Fight For Clean Water with The Newark Water Coalition

Fight For Clean Water with The Newark Water Coalition
Wine Women and Revolution

 
 
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In this episode of Wine,Women,and Revolution, Heather interviews Anthony Diaz from the Newark Water Coalition. They talk about the water quality issues in the city and how activists can mobilize around water issues in their own community.

Heather Warburton 0:02
This is Wine, Women and Revolution with your host Heather Warburton coming at you here on New Jersey revolution radio.

Hi and welcome to Wine, Women, and Revolution. I’m your host Heather Warburton coming at you here on New Jersey revolution radio. You can find us online at www.njrevolutionradio.com, follow us on all the social medias and get us wherever you get your podcasts from. Today we’re going to be talking about water here. Because Water is life. It’s there’s nothing. It’s the basic building block of keeping people alive and healthy and happy. And some communities their water quality is really not very good. There’s lead issues there’s contaminants, and Newark especially is one of those cities that has been struggling with not having access to clean safe drinking water. So Newark decided to fight back specifically my guest tonight Anthony Diaz, he’s the one of the co founders of the New York water coalition. Welcome to the show, Anthony.

Anthony Diaz 1:01
Thank you for having me. I’m glad to be here. So my name is Anthony Diaz, I’m with the Newark water coalition. We found out about this water issue, probably in 2016. But the you know, the city said it was limited to Newark public school buildings. And so it wasn’t until 2018, that we found that the issue was more widespread.

Heather Warburton 1:24
And what is the issue?

Anthony Diaz 1:26
The issue is, so federally, the standard is 15 parts per billion.

Heather Warburton 1:33
For lead?

Anthony Diaz 1:34
Yeah, for lead. And even by today’s standard, that’s not there is no safe level of lead that should be in anybody’s water. So Newark had, I think the first test showed like 27 parts per billion. And now the latest show that we’re up to 67 parts per billion across the city. So in fact, it’s been getting worse, it hasn’t been getting better. So you know, it. They don’t like to say that we’re not Flint, but we’re hitting Flint levels, or water isn’t coming out muddy or brown, but it’s still poisoning people. And the city is saying that it’s not an issue.

Heather Warburton 2:15
And so why is the city saying that there’s a level of lead that there’s no safe level and you’re getting some lead? Why are they saying that that’s not an issue?

Anthony Diaz 2:24
So you know,being that you have the word revolution in your show title? I, I sure I’m, I’m certain that you’re I can easily say that it’s all capitalism, that they don’t want to, they want to downplay this issue, because they don’t want to cost development across the city, and they don’t want to lose those big dollars that’s pouring into Newark. And so they’re willing to downplay this issue poison people and lie to the people just to get a buck just to get this cash flow and, you know, keep keep people’s pockets fat and with money. And it’s quite sad, and it’s quite sick. You know, I don’t think it’s the administration’s fault that there’s lead in the water, but it’s definitely the administration’s fault on dragging its feet across solutions to this issue.

Heather Warburton 3:12
So why do you think or where do they think that the lead is coming from? How is it getting into people’s drinking water?

Anthony Diaz 3:18
So they first they said, it’s not the source water? You know, it doesn’t come from the watershed, it’s actually the lead pipes, then that coupled with a corrosion inhibitor, a chemical that wasn’t working, kind of exacerbates the issue. So it’s twofold. It’s lead pipes, and it’s a chemical that wasn’t working and the water treatment facility that caused the lead levels to spike in Newark.

Heather Warburton 3:44
And they’re still elevated, though, because nothing has been done about it. Right?

Anthony Diaz 3:47
Yes. They recently said that they introduced a chemical that will lower the lead levels. But you know, recently I was on a call with one of the doctors from Flint. And she’s like, I don’t believe that, and especially during the summertime, what you’ll see is that the lead levels will increase.

Heather Warburton 4:05
Oh, no. So what kind of I mean, I think most people probably are aware, but can you run over some of the health problems that can come from having lead in your water.

