Begin forwarded message:
From: Michael Shear >
Date: May 4, 2016 at 2:50:16 PM EDT
To: "Gabriel, Brian A. Jr. EOP/WHO" >
Subject: Travel Pool Report #7 -- Meeting at HS
Your Pool was led into the library at Northwestern high school, where POTUS was taking a seat at a small, round table with nine residents of Flint. As the Pool entered, POTUS was asking each of the folks to introduce themselves to him, and tell him how long they’ve lived in Flint. Your pool heard a couple of the answers, including one man who said he was born three months before POTUS. POTUS said the man looks better than he does.
Then your pool was led out and is now holding in the gymnasium, where POTUS will deliver open-press remarks at around 4 pm.
Background from the White House:
Prior to his remarks at Northwestern High School, the President is taking part in a roundtable with the following individuals to hear from Flint residents firsthand:
Sister Carol Weber
Sister Carol Weber is the co-founder and Director of St. Luke New Life Center in Flint, which focuses on helping at-risk families through employment-preparation programs, and includes a food pantry and literacy center. Since the crisis, the St. Luke New Life Center has added additional programming for those whose health has been affected by the water crisis.
A senior at the University of Michigan-Flint, Jaslyn Morris is the outgoing President of the UM-Flint Black Student Union, which has worked to distribute water, water filters, nutritional supplements, and other supplies to Flint residents. Jaslyn and her organization at UM-Flint co-hosted a discussion with Wayne State University on the water crisis.
Born and raised in Flint, Harold Harrington is the Business Manager for the UA Local 370 Plumbers and Pipefitters, which since October 2015 has completed 10,000 volunteer hours installing filters, faucets and delivering bottled water to the residents of Flint and donated more than $50,000 for bottled water and filters. Harold has led these efforts, and experienced water in his own home with lead levels ten times the legal limit.
In January, Nicholas Custer – a lifelong resident of Flint – wrote the President a letter expressing his frustrations with the situation on the ground in his community. Nicholas does outreach to the community for his employer, the University of Michigan-Flint. The lead levels in Nicholas’ own home, which he purchased last year, were too high.
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha is the director of the Pediatric Residency Program at Hurley Medical Center. She has been a vocal advocate for the people of Flint during the water crisis and directs the Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Public Health Initiative, which aims to research, monitor, and mitigate the impact of lead in Flint’s drinking water.
Rev. Rigel Dawson
Reverend Rigel J. Dawson moved to Flint in 2009 where he is the full-time pastor at North Central Church of Christ and the treasurer of Michigan Faith in Action. In 2014, his two children were affected by bathing in the contaminated Flint water.
Tyrone Wooten created a YouTube video called “Bottled Water,” to show his family’s struggles to deal with the water crisis when they were using between 900 and 1,000 bottles of water a week. He says the video is meant to show the day-to-day toll the crisis brings to everyone for something most Americans take for granted – clean water.
Nicole Spears, a married mother of six boys who lives in Flint, wrote to the President in January about the stresses and worries – economic and physical – that the water crisis in Flint has caused for her family.
Rick Vasquez is a retired General Motors worker who volunteers as the water distribution coordinator for the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Flint, which serves a majority Spanish-speaking population. His whole family – even his pet dog – have experienced adverse reactions to the contaminated water, something he never thought he would face in the community he’s lived in since he was three.
Michael D. Shear
White House Correspondent
The New York Times