ONE Massachusetts Project Director Yawu Miller has a thoughtful blog post putting the water pipe break in context:
“The public systems that ensure that this water is inspected and safe and the public structures that collect, convey and clean the water are invisible to us. Out of sight, out of mind. The water system is the perfect metaphor for the challenges we face in making the case for government.”
The systems that protect public health don’t just operate during an emergency. Public health systems are there every day, testing our water, air, and other environmental factors. Our health depends on the public infrastructure that operates behind the scenes to keep us safe.
Massachusetts had dramatically cut its investment in public health. According to the MassBudget Budget Browser, the public health budget has declined over a third in real terms from 2001 to now. We need to educate our neighbors that it’s these public systems that maintain and enhance our quality of life, and that we can fairly raise the revenue needed to provide the society we all want to have.