Anthony Diaz 4:15
So an adult, it’s more lead takes the level of or it takes the place of calcium, so it causes bone damage, and you know, pain later on in life. For children, it’s more serious as it leads to more developmental issues. It can lead to anger and aggression, and you know, autism and behavioral problems, and just just biological issues. So it’s really, really nasty when it comes to children. And that’s why there’s a there’s a, whenever you hear about lead and water, you always hear an emphasis on getting your family tested, getting your children tested, because it can really, really, you know, alter the course of your child’s future.

Heather Warburton 5:00
Right, basically, these kids are having their future robbed from them, essentially, that once if you’ve received lead poisoning, you’re probably never going to be able to live up quite to the full potential you would have had you not been poisoned as a child.

Anthony Diaz 5:15
Yeah, I mean, that goes without saying is, you know, even if it’s a small amount, it doesn’t matter. Poison is poison. And I think that’s what really kind of irks me a lot, is that, because they’re downplaying this issue, and because the narrative isn’t, it isn’t as big as it or they’re not making this issue as big as it should be, is that people are really being taken advantage of, and that people are poisoning themselves and hurting their families, when, you know, they don’t think there is a problem. And that’s quite sad. That’s like ridiculous, right?

Heather Warburton 5:52
People are trusting these politicians that are saying that it’s not a problem, and continuing to poison themselves. Because they’ve been lied to basically.

Anthony Diaz 6:00
Exactly. And for me, one of the frustrating things about organizing around this issue is that, you know, for me, it’s very simple. It’s like, okay, here are the facts, here’s the science, here’s the proof, here’s the data. It’s all right here. And this is something basic, you know, Water is life, everyone has a right to this, you know, water protectors, shout out to them. But when we’re organizing around this, people are like, Well, you know, I could die from it, like 15 years from now. So it’s not a big issue now, or I’ll die, you know, getting shot in Newark before I die from lead in the water, or it’s not that big of a deal. The mayor said, it’s not a problem. So it’s not a problem. And it’s like, I don’t understand, like, for me, you know, I’m really, really pick and choose what issues I get myself involved in. And for me, I thought this was a no brainer, I thought, you know, this is something that can cross different divisions across the political spectrum, this could cross divisions across different personality traits, or issues amongst the activists and more, and that we could all rally around this issue. And it doesn’t seem like that’s happening. We’ve slowly been methodically building some momentum. And it’s great. But for me, you know, the recent NRDC article came out and I said, I have to accept the small victories, you know, I would like rallies of thousands of people. But sometimes the victory means just giving a water filters to someone with lead contaminated water. And that’s kind of how I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around it. But again, you know, I want there to be thousands of people marching in the streets, demanding clean water, demanding filters, demanding that their families be tested. And we’re just not there yet.

Heather Warburton 7:52
Well, let’s talk about the forming of the organization, was it you and a few other activists got together and said you wanted to start working around this issue?

Anthony Diaz 8:01
Yes, one of my friends was constantly talking to me about this water issue, you know, is very important to her. And I was like, yeah, you know, I talked about it during when I ran for city council. And but it was weird to me, I thought other people were organizing around it. And what I came to find out is no one was really organizing around this issue, at least not in an effective grassroot manner. That was actually like, you know, building a power base or building momentum or building a movement, there were just kind of people that were just kind of like, screaming into the void instead of like, organizing their communities around it. So I said, you know, what, I’m going to just, you know, use my, the influence I have in the activist community, say, hey, I want to get everyone together, I want everyone to sit down, I want to rally around this issue and create a, an action plan to really create an advocacy group and an educational group that will go out there and really, you know, educate the masses on what’s going on, with the with Newark’s water issue. And so in December of last year, you know, I sent the call out, and we had 30 people show up. And then I had another meeting and another 30, people showed up, and I had another meeting and another 30 people showed up, you know, now fewer people show up. But we’re still consistent. And I think that’s what people like to see. But again, at the same time, you know, it hurts to see that it was, you know, gaining had like 30 people, and now we’re at 15. But what I’m coming to realize is that I rather have 15 people that do the work, then 40 people that do nothing.

Heather Warburton 9:42
So how often do you meet?

