Consumer Group Celebrates as Baltimore Becomes the First City to Ban Water Privatization

November 07, 2018

Last night, voters in the city of Baltimore made history by overwhelmingly supporting ballot question E, a city charter amendment that bans privatization of the city’s water and sewer systems. The Baltimore City Council voted unanimously to ban water privatization earlier this year, but the vote now makes Baltimore the first major city in the United States to ban water privatization.

In reaction to the vote, Sijal Nasralla, campaigner for SumOfUs, explained:

“When corporations own the rights to the water systems, the safety and affordability of our most precious resource is at stake. In dozens of cities like Detroit, Tulsa, and New Orleans, tens of thousands of people experience water shut-offs when they can’t pay up and communities of color are the ones faced with higher water bill burdens.

“Last night, voters in Baltimore, in a historic first, loudly declared that access to safe drinking water is a human right, one that will never be sold off to corporations. This is a tremendous victory for the citizens of Baltimore.”

Ahead of the vote, SumOfUs, an international consumer group, supported Food & Water Watch’s effort to pass ballot question E - engaging more than 6000 voters in Baltimore through a text messaging campaign to support the measure.