Post Office Box 64798
Gary, Indiana 46401-0798
Indiana State Conference NAACP
EAST CHICAGO LEAD AND ARSENIC CRISIS PLEA FOR HELP
East Chicago, Indiana- The IU McKinney School of Law, located at 530 West New York Street, will be holding Protecting the Urban Environment Symposium on Friday, March 31st beginning at 8:15 am. There will be a panel specific to address The Legacy of Lead in Indiana- East Chicago and Beyond.
The State Conference of the NAACP, Indiana Black Legislative Caucus, and Twin City Ministerial Alliance, Stand with East Chicago and are calling for the EPA recommended NSF 53 certified water filter donations. We will accept water filters, bottled water and osmosis system donations directly outside the doors of the symposium.
“The Indiana State Conference of the NAACP remains committed to helping the families in the West Calumet area of East Chicago in every way possible. It has now been 234 days since the residents of the West Calumet Housing Complex received letters informing them of the danger to which they had been and continue to be exposed. Approximately 84 families remain. The residents, homeowners, churches and businesses too, have all been negatively impacted. We want to see justice not just for some, but for all who find themselves victims of the toxic environment.” Barbara Bolling-Williams, President Indiana NAACP State Conference
The Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb provided a Declaration of Emergency on February 11th to the city of East Chicago and then extended the emergency another 30 days. Recently, a few bills have been passed to provide some degree of relief to the residents. Residents are requesting bottled water and water filters. The residents are concerned about their children finishing school, and therefore want an extension beyond May 30th, the last day of school. Other residents in zone 2 & 3 are concerned about the impact of this situation on their housing values. The residents are interested in options for tax exemptions and buyouts. We have recently petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to replace the lead pipes for the affected residents of East Chicago.
“The situation in East Chicago, Indiana is the latest and one of the most egregious in an all too familiar pattern that we are seeing in our communities across the nation, race, economics, and politics which comprises of a cocktail of discrimination and neglect that is resulting in these circumstances. As a civil rights organization, the NAACP stands with East Chicago and other similarly affected communities and will do so until justice is served.” Jacqueline Patterson, National NAACP Director of Environmental Climate Justice Programs
We will facilitate a NAACP Listening Session and a Crisis Tour on April 5th, featuring Director Patterson from Baltimore, Maryland. The listening session will be hosted by the Twin City Ministerial Alliance. We will be in East Chicago touring the affected sites and listening to the voices of the community. We intend to distribute water filters at the listening session.
The NAACP founded in 1909, is a civil rights organization committed to fight for equality and the elimination of racial discrimination. The Indiana State Conference is the governing body for the 22 Branches, 6 Youth Councils and Jr. Youth Council, and 6 College Chapters. For more information visit our State Website at http://www.IndianaSCNAACP.org.