Anthony Diaz 9:43
We try to meet twice a month, um, you know, shout out to St. Lucie church that has allowed me to hold regular meetings there. So what I’m trying to do is make them more get the more use out of the time that we’re spending together. So one is more of getting all the committee’s together. And then the second meeting is kind of like an event. So we try to do like, or what I want to do is like spoken word about the water issue or art galleries about the water issue, or just get, you know, fellowship, where it’s just not constantly trying to, you know, hammer people with just that we’re all going to die. So that’s what I’m trying, right?

Heather Warburton 10:24
You’re trying to have more things going on to draw people in. So what kind of successes have you had? so far? you’re distributing water filters to people I heard?

Anthony Diaz 10:35
Yes. So we, we partner with a group called Essex rising. And that group did a GoFundMe, and we were able to buy about, I would say, maybe 30 filters to give out to the community. And what’s great about that is that, you know, it’s all grassroots base, and the people that we’ve given filters to our people that the city were denying filters. So that to me is I know, it’s not a big number. But to me, it’s an effective number, because these were 30 families that weren’t going to get filters from the city, despite what the city lawyers say, these were people that were still like boiling their water, people that had no idea what was going on. And so it was it was like, I we don’t have the resources to do it in mass. But we have the resources and we’re going to use them. And if we could do it family by family, then let’s do it family by family.

Heather Warburton 11:27
So the city is supposed to be providing filters to people that are affected by this.

Anthony Diaz 11:33
Yes, so the city’s they said they’ve already given out 33,000 filters. But even that number we find to be off, there are several members within the coalition, that when they went to go get a filter, they were already listed as having multiple filters, when they never received any, or they were listed as receiving, you know, two filters when they only received one. So I’m really critical of that 33,000 number that the city likes throw out often. You know, and also when I went to the court hearing, the city’s lawyer said, Oh, anyone can get a filter, as long as they push hard enough, we will give them a filter. And again, there’s several members of the coalition that just have not been able to get get filters, even when push comes to shove. And, you know, so I’m very critical of that program. And I don’t think that, um, you know, I don’t think that it’s a, like, I think that we just can’t accept everything that the mayor is saying, as as gospel. And this includes, so this is not just the filter program, but this is also like the lead service line replacement program. And then this is also the education pieces that are coming out of the of the city of Newark, are coming from the city of Newark.

Heather Warburton 12:53
So how’s the city been responding to your coalition there? I’m assuming not meeting you with open arms and saying, Yes, please come in and talk.

Anthony Diaz 13:01
So you know, I have an interesting relationship with the mayor, he oftentimes criticizes me on Instagram. And you know, we go back and forth. There’s also issues that, that we’ve called him out and meetings. So he just like gets really annoyed at everything that we do. During his State of the City address, we actually protested the event. And he called us, like, Cointelpro people and that we’re just rabble rousers, and that we don’t have viable solutions that we’re just, you know, parroting just in we’re just causing trouble for him. So and, and some people are like, Well, why wouldn’t you want to work with him, and I said, I’m always willing to work with him. He has resources that I don’t have. So if I could take advantage of those resources, I’m going to take advantage of those resources. But the problem is, is that he has too much pride to admit when he’s ready wrong, and that there’s no other organizations in the city of Newark that is making this an issue. And it’s sad, because we have activists all across the city that have you know, they’re great mouthpieces, but when it comes to this issue, everyone’s silent, because they know what the mayor’s line is. And because of that, they’re willing to let our people be poison. And that, like, I don’t care, I’m never going to be able to stomach that. I’m never going to be able to tolerate that. And that’s why, you know, no matter what, we’re going to still have to continue this fight.

Heather Warburton 14:34
Yeah, I’m often you know, living in South Jersey, jealous of the activist community that you guys have up there in the Newark area, that I wish sometimes that we had those kind of resources down here. And you would think organizing around clean water would be such a no brainer issue. Like it’s something every person needs. It’s not one group needs it. Another group doesn’t, like everyone needs to drink water, you kind of die if you don’t drink water for a couple of days.

