A petition against Pepco is gaining momentum six days after the region's derecho passed—a powerful storm which knocked out power to millions of homes in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
So far, more than 1,800 people have signed onto the Change.org campaign titled, Pepco CEO: Invest your millions in profits to improve our power system. The group has a goal of 2,000 signatures in an effort to push for improvement in the electric company’s reliability and safety by burying power lines.
"This is not a power issue, it is a human rights issue,” Silver Spring resident Kevin Gradia said.
Gradia is one of the people who still doesn't have power. Armed with his smart phone in hand, he launched the PEPCO reliability campaign Tuesday.
“Seniors and vulnerable populations are at risk, and we need a power company that puts people ahead of profits. Pepco is a very profitable company, and they need to commit to a five-year plan to bury their cables so they are protected from extreme weather."
Gradia explains how his 70-year-old neighbor, Kay, is also without power and is concerned for both her own health and her dog’s health.
Many of the people in the metro area who signed the petition say they are fed up of the lack of service and want to see a change.
Najma Siddiqi signed the petition Thursday and explains, “our street has been out of power for 5 days now, no positive response to our queries, and no promises to fix anything before the coming weekend... no one seems to be bothered. We have families with pets, kids, and elders of ages between a few months to 80 [years old].”
For every new signature that the petition receives, an email is sent to Pepco’s media relations department.
“Kevin’s petition has struck a cord with DC and Maryland residents who are tired of losing power for days on end,” Sarah Ryan, campaigner at Change.org said. “It’s clear that this issue is resonating with many people in the DC area.”