Sanders discusses water crisis with residents - WNEM TV 5

Sanders discusses water crisis with residents

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Andrew Keller (WNEM) Andrew Keller (WNEM)

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders was welcomed to Flint with loud applause on Thursday afternoon.

He was quick to say the water crisis is a top priority on the campaign trail.

"One of the more serious public health crises in the modern history of our country," Sanders said.

For about an hour and a half, he laid out his vision and opened it up for conversation with people of Flint at Woodside Church.

"The federal government has to acknowledge this is an emergency situation and act accordingly," Sanders said.

He said the people of Flint represent a much larger discussion needed on infrastructure problems in the nation.

"If there is anything positive, if there's any silver lining out of this tragedy, it is my hope that American people will look at Flint and say never again can we allow a community to undergo this," Sanders said.

Sanders told residents he's proposing a trillion dollar investment to help rebuild what he calls the nation's crumbling infrastructure, and see to it residents will get clean drinking water.

"I thought it was impressive that he was really here more to listen than to campaign with a speech," said resident John Pendell.

The surprise visit comes 10 days before he is to debate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Whiting.

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