Former Gov. Rick Snyder was named a senior research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Taubman Center for State and Local Government last week, and to some progressive critics, it wasn’t exactly a cause for celebration.
A backlash from activists still critical of Snyder’s handling of the Flint water crisis swiftly followed Harvard’s announcement, in which the Taubman Center’s Director Jeffrey Liebman praised Snyder’s “significant expertise in management, public policy, and promoting civility” during his near-decade of governorship.
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) June 30, 2019
Piper Kerman, author of the bestselling memoir “Orange is the New Black” on which the Netflix series of the same name was based, publicized on Twitter an email campaign urging people to email Liebman with their criticisms of Snyder under the hashtag “#NoSnyderFellowship.”
The child activist Mari Copeny, known as “Little Miss Flint,” spoke out against the former governor as well, tweeting “Rick Snyder needs to be in jail for poisoning Flint, not at Harvard.”
— #EndCarceralFeminism (@prisonculture) July 1, 2019
Flint residents and activists across the nation have long called for Snyder to be charged with a crime in his capacity overseeing the state’s response to the Flint water crisis, something former Attorney General Bill Schuette mostly ruled out. Last week at a town hall in Flint, the case’s current prosecutors said when asked about Snyder that they will “simply go where the evidence takes them.”
The release announcing Snyder’s fellowship praised his handling of Detroit’s bankruptcy and promotion of self-driving cars in the state, among other things.
Snyder said in the statement that he looks “forward to sharing my experiences in helping take Michigan to national leadership in job creation, improved government performance, and civility.”