Water for All
Activist Spotlight

   Protecting Water from Privatization: Paul Marin

Paul Marin ran the greedy water barons out of his town. You can too! Use the form below to congratulate Paul!

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The Water for All Campaign and water-drinkers around the world salute grassroots activist Paul Marin for leading the fight in Emmaus, Pennsylvania to protect water as a public trust for future generations. Paul successfully organized his neighbors to persuade their town council to take water privatization--the corporate control of our most basic resource--off the table.

A managing director at an investment banking firm, Paul can now be found around town sporting a t-shirt bearing the slogan "Stop Corporate Water Grab!"--which was designed by Anna Guglielmo, a designer and fellow activist in PA.

After corporate water grabs dried up in big cities like Atlanta and New Orleans, water profiteers began salivating over small towns, believing that citizens would be less organized to fight back. Paul Marin and EFLOW (Emmaus For Locally Owned Water) proved them wrong. When the Emmaus Borough Council made moves to sell out the water utility to a private company in July, 300 concerned citizens turned up at a public hearing in protest. In Pennsylvania, communities under private management pay more than 6 times more than ratepayers in Emmaus.

Paul made posters and went door to door to Main Street businesses, where owners happily hung them in support of locally-owned water. Lawn signs began sprouting up across the town of 12,000 people. Paul and 60 other ratepayers brought 500 petition signatures with them to a September council meeting. Within two months, Emmaus residents had successfully changed the positions of 3 council members and secured a unanimous vote to take privatization off the table.

Now, Paul and EFLOW are continuing to organize locally to protect water as a public trust, and to help other communities working to do the same. What advice does Paul have for those of us who want local control of our most vital resource? Involve our neighbors, he says: "Ring the doorbell, ring it hard, and ring it now! Your future for your water has to be in your hands."

Paul deserves a high five for his work to build a water democracy. Use the form below to send Paul a high five for his important victories in Pennsylvania.

January 16, 2019

Thank you, Paul

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