia, the company that POISONED an entire city of human beings with LEAD in Flint, Michigan. Yeah, that’s right. The company next in line, was the poor-people-killer itself, Veolia. That actually almost happened. Instead of hiding under rocks for the misery they inflicted in Flint, they actually have the audacity to attempt to cash in on other cities.
And if you think I’m exaggerating about the human cost of putting profit over people, try to stomach the videos below of REAL humans dealing with the REAL consequences of private companies fucking up the lives of THOUSANDS of people:
You see what’s happening in Flint? This can very well be North Miami Beach a few months down the line. You know why? Companies care about one thing and one thing only: money. There is ZERO guarantee that CH2M will prioritize the current water engineers and workers. There is ZERO guarantee that CH2M will not cut corners to save money and profit at the expense of the quality of the water the residents and their CHILDREN drink and bathe in.
And by the way, there will be a very real cost on public workers who will now be transitioned to this corporate owned, shareholder-controlled, multi-billion dollar company.
“They won’t be selling the utilities, but they are going to be releasing employees to a private contractor,” said one public worker. “When did it become a sin to be a city, county, state or federal employee? These people have economic values and LIVES. They live in your city. You’re supposed to represent them too. Not someone whispering in your ear.”
My brothers and sisters, I am urging you to pick up your phone RIGHT NOW and DEMAND that the city REJECTS this plan to privatize its water. Call and let your voices be HEARD: 305-948-2986
UPDATE 5/16/2017: North Miami Beach Commission will vote to grant a nearly $200 MILLION contract to CH2M to privatize North Miami Beach’s water utility tonight, May 16th 2017, at 6 PM EST at the City of North Miami Beach City Hall.
Edited by Lydia McMullen-Laird and Taylor Raines
Video Editing by Curtis Cee