CLASH in the News

Dr. Chantal Dothey and Spencer at the Famicos Festival on May 12, 2022

Thanks to WEWS for their on-going coverage of lead issues in Cleveland.

March 8, 2022. Maybe Governor DeWine pays attention to CLASH Public Comments. New funding for Lead Pipe Replacement for Child Care Centers.

Press Release

February 10, 2022 For Immediate release

Judge Scott is Right! Housing Court Should Enforce the Lead Safe Certificate Law

CLASH supports Judge Moná Scott’s right to require landlords to show compliance with Cleveland’s Lead Safe Certificate law before they are eligible to bring an eviction action. A recent court case brought against the Judge claims that she does not have the authority to enforce the Lead Safe Certificate Law, passed in 2019. (alternate source here,)

By taking the initiative to require lead safe compliance, Housing Court Judge Scott has shown that she understands that there is no such thing as voluntary compliance without some strict enforcement. The failure of the 2005 ordinance creating a Lead Safe Registry is a dramatic example of the failure of voluntary compliance. No one ever signed up! At risk Cleveland households should not have been forced to wait in vain for lead safe housing.

While many landlords have shown themselves willing to obey the law in the interest of their tenants, many others are waiting to see what will happen if they do nothing. Some clear examples of consequences for landlords who have not complied will move many who are on the fence to comply with the law. The cost of making a rental property lead safe is negligible and assistance is available. Making rental homes is not just altruism. If a child is poisoned in a rental property, the owner may be compelled to pay thousands of dollars for a full scale lead abatement.

It’s ironic that no one actively opposed a similar court rule created by former Housing Court Judge Ron O’Leary. That rule required landlords to register their property with the City’s Rental Registration Program before bringing an eviction. Back then, landlords were pretty confident that there were very limited inspection requirements connected with the rental registry.

One of the most powerful impacts of compliance with lead safe certification will be to close a loophole in the Federal and City lead disclosure laws. For two decades, owners of pre-1978 rental properties could honestly say that they had “no knowledge” of lead hazards because they were never inspected. The passage of the Lead Safe Certification Ordinance closed that loophole. Once certified, an owner can’t tell prospective tenants that he or she doesn’t know about lead hazards or fail to reveal what steps were taken to remediate those hazards.

Judge Scott’s initiative is civic heroism, but Judge Scott shouldn’t be the only Cleveland official who is enforcing the Lead Safe Certificate Ordinance. CLASH is advocating that Mayor Bibb’s Lead Czar (see page 40) will work with the Directors of Building and Housing and the Law Department create a procedure for bringing charges against egregiously non-compliant property owners. Further, the Department of Building and Housing must resume lead testing (including dust wipes) as a part of Rental Registration inspections and inspections triggered by tenant complaints.

For more information contact Yvonka M. Hall, President

Cleveland Lead Advocates for Safe Housing (CLASH)

Phone or Text: 216-802-8101


Oct 11, 2021. Cleveland Scene. Winners and Losers in the Cleveland Mayoral Debate: Bibb Kicks Kelley's Ass. "...Bibb's strongest moment came in the discussion of the lead paint crisis. Bibb celebrated the work of CLASH activists and said it was a shame it took their efforts to finally force city government's hand on lead. He said he wants to beef up housing code enforcement to ensure landlord compliance, appoint a lead czar in his administration and spend ARPA dollars to establish an endowment to fully eradicate lead poisoning in Cleveland. Ambitious? Sure. But Kelley took exception to Bibb's plan to ;beef up' code enforcement — this was another buzzword, presumably — and talked about the challenges of recruiting employees in the building and housing department. Though he did say the city can't make excuses, he said the lead safe Cleveland initiative had been stalled by the pan

City Council Comment October 1, 2021

Thanks to Yvonka, Darrick and Mario who testified at the VERY FIRST Citizen Comment period at City Hall. Focus of testimony was using American Rescue Plan funding for expanding child lead testing in Cleveland. The remarks were well received with applause from the other citizens. Erika and Spencer sat in the audience and were supportive. Sitting in the audience TJ summed it up this way: "I streamed your public comment last night. I'm so proud of you. Yall killed it! In solidarity." Cleveland City Council allows public comments at meeting for first time in a century.

Tremont Arts and Culture

Thanks to BrianH, ChantalD, DalonzoC, DarrickW, DaveG, and MarioP for their help at the Tremont A&C festival this past weekend. 7 Lead Test KIt applications; 15 Stay in Touch signups, and lots of questions from tenants and landlords. One repeated question: what's going to happen to lead water lines in Cleveland? CLASH will be doing some research into the current status of funding and pushing the Mayoral candidates to be prepared to apply for Federal funding if/when the Infrastructure Bill (BIF) is passed by the House and Senate. CLASH was able to be there thanks to GailL who provided paid for our table space.

Harvard Square Family Fun Day September 4, 2021

8 guests to our table signed up for the Stay in Touch newsletter and 4 requested for lead test kits. Celebrity guests who stopped by included Mayoral candidates Ross DiBello and Zack Reed, Council candidate Kevin Bishop, and State rep Kenny Yuko.

CWRU Know Your Neighbor

Tae-Hee and Dalonzo are providing information to attendees at CWRU's Know Your Neighbors on Saturday August 28th. Sixteen table guests signed up for Stay in Touch Newsletter. One guest received a Lead Test Kit.

Pilgrim Church of Christ Summer Resource Fair

"I saw you on TV!" One of our table guests recognized Erika from a clip shown on Channel 19. They got to share information on lead poisoning.

Sleep Out on the Steps of City Hall

Thanks to Mayoral candidates Justin Bibb, Dennis Kucinich and Zack Reed for participating. Their commitment to support lead safe housing is appreciated!

Read more at East Side Daily News, page 7. There's another story coming up later this week. Thank ESDN.

Thanks to Richard T. Andrews of the Real Deal Press for supporting the Sleep out on the steps of City Hall.

You can watch the whole event on youtube at and at

Thanks to Larry Gardner for the videos!

Black on Black Crime hosts an Activists Convention to end gun violence

CLASH has signed on as a supporter. Childhood lead poisoning is directly related to young adult contact with the criminal justice system.

  • In Cleveland 30% of children with elevated blood lead levels have contact with the Juvenile Justice System

  • In Milwaukee, 50% of people involved in gun violence had elevated blood lead levels.

  • In Ohio the rate of elevated blood lead levels in children 0-6 years of age is almost 3 times the national rate.

Preventing lead exposure plus early diagnosis and treatment can reduce gun violence in Cleveland.

Saturday tabling at Shaw Jr. High event--Bridges to the Future. We had about 20 visitors to the table, 5 sign ups. Yvonka was on a panel in a break out session.