Utlities shouldn’t be turned off

In the past few weeks I have run across two unrelated individuals whose stories really shocked me. Through an unfortunate combination of medical crises, personal disability, and unemployment, both of these women found themselves behind on their utility bills and had their power and water turned off. They wound up “camping out” in their own homes with no access to water for drinking, bathing, toilet flushing, or cooking, and no power for heat, light, appliances, etc. This is completely unacceptable. In today’s world, running water and electricity are not luxuries, but necessities for even a basic quality of life.

Just for the sake of perspective, I recently read an article that noted Finland as the first country to make a broadband Internet connection a human right for all citizens. If any country in the world can make Internet access a human right, then certainly we can do the same for water and electricity!

I’d like to propose that it be made illegal to disconnect water or power from any citizen for any reason whatsoever. I am very proud of my community and the quality of life it offers. We can do better than this.

Jim Strickland