Anthony Diaz 15:01
Yeah. And that’s that’s the thing, though, is is like, it kind of brings that like part it’s partisan politics, that machine politics, that democratic, republican, capitalism, all to the forefront, that people are willing to kind of stand to be ignorant on this issue, and to not really fight on this issue. And it’s like, if we can’t fight a things on something as basic as water, then how do we get people to move towards socialism? How do we get people to argue on women’s rights? How do we get people to move to our side on Medicare for all? You know, when people start saying, you know, well, do we really need clean water? Like,really?

Heather Warburton 15:55
It sounds asinine. You must be so frustrated at times.

Anthony Diaz 16:01
Oh, there are times I literally, I mean, I don’t have a problem. And I’m, you know, I’ve been organizing long enough. So when people are like, Hey, how you doing? I go miserable. I’m miserable. Because, you know, even tonight, I’m very tired. I would love to sleep. And that was my plan coming home because they came late. And so I got an alarm saying, Hey Heather show and I was like, oh, man, what’s important to get the message out there. So it’s important for me to go to these meetings, it’s important for me to do these presentations. Because if I can’t, you know, I didn’t see anybody else doing it. So if I step away, Will someone continue to do the work, I hope but I’m not sure. But I know the work is important to me. And as miserable as I am as frustrated as I get. And, you know, almost every day I want to quit, I have to understand that this work is important. This is why I’m doing this. I’m not doing this for myself. I am doing this for my people I’m trying to put on for my people, because disproportionately this happens in black and brown communities. And it’s been tolerated. And now in this situation, where we have a black mayor doing it to black and brown people. To me, it’s more egregious offense. It’s nauseating, it’s something it’s an offense that I can’t stomach. And so, as frustrating, as tired I as I am, I know I must continue on.

Heather Warburton 17:33
Well, I personally want to thank you for being a voice for this, that it’s not just Newark that’s being affected. And in a way you guys are kind of the pioneers that can serve as an example for other communities, like I know, down here in Camden, for example, has an atrocious water system, it’s undrinkable. It’s not a healthy clean water system as well. And although people are talking about it, like there’s no real solutions being offered down here, especially in Norcross land. What is the water system up there, and I’m assuming it’s privatized water?

Anthony Diaz 18:11
And that’s the other thing too, is our water system is actually owned by the city of Newark. It’s not privatized. But I feel like this is a kind of a push towards privatization, where they’re like, Hey, your city can handle it. So let’s, you know, let’s give it to a private company. And that’s what Cory Booker wanted to do. And oddly enough, Raz Baraka fought him on it. And so now I’m interested to see what happens now when they try to privatize this water. So, you know, I’m at the green party convention, I know that the notion of a statewide water protector idea came up. And I think that that’s what’s great. But the problem is, is that I don’t think it’s almost sounds narcissistic, to say, let’s find the Anthony Diaz in every city, but let’s find who’s organizing around this issue. And let’s say, hey, Newark is organizing around this, is there anybody in Camden interested is there anybody up, you know, upstate, this is happening in Burlington, or Bergen County, is anybody organizing there, you know, it’s affecting the Oranges now. So you know, and there’s several cities that this is affecting. And I’m certain that there’s people that can’t stomach this either. But we need to get them all together. Because we do have some of the same issues. And you know, united, we could present a stronger voice, we can fight more effectively. But the problem is, is getting us all to sit down are getting us all to communicate and, and finding these people, because I think it’s too is too few and far between. and if the voices are being silenced, and you know, New Jersey’s biggest city, then I can only imagine how is you know, how these narratives are playing out on these smaller towns in these smaller communities across the state.

Heather Warburton 20:01
What would you say to someone who’s, you know, someone who’s in Camden, or one of these other cities that doesn’t have anything going yet, who can’t stomach it, but has no idea what to do? Like, they want to start becoming an organizer or an activist, and just have no idea how to even begin.

