Former Flint Councilman on Why Justice Hasn’t Been Served For the City

Rep. Sheldon Neeley is a former Flint councilman who weighed whether to switch the water source to the Flint river. Years later, he’s still waiting for amends to be made to the city’s residents.

Joan Isabella/WDET
Joan Isabella/WDET

State officials have apologized for the mishandling of the Flint water disaster over and over. But for one former Flint councilman, that’s not enough.

Rep. Sheldon Neeley is a former Flint councilman who say at the table when the body voted to switch the Flint’s water source, but he says former Emergency Managers are responsible. Criminal charges have been dropped and blame still shifts in Flint’s almost two year long water crisis. Since then, Neeley has become a champion for Flint’s residents still suffering effects from lead-tainted water. 

“At this point we’re not talking in weeks or months but in years that have been lost, not in hundreds or thousands, but in millions of dollars that have been wasted,” Neeley says. “We’ve been told to wait, to be patient, that justice was coming, but where is that justice today? My city is losing faith in our government, and that distrust was justified today when it once again failed them so miserably.”

The WDET Book Club has featured Dr. Mona Hanna Attisha’s book, “What the Eyes Don’t See” focusing on water infrastructure issues across Michigan. On Detroit Today, Neeley shares with us his experience as a former member of Flint’s city council during the time that lead-up to the water crisis. 

Click the player above to hear State Representative Sheldon Neeley talk about the decision to switch Flint’s Water Source.


WDET Book Club

WDET’s 2019 Book Club is hosting a Summer Series featuring her Dr. Mona Hanna Attisha’s book, “What the Eyes Don’t See.” Dr. Attisha is a Flint pediatrician from Hurley Medical, who first brought public attention to the discovery of lead-tainted water, which led to the poisoning of Flint children.

As part of the Book Club, WDET’s Detroit Today is traveling across Southeast Michigan discussing water infrastructure, environmental toxins and the health of waterways. Stephen Henderson is also talking about these issues on the air. 

You can join us in that discussion. Read the book and engage with us online, on the radio and at events throughout the region. Here’s how:

Online: Join The WDET Book Club on Facebook where we will post articles and discussion topics throughout the summer. We’ll also invite guests to participate in targeted discussions you can engage in throughout the next couple of months.

On the radio Listen to 101.9 WDET! We’ll have interviews and conversations about Flint then and now, and more conversations about water quality, and trust in government during Detroit Today. You can listen to them on the radio, on demand and on the Detroit Today Podcast.

Follow us on TwitterFollow hashtag Detroit Today where we will tweet our events, our guests and information about issues of safe water in our sinks, streams and lakes..

Events: We will travel to libraries around the region with guests who played a role in the book. They will tell their own stories about their involvement in the Flint water crisis, and we’ll invite local experts to talk about issues affecting our water in each community.  



  • Detroit Today
    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.
  • Alaina Fruge
    Alaina Fruge is the producer for the WDET Book Club. She's always taking care of business so catch her when you can because you never know which one of her jobs she'll be at.