Friday, Feb. 2: Clean Water Rally & Relief Drive in West Helena

Rodney Govens and his campaign team along with Steve Grappe of Stand Up Arkansas, the Rural Caucus of Arkansas, and CAPES will hold a Clean Water Rally and Relief Drive on Friday, Feb. 2, from 3 to 7 p.m., in West Helena, where residents have been without running water for weeks.

Also participating will be numerous community leaders, volunteers from several county chapters of the Democratic Party of Arkansas, and candidates for Arkansas House District 62 Dexter Miller and Kellee Mitchell Faris.

The rally will be held at the Eliza Miller Opportunity Hub at 106 Miller Loop, West Helena AR 72342.

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Govens, who is the Democratic nominee for U.S. House of Representatives in Arkansas’ First Congressional District, will deliver brief remarks at 3:30 p.m., calling attention to the abhorrent conditions and completely broken infrastructure that, thus far, seems to have been largely ignored or minimized by current elected officials in Congress and the State Capitol.

Govens, campaign teammates, and other volunteers in attendance will help distribute donated water and cleaning supplies as needed, following the rally. Young Democrats from Jonesboro have begun collecting bottled water donations and plan to deliver them with the Govens campaign on Friday.

All organizations and individuals who wish to bring donations to the West Helena Clean Water Rally & Relief Drive on Friday are invited to participate and meet Govens and the team there at 3 p.m.

Financial donations for West Helena relief should be made to the existing relief efforts by Together for Hope Arkansas, a nonprofit serving Helena-West Helena that has been raising money to purchase pallets of bottled water; those pallets are being distributed by the Phillips County Emergency Management Office. Donate to Together for Hope Arkansas at https://givebutter.com/water4westhelena.

Note: The Rodney Govens for Congress campaign is not collecting donations but is instead encouraging donors to give directly to those organizations listed here that are closely and permanently connected with West Helena’s needs.

The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is collecting donations of water, water filters, body wipes, buckets, bleach, and LifeStraws; these items can be dropped off at the Extension Service office at 2301 S. University Ave. in Little Rock every weekday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Donations can also be dropped off at the Phillips County Justice Complex at 1804 Martin Luther King Drive in Helena. Read more about that effort at https://www.uaex.uada.edu/media-resources/news/2024/january/01-25-2024-ark-water-crisis.aspx.

The water systems in Helena-West Helena have been plagued for years by leaks, outages, and aging wells — some of which are already 30+ years beyond their expected lifespan. The West Helena water system had a major failure last summer, leaving all residents and businesses there without reliable water service. When they’ve had running water, residents have been required to boil it before using it for cooking, cleaning, bathing, or drinking. The town’s second major water system failure occurred in mid-January 2024, and nearly 2,000 local residents have not had any running water since then.

More details about the water system outage can be found in this report by the Arkansas Times.

We can win with your help!

Rodney is committed to visiting every city and town in Arkansas’ First Congressional District, to ask you and your neighbors what you need your next Congressman to do in office. Your donation will power Rodney’s work and restore empathy and hope for Arkansans. 

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