Sending Office: Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Sent By:

BRIEFING: The Failures of Privatized Infrastructure

Who Controls Infrastructure and Why It Matters

Friday, May 19, 10AM

Rayburn HOB 2226

Refreshments will be provided

Dear Colleague,

To mark the occasion of Infrastructure Week 2017, please join me for an important
briefing on privatization and infrastructure on Friday, May 19 at 10am in the Rayburn House Office Building Room 2226.

Our nation’s infrastructure is in desperate need of maintenance and upgrades. The American Society of Civil Engineers Infrastructure Report Card for 2017 gave our infrastructure a D+ grade. And the
United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that we need to spend roughly $697 billion over the next 20 years to improve and maintain our drinking and wastewater systems.

The briefing will address my legislation,
H.R. 1673, the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability Act (WATER Act)
, which will provide a long-term solution to bridge the current water-funding gap. It will secure a significant portion of what we need to protect our drinking water
and fix our wastewater infrastructure while creating more than 900,000 jobs across the economy. The WATER Act has 27 co-sponsors and was endorsed by 60 organizations upon introduction.  The WATER Act is one important piece of the Congressional Progressive
Caucus’ path forward to invest $2 trillion to transition to a 21st century infrastructure to transform our energy, water and transportation systems.

The WATER Act is the most comprehensive approach to address the looming water crisis facing communities across the country, including in Detroit, Michigan. In Detroit, tens of thousands of households continue to lose water service each year simply because
they cannot afford their water bills. Water privatization would only exacerbate this affordability crisis, as large corporations and Wall Street would seek to profit from the provision of this essential resource.

On average, private water companies charge 59 percent more than local government utilities
. Privatization also results in a loss of transparency and accountability over services that are essential for public health and wellbeing. For example, private water
corporations aren’t subject to state freedom of information laws, making it difficult to verify how many customers of privatized systems experience shutoffs each year. An infrastructure plan that relies on privatization and tax credits—such as that reportedly
backed by the Trump Administration—would leave out low-income and rural communities and increase income inequality across the country.

Please join me on May 19 as part of Infrastructure Week and learn why privatization is not the solution to improving and maintaining our infrastructure, especially for low income, rural and communities of color. A big infrastructure bill is on the horizon,
and our communities need it, but it must provide dedicated funding for infrastructure and prioritize the communities most in need.

Esteemed Panelists:

  • Karl Stark, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
  • Katie Hicks, Clean Water for North Carolina
  • Mary Grant, Food & Water Watch
  • Jeremy Mohler, In the Public Interest
  • Lisa Cylar Barrett, Policy Link
  • Monica Lewis-Patrick, We the People of Detroit

For more information, or to RSVP, contact Erik Sperling in my office, at 5-5126 or


John Conyers, Jr.

Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues
Selected legislative information: Family Issues, Transportation

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