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Social Justice

Building a Lead Safe Cleveland

Virtual Forum

Thursday, April 29, 2021
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

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"We are moving an entire system to from an "after-the-fact" system to a prevention system...we were using children as lead detectors and that has to stop." – Marcia Egbert

For years, researchers, experts, and journalists have raised alarm bells about the rising numbers of Northeast Ohio children presenting with elevated blood lead levels and lead poisoning. One study even found that the rates of lead poisoning in Ohio rivaled that of Flint, Michigan. The region's industrial past and aging buildings and housing stock laden with lead paint are often cited as culprits.

But there is a concerted effort underway to prevent lead poisoning and curb the "poisoning-to-prison" path of school struggles, juvenile crime, adult incarceration, and homelessness that many young people face. Launched in January 2019, the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition is comprised of more than 450 members, 120 organizations, state and local governments, and families impacted by lead all working together to address the issue of lead poisoning. While from different backgrounds, they all agree that no child should ever be poisoning by lead.

The Coalition supported the passage of groundbreaking law to proactively require rental units be lead safe certified in the City of Cleveland. And last year, to complement the law, the Coalition launched the Lead Safe Home Fund, a first-of-its-kind, public-private fund to help families and landlords comply with the new Lead Safe Certification requirement.

The Lead Safe Home Fund has a target budget of $99.4 million over five years to support a Lead Safe Resource Center, train lead safe workers, and provide landlords with lead safe home loans and grants. Today, these services are open and available to the public. The Coalition has had tremendous success fundraising for the Lead Safe Home Fund but is pressing on in order to create a lead safe Cleveland.

Join us as Coalition leaders share their progress and challenges, and discuss how this lead safe model can and should be replicated in other communities.

The livestream will be available beginning at 12 p.m. Have questions? Tweet them at @TheCityClub or send a text to 330.541.5794.

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