New Jersey Tried To Hide The Fact That Newark Is Another Flint
Residents of Newark New Jersey learned last year that their water was poisoned with high levels of lead, something the government failed to inform them about even though it knew about it in June 2017. When people learned of the problem, the government first denied it and then tried to blame homeowners and downplayed the severity of the impacts. Then, the city offered half-hearted solutions. We speak with Anthony Diaz, a long time organizer in Newark, who co-founded the Newark Water Coalition. They recently had a successful direct action and won an important victory, but there is still more to do. Diaz explains what is going on and offers advice for others who may face similar struggles.
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Anthony Diaz is co-founder of the Newark Water Coalition. Diaz traces his activist roots back to his teenage years, when he started Science Park High School’s first student union in the University Heights section of Newark. Later, he became involved with Newark’s Black Lives Matter movement and joined a group of other young progressives who called themselves “A Movement of the People.”
In 2018 Diaz ran his first public campaign for city council, representing Newark’s Central Ward. He didn’t win his election bid, but he has remained a dedicated community advocate. With the support of just a few other residents, he founded the Newark Water Coalition in 2018 as a means of raising public awareness about the city’s water crisis and putting pressure on local officials.