Cincinnati – Communities United For Action (CUFA) called for clean air and justice for victims of sewage backups at the People’s Climate Rally on Fountain Square today.

Speakers Marilyn Evans and Roy Davis delivered remarks on behalf of CUFA recognizing that climate change is already happening and local residents are suffering the consequences.

Evans said, “Climate change isn’t going away,” noting that we’ve experienced three 50 to 100-year rain events in the past year, causing sewage to back up into people’s basements.

CUFA has filed a public records request with the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) to find out how many people are suffering and more importantly, how many are getting help from the agency.

Evans called on MSD to make plans to deal with sewage overflows and backups available to the public, for more cost-effective green infrastructure solutions to the problem and for MSD to hire local residents.

Evans led rally attendees in a chant, “low rates, local jobs! MSD, we’re your boss!” as petitioners gathered signatures to hold MSD accountable to ratepayers.

Davis told the crowd he suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and he believes living next to major air polluters to be the cause. As Vietnam veteran, Davis says he took his responsibility to protect our country from foreign and domestic enemies seriously, saying that he views pollution surrounding low-income neighborhoods as domestic threat.

Davis says he came home from war only to suffer “a slow death” and called on policy leaders to end our dependance on polluting fossil fuels, to minimize pollution in our low-income communities and to help our region transition to renewable energy.

CUFA volunteers gathered surveys from rally attendees to develop a People and Planet Platform to advocate for policy change at the city and county level.

Tell CUFA what you think should be included in the Platform at:

Evans and Davis were featured in the Cincinnati Enquirer’s article about the rally.