Anthony Diaz 20:20
So, you know, I get into a lot of arguments with my academic intellectual socialists, who are like, you know, you got to read this dialectical blah, blah, blah, and I’m like, No, you know, I think we need to meet people where they are, and you have to understand what you’re capable of, and what your strengths and weaknesses are. So for me, it started out with facilitating a meeting is saying, Hey, I just want to have a meeting and seeing where I go from there. And, you know, obviously having experiencing this issue, and then trying to formulate a plan to meet our mission statement and our demands, and how to make those goals tangible, and how to make the steps to achieve those goals more tangible. So someone who’s just starting out, find a friend, find a person, you definitely need a support system, it’s very, very hard to do this alone. And even if that person is not helping you directly, but just offering you support for to, you know, to get that self care when you need it is very important. But also realizing that you’re not alone. One of the greatest things is the connection that we have with Flint, because they have told us so many things, or have taught us so many things about pitfalls to avoid, about information that’s really important. Getting rid of like the bullshit and the noise, and focusing on the issues that really matter. So for me, you know, everybody hears about Flint, and Flint is the, you know, the water, like, I guess, mascot for this century. So but they’re all they’re willing to help people across the country. You know, I was on a call yesterday. And she said, You know, I saw what was happening in Newark, and I knew I had to reach out, I knew I had to contact you folks. And like, see if there’s any way we can help. So one of the things is like, Hey, we have little miss Flint here, she’s willing to tweet anything out for you. We want, we want to bring more media attention, because that’s how it happened for us. And so people think Flint happened, like overnight, and one of the things they were saying is, hey, we were organizing for a year and a half before this got picked up by any big media. So we were like out there. So you know, even when I get frustrated that the media has not given us attention, I have to understand, hey, look, it took Flint a year and a half before that took off. And after it took off, it was like gangbusters, it opened up. So for the organizer, or the soon to be organizer, you’re not going to be perfect. No one is, you know, wakes up and is Che or Malcolm X, but you just learn by doing, you just get out there. That’s the biggest thing to me. It’s like and or, you know, I can tell you what has made us successful in Newark, I can tell you what hasn’t worked. But that doesn’t mean that it’s the same for Camden. That doesn’t mean it’s the same for Flint. So you have to figure out what process works best in your city. And you only know that by getting out there mobilizing the community being in the streets. That to me is the the most important thing of all. Because if you’re trying to find solutions from an intellectual approach, but you have no idea how the people are really suffering, then you’re not really doing effective organizing.

Heather Warburton 23:46
So I guess that actually, we didn’t specifically say what were the solutions that could help the world water situation in Newark.

Anthony Diaz 23:52
So federal funding is the only thing that’s really going to go is what it’s going to take to solve this problem. So they receive $75 million from the state, what I just recently found out is that they the program that Newark is offering is free in Flint. So they’re charging residents at the up to $1,000 to change their lead service lines. And, you know, people are like, Oh, that’s cool. You know, this is $1,000. You know, this is multi thousand dollar program. $1,000 isn’t is you know, is is okay. But we’re like, no, it’s not okay, like, why would you pay this money? When it’s the city’s fault? The city should be paying for this.

Heather Warburton 24:32
These aren’t lines in people’s houses, right? These are the lines they’re feeding.

Anthony Diaz 24:36
This is the line that feeds from the main line from the, I guess from the street, I guess. So there’s a you know, there’s the main street water line, and then there’s a line that feeds into the house. So they’re saying the line that feeds into the house is the one that’s affected, affected. And that’s the one that’s causing lead issues. Now, you know, I’ve heard different research arguing different things, you know, I’m not an engineer, so I can’t speak intelligently on it. I just know what the city is doing. For me. It’s like, Well, why I don’t like no, it should be free, you’re poisoning us we pay a water bill for a reason. It’s city owned for a reason. So let the city pay for another thing is they’re trying they’re offering. They’re offering lead test at the health department. But it’s, you know, it’s not like a it’s not an easy process. And it’s not a transparent process. So you know, during election time, the city has buses that roll out all across the city. You know, what these big banners and letting everybody know, why can’t there be mobile lead testing units? Why can’t we you know, just make this a campaign just like you do any other campaign and really, really educate your people, educate your people. And and then I think the third thing is the filter program needs to be accessible to everyone. The one of the arguments in court, for not opening this opening up this filter program across the city, is that the city doesn’t have enough money. But then the city turns around and spends $250,000, on a PR firm for to come to combat the net negative narrative against the lead issue.

Heather Warburton 26:17
People cant see me now. But I literally face palming now.

Anthony Diaz 26:23
Its crazy.

Heather Warburton 26:24
How many filters could that 250,000 have purchased.

