Tuesday, as I drove around Detroit interviewing people about the city’s water crisis, my email kept filling with congratulatory messages.

“I’m excited to let you know about a big win that happened today in Detroit,” read one, from the organizers of Netroots Nation, the conference that helped call attention to the biggest and most celebrity-bedazzled protest the crisis has seen so far. “Control of the Detroit Water and Sewage Department (DWSD) has been returned back to the hands of the people. Your activism, energy and help in generating media attention at Netroots Nation played a big role here.”

“Victory!” read another one, from the Detroit Water Brigade. “Our water is no longer under emergency management. We did it!”