Atlantic City, New Jersey’s city council on Tuesday easily passed an ordinance that requires a public vote before any sale of the municipal water system by the state.
The 8-0 vote, according to Lena Smith of Food and Water Watch, “is about people power defeating corporate power. It is a ringing endorsement of the work done by community members to save their water system from a corporate takeover.”
According to the advocacy group, the new city ordinance should be seen as “a direct challenge to the state takeover of Atlantic City engineered by [New Jersey Gov. Chris] Christie.” That takeover was enacted last November.
The takeover legislation is the Municipal Stabilization and Recovery Act, the group explained, and was designed to give “the state broad powers, including the ability to sell off the prized water system to private water corporations with deep connections to leaders in both major political parties.”
Residents saw what was at stake, however, and the AC Citizens United Against the State Takeover campaign led a petition drive delivering over 2,400 signatures to the City Clerk’s office saying they wanted a say in a potential takeover of their water.
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