Anthony Diaz 26:28
And they did there an article just came out this week that the city has paid of almost $600,000 in lawyer fees fighting the NRDC, and it’s like, so you, so almost almost a million dollars, you spent almost a million dollars, where you could have put it towards solutions. You put it towards bullshit lawyers, and a, you know, bullshit PR firm. And here’s what I like to do, I like to connect all these dots. So again, this is the same PR firm Governor Snyder hired during the Flint crisis. This is the same PR firm that Cory Booker’s campaign manager Mo Butler works for, and this is the same campaign firm that has ties to the Trump administration. So again, it’s not a Democrat or Republican issue, it’s a capitalist issue. This is a money issue. This is a let’s line our pockets, and like not help people, it’s like, you know, to me, it’s such an easy win, like low hanging fruit. And it’s like, oh, we just don’t even want to do the bare minimum.

Heather Warburton 27:35
Yeah, that’s really frustrating. And I wanted to circle back around to the you said that was $1,000 for I guess, to rip those lines out and replace them, the ones that feed your house? So $1,000, let’s put that in a little bit of perspective, you know, what the average household income is in Newark?

Anthony Diaz 27:51
$34,000.

Heather Warburton 27:53
So $1,000 is a significant chunk of that. Yes, this is not one of the likely, you know, this is not Cherry Hill. Yeah, you know, the average income is, you know, 150,000, or whatever $1,000, to someone that’s making, what is that? Maybe 30,000 is what, like 15, $16 an hour.

Anthony Diaz 28:13
Yeah. about, you know,

Heather Warburton 28:14
it’s not a fairly wealthy community. So that thousand dollars is a lot for something that you are already paying for.

Anthony Diaz 28:23
And what’s interesting is, so there’s been, you know, I can’t verify these reports. But these are the reports I get from people, you know, the contractors aren’t showing up. People are having negative experiences with these contractors. It’s interesting to kind of see the addresses that were chosen in the first phase, only 16,000 houses are going to be replaced out of the 40,000 residents that are affected in the city 16,000 houses across the city of a population of 300,000. You know, those numbers don’t add up. So what we known in Flint is, you know, obviously, they have the same program, but even if they’re just charging you $1,000, say it might cost you, you know, it might be $10,000, to replace your house, and only $5,000 to replace my house. So whose house, do you think that they’re going to choose? They’re going to choose my house. So then you’re like, well, that’s not fair, that’s not transparent. How do we know about this process? And they haven’t they haven’t they haven’t come up with any discernible metric, or rubric to decide who gets chosen. And this is another issue with them. It’s like, if you’re doing the right thing, then why is it? Why is this process so murky? Why is it so muddy? Why can’t we get answers when we need answers?

Heather Warburton 29:48
Those are excellent questions. And so what if people are in Newark and they don’t understand the problem? They want to get more information? Or maybe they even want to join and help your cause? How can people get in touch with you.

Anthony Diaz 30:02
So we don’t have a website right now. But we are on Facebook, and Instagram and Twitter, and we are email addresses NewarkWaterCoalition@gmail. com, you can find us on Facebook Newark Water Coalition com. And I believe our Instagram and Twitter are CleanWater4Newark with the number four. And I the email has been the most effective way I answer 99% of the emails. And what I do is, you know, when people want information, I just give them all of it, I give them all the information that I have available. And I you know, I try to break it down a little bit, I’m saying, you know, are telling you what you’re receiving, and really trying to educate people on the process. I think the other thing is just really learning yourself, what what’s going on, there’s been tons of articles that have come out even recently, but in the last I would say six months, tons of papers have written so many, you know, there’s been good and some bad, but so much information is out there on what’s going on in Newark and it’s levels. And you don’t have to be a scientist to really figure this all out. It’s just like really laid out there for you.

Heather Warburton 31:17
And you were able to get some donations to buy filters. Are you able to accept private donations if somebody wanted to contribute? So you could buy some more filters? For example? How much does the filter cost? And can you take donations?

