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Dan Kildee

Dan Kildee
Credit Courtesy http://dankildee.house.gov/about/

Dan Kildee is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Michigan's 5th District as the Democratic candidate.

(Scroll below to see all the Michigan Radio stories he's been mentioned in.)

As part of our election coverage, we asked all the major-party candidates running for Congress the same questions.

4 Questions for Dan Kildee

1) What is the most important issue facing your district?

The most important issue facing my district is the water crisis in my hometown, Flint. The people of Flint have not had access to safe drinking water from their tap for over two years and they deserve justice. There are many forms of justice, one of them is making it right for the people of Flint. The state, having created this man-made crisis, needs to step up in a big way with more resources.

There are other critical priorities that I fight for everyday like growing our economy and creating good-paying jobs, including by rebuilding America’s roads, bridges and infrastructure; investing in education to ensure that every child -- no matter their zip code-- has the opportunity for a quality, affordable education, including higher education; and supporting America’s cities and towns so that we can build strong neighborhoods and safe communities, from Flint to Oscoda.

2) How do you plan to address it?

I’m fighting to ensure Congress acts to send federal aid to Flint. After a year of fighting, we made progress with bipartisan votes in the House and Senate supporting Flint aid. I’m working with Senators Stabenow and Peters to make sure Flint aid becomes law.

The federal government has provided more than $280 million for Flint from supplying bottled water and filters to expanding Medicaid. There is more work to do, and I believe that the state needs to step up to ensure that Flint has the resources to fully recover.

Additionally, we have a lot to do to grow our economy, fix broken infrastructure and ensure every child has access to a quality, affordable education. Whether it’s our economy, infrastructure or education, we must always be looking forward. We must have bold ideas that focus on new technologies and industries to ensure our vibrant and diverse communities succeed.

3) What book or movie have you seen/read recently that you would recommend

I recently read A Problem from Hell by Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. I greatly admire Ambassador Power and had the honor of working with her to bring my constituent,  Marine veteran Amir Hekmati, home from wrongful imprisonment in Iran. I’m proud to say that today Amir is home in Flint because of the tenacious diplomatic efforts of people like Ambassador Power who fought for years to reunite Amir with his family.

A Problem from Hell addresses the danger of indifference and inaction when it comes to genocide. The book tells the incredible story of people who worked to advance human rights and dignity. And it serves as a cautionary tale that history will not view kindly those who overlook human suffering and violence and that mankind has a responsibility to assuage these terrible ills when possible.

4) If you don't win the election, what will you do?

As I see it, I’ve always had the same job, sometimes with a different job title.  Whether it was my first job as a social worker at Whaley Children’s Center, serving on the Flint School Board, my time as Genesee County Treasurer or as CEO of the Center for Community Progress, my job has always been fighting for communities and people that have been forgotten or left behind.  I did it in my hometown of Flint working to revitalize neighborhoods as County Treasurer and I did it for older industrial cities across the county at the Center for Community Progress. If the people of the fifth district decided they didn’t want me to keep the title of Member of Congress, I’d find other ways to keep fighting for Flint, Saginaw, and communities like it across the state and nation.

A lead service line removed from a Flint home. Lead service lines were useful because the metal is flexible and can bend - making installation easier.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

It has been well over a year since the world learned that Flint was in the throes of an environmental disaster. In the early months of this year, the Flint water crisis brought a steady stream of political leaders promising aid and vowing this would never happen again: President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, President-elect Trump.

So here we are, at year's end, and Flint hasn't seen a penny of that promised federal aid to help replace its damaged lead water pipes. And now there's a new curve ball that could threaten that federal funding.

Lead service line
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Congress returns to D.C. this week to begin a three-week-long lame duck session. Congressman Dan Kildee says funding for Flint is at the top of his list of things to get done before the end of the year. “We’ve really been working on this for almost the entire year to get Congress to take action, and until we get it done it continues to be my number one priority,” Kildee said. The funding could help pay to replace thousands of lead service lines damaged because of the water crisis. “We’ve...

