A Presidential Visit to Flint, Michigan

President Obama2

(Image: Public Domain)

President Barack Obama recently visited Detroit in light of a resurgence in the auto industry, but also to address the lead-poisoned water issue in Flint.

“If I was a parent in Flint, I’d be beside myself over my kids’ health,” Obama told a crowd of auto workers and their families, adding that the government can’t “shortchange basic services that we provide to our people.”

Obama didn’t visit Flint on Wednesday, but the White House did dispatch an administration official, Nicole Lurie, to coordinate federal court efforts there. Lurie is the deputy secretary for preparedness at the Department of Health and Human Services.

However, even outside of Flint, Obama was unable to avoid witnessing another of Michigan’s crises at close range: the widespread closure of Detroit schools after teachers staged a “sickout”. The teachers are protesting lack of funding and substandard conditions.

A large number of protesters demanding higher school funding levels met Obama at the site of his speech, and Obama ate lunch with the city’s mayor Mike Duggan Wednesday, where they discussed the funding issues. There was no immediate word on the outcome of the teacher’s grievances.



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