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Baltimore City is send a city charter change to voters for prohibit privatizing its water and sewer:

Baltimore City Council members concerned about lobbying efforts to privatize the city’s water supply unanimously approved legislation Monday that, if approved by voters, would make Baltimore the first major city to ban the sale or lease of the water system.

City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young waived council rules to allow for fast-tracked approval of a charter amendment that will go to voters on the November ballot.

“Access to clean and affordable water should be looked at as a basic human right,” Young said.
Baltimore council considering charter amendment to ban sale of city water system

The move could make Baltimore the first city in the country to amend its charter to preserve public ownership and control over its water and sewer systems, and the largest U.S. city to prohibit sale or lease of its water system. Northampton, Mass., passed legislation in 2016 prohibiting the sale or lease of its water system.

Incorporating this into the city charter doesn’t make it more difficult to sell off the water system, it means that there has to be a public vote, and weeks, if not months, of public discussions, which the privatizers would probably lose.

Given the record of privatizing public services, this is a very good thing.

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