A report shows areas surrounding the decommissioned Wurtsmith Air Force Base are contaminated and have caused severe health issues for some area residents.
Mike Fritcher / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Congressman Dan Kildee wants the Air Force to do more to help Oscoda residents whose groundwater is contaminated by perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs. The Wurtsmith Air Force Base used firefighting foams containing PFCs on its property in Oscoda for decades. The base is now closed. Kildee sent a letter to the Air Force this week, outlining a long list of concerns. “The main priority for us right now… it’s more of a short term question, is get people help getting a fresh water source,” Kildee...

Flint city leaders say water crisis is far from over

Nov 15, 2016
Flint River and water plant
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint's water crisis became national news last year, but city officials want you to know it's still not fixed yet. This week, Congressman Dan Kildee introduced new legislation to improve lead standards in drinking water, and the Flint city council approved Mayor Karen Weaver's renewal of emergency status for Flint. Weaver says city residents still don't have safe tap water. “In case somebody doesn't know, unfortunately the fact of the matter is that we still cannot drink our water without a...

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s senior U.S. Senator says there are some things that Congress has to address when it returns to work this week. Sen. Debbie Stabenow says her top priority during Congress’ lame duck session will be lining up federal money for Flint. “We have a promise that was made to me by the Speaker of the House and the Republican Majority Leader that before the end of this year we would pass the money that’s critical to fixing the pipes in Flint,” says Stabenow. The House and Senate passed...

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s elected leaders once again have the ability to file a lawsuit against the state for its handling of the city’s water crisis. Today, the city’s state-appointed oversight board reversed a policy that effectively blocked the city from filing lawsuits. Back in March, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver filed a notice with the court, saying the city was potentially looking at suing the state of Michigan for decisions and mistakes made by state employees that led to Flint’s drinking water crisis. But...

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s congressional Democrats sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice today asking for a review of a legal provision. The provision seemed to prevent the city of Flint from suing the state of Michigan without the state’s approval. But it appears the state is prepared to strike that provision anyway. If it does, that could allow Flint to sue the state over the water crisis. Back in April, the state-appointed Receivership Transition Advisory Board in Flint approved changes to a...

A crew replacing a lead service line in Flint.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Congress is closer to giving Flint tens of millions of dollars to fix its lead-tainted tap water system. Before it left town on Wednesday, the U.S. House approved a water infrastructure spending bill. The bill was amended yesterday to include $170 million for Flint. The House approved its version of the Water Resources Development Act by a vote of 284 to 141. "The passage of WRDA in the House is a critical step to ensuring that Flint families get the resources they need to recover from this...

Image of the U.S. Capitol
user EFF Photos / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan congressmen helped craft a funding solution for Flint’s water crisis that might avert a federal government shutdown. Democrats are opposing a continuing budget resolution unless money to replace Flint’s pipes is included. Without the resolution, the federal government would shut down at the end of the month.

Capitol Building, Washington D.C.
Bobby Mikul / Flickr creative commons

Congress has to ensure the federal government is funded past September 30 by its October recess. But Flint's ongoing water crisis is standing in the way of Republicans and Democrats coming to an agreement. NPR's Ailsa Chang reports that Democrats in Congress want money to help Flint, Michigan to be included in a government aid bill for Louisiana and other states dealing with flood relief. While state and local leaders in Flint have been urging Congress to act on the water crisis since the...

The city of Flint is slowly replacing damaged lead service lines. But city officials say they need money from the federal government to pay for much of the work.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This week, the U.S. House of Representative could vote on spending billions of dollars to fix the nation’s crumbling municipal water systems. Last week, the U.S. Senate passed a $10 billion bill that included $100 million specifically to replace Flint’s damaged pipes. The pipes have been leaching lead into the city’s drinking water. But U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, is concerned the House legislation does not include money earmarked for Flint. “We’re going to have to make a judgment whether...

