We all deserve to be protected, build resilience in our communities, and use our collective power to fight back – especially as climate change becomes more intense. Anthony Diaz is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Newark Water Coalition – a multi-generational, multi-ethnic coalition working to foster the understanding that water, housing, and food are human rights and are an essential frame for discussing climate solutions that address multiple needs.
In 2016, Newark experienced a water crisis, with dangerous levels of lead leaching into people’s home water supply through outdated pipes. While the city has worked with community leaders to make significant progress on replacing lead piping, access to clean drinking water remains a concern. To date, the Newark Water Coalition has distributed over 300,000 gallons of water, more than 1,000 water filters, and approximately 400,000 pounds of food through community events. This work provides Newark with the essential social infrastructure needed so communities can adapt, be self-sufficient, and be better prepared as climate change intensifies.