No Running Water at My House, Located in America
So here it is, a nice Sunday morning in autumn. I should be looking forward to the day. There’s football today, which means there’s fantasy football too! It’s 7:30. I have the whole day ahead of me. Maybe I can even go for a run. But today, I don’t feel like doing these things.
All I can focus on is how it’s 24 hours before my Monday begins. All I can focus on is getting some decent delivery driver shifts, which will be released at 9. I can pick up weekend shifts no problem; but I like to do a couple night shifts during the week — just go straight to it after my day job. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many of those shifts, and they go really quickly every week. This is a rare occasion where I’m up early enough to possibly catch one. This was likely made possible by an even rarer occurrence of falling asleep without a sleep aid. Roughly 2am-7am au naturale? I’ll take it!
Today I just really feel like I’m in a rut. I haven’t had running water for over a year and a half. And after a lot of mental grappling, I have decided to speak out about it.
I reached out to Kshama Sawant (of the Seattle City Council) about it. I first learned about her watching an episode of Democracy Now! once. Even though I live in Illinois, she is the only person I could think of who would be willing to hear me out on this.
This is the part where I should have an eloquent retelling of how I got up the nerve to email her. But why reinvent the wheel? I’ll just provide some screenshots on my email exchange with Councilmember Sawant’s Legislation Assistant, James Kahn, who so kindly and graciously agreed to let me share the stuff he told me:
I explained that, as of now, nobody knows about my situation. Not my friends. Not my colleagues. No one. I have been too embarrassed to talk to anyone about this. I had been, that is, until James wrote me back:
So here we are. I think I have tried everything else. My family has tried to negotiate with/appeal to those with the power to reverse this. None of the aid organizations around here can help us with a figure so large.
I ended up hearing back from the ACLU of Illinois — they have declined to take our case. Based on their wording, I infer that the laws that would be potentially challenged in this case do not affect a broad enough range of people. I guess this is an orphan disease, legally and economically speaking.
But the water thing is not the only thing I’m up against right now, just the most poignant and humiliating. I have other problems that take the form of property taxes, disability benefits (or lack thereof), shitty health insurance, debt, etc. And that’s just what I can think of right now!
So, Mr. or Ms./Mrs./Miss Reader, do what you can to get the word out on what they’re doing in Maywood, Illinois. Because I think it’s bullshit. Among other things, I want an audit/explanation on how they come to charge people these prices for water.
Also, I work a lot and don’t always make it around to writing when I want to. But please stay tuned! I have some other aspects of my peasant life that I might as well grapple with here as well.