The Flint River.
Sarah Razak / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan Democrats and Flint leaders continue to urge Congress to help Flint with its ongoing water crisis. State and city officials want Congress to help Flint and other cities improve or replace their aging water infrastructure. Congressman Dan Kildee, D-MI, represents Michigan's 5th district, which includes Flint. He says too many children in Flint have been exposed to the lead in the city's drinking water. "It shocks the conscience that a year after this story became public, and more than...

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A top Republican lawmaker says money for Flint’s water crisis is on “the short list” as Congress returns to work next week. During a tour of Flint today, Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) was briefed on water distribution efforts in the city of nearly 100,000. “The demand has not gone down,” one distribution center supervisor told Upton and Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint). A year ago, tests confirmed Flint’s tap water was contaminated with lead. Experts believe improperly treated water from the Flint...

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Members of Congress remain on their usual summer break. Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee hopes money for Flint’s water crisis will be near the top of the agenda when Congress returns to work after Labor Day. The Flint Democrat admits there are some other pressing needs that also need to be addressed, in particular the Zika outbreak and Opioid epidemic. “Our effort will be to not get through another budget cycle, as we go into the fall budget deliberations, without addressing Flint,” says Kildee....

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The final night of the Democratic National Convention will bring Hillary Clinton’s formal acceptance of the party’s presidential nomination. Her acceptance will mark a historic week for the Democrats, but also a week of disappointment for Bernie Sanders supporters. Rep. Dan Kildee , D-Flint Township, was in attendance during Tuesday’s roll call vote, where he had a chance to reflect on this year’s election cycle. “My thoughts were far less about politics,” Kildee said. “I thought about … my five-year-old granddaughter, who will now grow up in a country where that glass ceiling has been broken.”

Congressman Dan Kildee
Photo courtesy of the Office of Congressman Dan Kildee

Democrats in Congress want House Speaker Paul Ryan to send money to Flint before Congress adjourns for seven weeks. Congressman Dan Kildee of Flint sent a letter to Speaker Ryan, saying Congress should vote on The families of Flint Act, which Kidlee proposed earlier this year. The act would pay for infrastructure repairs, health monitoring and economic development in Flint amid the ongoing water crisis. Kildee says Congress should act now because Flint is still in need two years after the...

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint.
Michigan Municipal League / dan kildee

The Washington, D.C. and Flint offices of U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee , D-Mich ., are nearly 600 miles apart. But lead-tainted water has recently been a problem in both. Monday, the Architect of the Capitol's office sent an eye-opening advisory to staffers in the D.C. building housing Kildee's office. "This week, the AOC received results within the Cannon House Office Building that indicate lead levels in drinking water sources are slightly above the EPA standard," wrote William Weidemeyer, the...

Rep. Dan Kildee / Twitter

Earlier today, House Democrats ended their 25-hour sit-in on the house floor. Led by U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, revered for his role in the civil rights movement, Democrats demanded votes on gun control issues such as universal background checks and blocking gun sales to anyone on a no-fly list. The protest drew a range of reactions from their colleagues and constituents.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Members of Michigan’s congressional delegation see today’s criminal charges as just a step in the right direction. On a conference call with reporters, U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, welcomed the filing of criminal charges against two state regulators and a Flint city employee in the Flint water crisis. “But it would be incomplete if that justice did not also include those who did this to Flint … meaning the state government,” says Kildee. Kildee and Michigan’s two U.S. senators say the state...

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s drinking water crisis is getting more attention from Washington. Two senior members of Congress are due in Flint Monday. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and Maryland Representative Elijah Cummings are the latest members of Congress to visit Flint in recent weeks. They will be joined by Michigan representatives Dan Kildee, D-Flint; Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn; and Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield. They will meet with Flint business leaders and get a briefing from federal officials on what...

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan is getting tens of millions of dollars from the federal government to tear down blighted buildings. Last year, Congress approved spending $2 billion to fund blight elimination programs nationwide. The U.S. Department of Treasury today says Michigan is eligible for more than $300 million from the Hardest Hit fund. Nearly $75 million is available immediately. U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, has been among those fighting for the blight money. “While it doesn’t necessarily...