Anthony Diaz 31:30
Yeah, so I’ve been doing like the CashApp and the Venmo thing. I know that it gets a little weird with money with certain people so, I prefer not to do that. But again, I’m not gonna I’m not …Beggars can’t be choosers. If someone’s offering me money for filters, I’m going to take it. So the average filters is about $30. You know, we’ve been trying to get it through Amazon or whatever, wherever I can find the cheapest filter that I think can last the longest. That is it runs me about 25 to $30. So that’s the average cost of a filter. And I try to buy pitchers instead of the ones that fit on faucets, because we might not necessarily know if this works for your faucet versus a pitcher you can always put in your fridge

Heather Warburton 32:15
Like a Britta?

Anthony Diaz
Yeah. Okay. So you could check if your filter can is I know we we’ve only talked about lead, and there’s other contaminants in the water. But you know, NSF certification, if you go online, you can find out if your water filter is certified to remove lead. And and usually it says it on the box as well. So those are the only ones if it doesn’t say that, then it does not remove lead. So I know I’ve made that. I made that mistake in the past where I was purchasing filters that didn’t filter lead. But you know, reaching out to the company, they were in the processes certification and eventually got it. But still, if you really want to be 100% sure, make sure it’s certified first.

Heather Warburton
And just to clarify and something you said earlier as well, boiling your water does not remove lead from it that would only be if you had some kind of like biological contamination?

Anthony Diaz 33:17
Yes. Which is kind of like if you have like an Ecoli or legionnaires type of situation, which we kind of do, or there’s been some cases in Newark recently. That’s when you want to do that. But when you when it’s a lead specific issue, it only concentrates the lead in the water, thus making it worse to ingest in the body.

Heather Warburton 33:39
Do you have any closing things you’d like to say either words of encouragement or, you know, looking forward to the future that you’d like to add before we close it out for tonight and I let you get to bed.

Anthony Diaz 33:51
I am encouraged for the future. I you know, I do see a lot of people rallying around this issue. I don’t like I anybody can be an activist, I think anybody can be an organizer. I think to me, this is a basic issue. And if you look hard enough in your own town, in your own city, you might find that there’s a water issue and I think that you should start organizing around it. You know, we see what’s going on with the climate change issue around the world. And it’s important and these resources matter. And you know, if we’re not organizing now then when when is our line? That’s what I say constantly. When is our line of frustration? When are we going to say enough? is enough? Is it immigrants in cages? Is it you know, homelessness being attacked throughout the country? Is it gentrification? Is it displacement? Is it water is it you know, and the list goes on but you got to find your line you got to find when what motivates you to action and like I said, if you want to get involved, please reach out to me NewarkWaterCoalition@gmail. com. You know, and and we can start with working together on this.

Heather Warburton 35:01
Thank you so much for what you’re doing. That’s a lot of what I why I want to have these conversations with activists because you’re inspiring people. You saw a problem and started organizing around today whether you want to admit that you’re inspiring or not, you are inspriring. He kind of like covered his face and looked away. But although you’re being shy, you are inspiring and I think you are leading a cause here in New Jersey that does not have a voice yet. So thank you for being that voice.

Anthony Diaz 35:28
Thank you. Thank you for having me. Sorry for the multiple interruption.

Heather Warburton 35:34
It’s okay, I edit things out and post anyway. No one heard any.

Anthony Diaz 35:39
Excellent, excellent.

Heather Warburton 35:41
To my, listeners, thank you so much for joining us here today. Hopefully you got inspired to do something about your water situation because there are a lot of communities that are having the same struggles. So hopefully you got a little bit of knowledge, a little bit of inspiration. And you can take this fight back to your own community and work on making things better. Water is such an important part of your community. And the activist community is the most wonderful community you’ll meet activists are the best people. We strive to be the voice of the activist community here on New Jersey Revolution Radio. To that end, we take no corporate money, we cannot represent activists if we’re being paid by the corporations that are fighting against. So we have to ask you guys to help us out. If you go on to our website, www.njrevolutionradio.com and click on that Donate button even if it’s only a couple of dollars a month that really does help us keep us on the air. We can run a pretty tight ship around here but we do have some expenses that come up. So anything you contribute really helps us and thank you so much for joining us again here today. The future is yours to create. Go out there and create it.

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