The water crisis in Flint, Michigan continues, and charities are still looking for donations to help children who have been poisoned by lead-contaminated water there. The Community Foundation of Greater Flint’s campaign to raise money for the long-term health care and education of affected children has found a new and powerful ally in their efforts: presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.
Clinton announced via her campaign website on February 15th that her campaign would be asking for help on Flint’s behalf, and that her family would be making donations of their own. Clinton originally reached out to Flint Mayor Karen Weaver early this year when the news about Flint’s water became a national story. That earned her Weaver’s support in her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination against rival Bernie Sanders. She has also received endorsements from three local pastors for her support of the citizens of Flint.
While it may seem like a political ploy on Clinton’s part, there is a real chance for this to a lot of good. Flint isn’t a terribly well off city, and the water crisis has hit them hard. The damage is immense, and the state government hasn’t done much to help. While a number of charitable organizations have stepped up to try and help the people of Flint, there is certainly more which can be done. Donations from the Clinton family will no doubt help that, and hopefully get the ball rolling by inspiring her followers to donate as well.
Celebrity appeals on behalf of charitable causes are nothing new, and using charity to boost one’s political capital isn’t either. This issue does come at a unique moment for Clinton’s campaign though, and it seems likely that she’ll get some extra political mileage out of the issue, considering how severe the problem is and the timing.