Congressman Dan Kildee
Photo courtesy of the Office of Congressman Dan Kildee

The Flint water crisis has come to Capitol Hill as Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., was one of the first to testify today before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The hearing seeks to find out how the city’s drinking water was contaminated with elevated levels of lead.

Shortly after his testimony, Rep. Kildee spoke to Cynthia Canty on Stateside , and said he hopes the facts of the situation are brought to light.

“The state of Michigan was in...

Amir Hekmati steps off a plane at Bishop Airport in Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

After being held for more than four years in an Iranian prison, Amir Hekmati, the former U.S. Marine from Flint, is home. The Flint man was part of a prisoner swap between the U.S. and Iran. Hekmati was arrested in Iran in 2011 while he was visiting his grandmother. He was charged with spying. At one time, he was sentenced to death. His sentence was eventually changed to 10 years. Hekmati and a handful of other Americans were exchanged for seven Iranians held in the U.S. The Iranians were charged with violating a trade embargo. We updated this post as he traveled home. You can scroll below and read up to follow the events.

Congressman Kildee and Amir Hekmati.
Rep. Dan Kildee's office.

A nearly four-and-a-half year nightmare has ended for the Hekmati family of Flint. Marine veteran Amir Hekmati was reunited today with his sisters and brother-in-law at the U.S. Army hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. That's where he and two other Americans were taken after being released from an Iranian prison over the weekend. Hekmati had been a prisoner of Iran since August of 2011. U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, was there with the Hekmati family. He has been working for Hekmati's release...

A 2001 USMC portrait of Amir Mirza Hekmati.
USMC

(Editor's note: See this post: Follow Amir Hekmati's journey home from an Iranian prison to Michigan for updates as Hekmati makes his way home.) The AP reports the Swiss plane carrying Amir Hekmati and other Americans from Iran has landed in Geneva, Switzerland. Amir Hekmati is coming home. After spending more than four years in an Iranian prison, the former U.S. Marine from Flint, is now sitting on a plane flying to Europe. He’s part of a multi-layered prisoner exchange between the U.S. and...

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Snyder met privately with Flint and Genesee County leaders today, hours after asking the Obama administration for help in dealing with the city’s water crisis. “We’re finally getting the attention that we need and deserve,” said Flint Mayor Karen Weaver in a written statement. “For so long, our voices have gone unheard. This man-made water disaster has been devastating and frustrating for the residents of Flint. We can’t fix what’s happened to the people of Flint. But, we can get...

Congressman Dan Kildee, D-Flint, has been fighting for the release of Amir Hekmati and other Americans held prisoner by the Iranian government since 2013
Steve Carmody

At last year’s State of the Union address, Flint Congressman Dan Kildee’s guest seat was unoccupied. It was left empty for Marine veteran Amir Hekmati of Flint, who has been held in an Iranian prison since August 29, 2011. At tonight’s State of the Union speech, Kildee will once again use that guest seat to focus attention on Hekmati and the other Americans imprisoned in Iran. This time, Hekmati’s sister Sarah will fill the seat.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The sister of a Michigan man held in an Iranian prison for four years will be a guest at Tuesday’s State of the Union address. Last year, Flint Congressman Dan Kildee’s guest seat at the annual speech by the president was left empty as a protest against the continued imprisonment of Amir Hekmati. This year, his sister Sarah will fill the seat at the State of the Union. Hekmati was arrested on spying charges during a trip to Tehran to visit relatives four years ago. He denies the charges. ...

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan may soon apply for tens of millions of dollars in federal funding to tear down blighted homes. Michigan U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters met with Congressman Dan Kildee in Flint today to discuss the transfer of $2 billion into the federal Hardest Hit Fund. Peters says the evidence that this program works is “overwhelming”. “Whenever you knock down blighted homes in a neighborhood, those property values stabilize. Those properties go up in value. People move back into the...

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A meeting this week may help produce an update into a possible federal probe of Flint’s water problems. Congressman Dan Kildee says he plans to meet this week with Regional EPA director Susan Hedman to discuss the status of an investigation into Flint’s drinking water problems. Kildee says the investigation has to look beyond just assessing blame.

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