Washington, D.C.—“Yesterday, residents of Trenton, New Jersey voted by a 4 to 1 margin to reject a measure to sell a portion of the city’s public water utility to the private water provider American Water. A coalition of community organizations, labor unions, and environmental and consumer groups coalesced to make this victory possible, despite having spent a mere fraction of the more than $850,000 that American Water sank into the campaign.
“A historic victory for consumers in New Jersey and elsewhere, the overwhelming denial of the sale prevented what would have been one of the largest water utility privatizations in U.S. history. This vote is further proof that consumers want their vital water resources owned by the public.
“Yesterday’s vote marked the culmination of a long, harrowing battle that also involved the intervention of the New Jersey Supreme Court to uphold the public’s right to vote in this decision.
“The will of the people finally prevailed, further illustrating that a resource as vital as water should not be made vulnerable to the highest bidder. It should also serve as a warning to Governor Christie and his privatization task force that New Jerseyans do not look favorably upon attempts to gamble public resources for balanced budgets.”
Contact: Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch: (202) 683-2500, kfried(at)fwwatch(dot)org.
Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.