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Lead and Justice (Pb&J) in Newton public water fountains

This petition had 8 supporters

Summary: We are petitioning the Newton mayor’s office and Department of Public Works to fulfill their promise to take action to remediate high lead levels in Newton’s public water fountains.

Brought by: This petition is brought forth under the Pb&J Initiative, Lead & Justice Initiative, by a group of Newton North students who are members of the Tigers for Climate Action club.

About this Petition: Newton, Massachusetts is a city that is rightfully proud of its great schools and community services. Indeed, Newton is often recognized as one of the nation’s “best cities to live” by local and national publications. In many respects, this reputation is deserved. Yet, with respect to remediating excessive levels of lead in the drinking water found in public fountains, Newton officials have fallen far short of their commitment and promise made to the community they purportedly serve.

Outgoing mayor Setti Warren, that has quietly disappeared from radar screens with respect to an issue that he himself raised as being important to the community. At a time when clean, safe drinking water is in the news on a daily basis, we must hold our public officials accountable to keep their promises to protect the citizens of Newton against the hazards of lead in the drinking water in public places, but at the same time provide Newton’s citizens with services that live up to the high standards that Newton holds its schools, its police department, its fire department, its sanitation department, and other services critical to its  infrastructure.       

Fact: In July, 2016, the Newton Department of Public Works turned off more than 40 public water fountains after finding high lead levels in some fountains. In the letter sent to Newton residents last July, residents were encouraged to bring their own water bottles to public spaces. An initial survey was also sent out to Newton residents regarding use of water fountains to which almost all residents overwhelming demanded the reopening of public water fountains. However, the city still has not acted on its commitment to provide a clean, safe, public water source in the Newton community’s critically important common areas

The purpose of this petition is to:

Make sure the tax-paying residents of Newton are being heard and that there voices mean something to city leadership.  
Demand access to safe public water fountains—clean water is a basic right that should be provided by the city to its citizens.
Push Mayor Setti Warren to stop delaying the remediation of public water fountains, a commitment made  over a year ago that seems to have fallen by the wayside in light of his impending departure from the mayor’s office and possible consideration as a candidate for Governor of Massachusetts.
Reduce the need for use of plastic water bottles, themselves a critical problem in our society, by providing clean, safe, public water sources.
Push the city of Newton to keep up with nearby towns such as Cambridge that provide clean, safe public water sources.

Please sign and share this petition to support the Lead & Justice Initiative in pushing the Newton city government to take action in making the public water fountains safe and accessible to all.


Lucy Lu, Tigers for Climate Action, and concerned Newton residents

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