Mission and History
Mission: CLASH advocates for full and timely implementation of the Cleveland Lead Safe Certificate ordinance and to expand the scope of lead safe housing protections for Clevelanders who are at risk of lead poisoning.
Our History: Cleveland Lead Safe Network (CLSN) was founded in January 2017 to promote legislation that would require owners of rental properties built before 1978 to make their properties lead safe before children are poisoned. At that time about 4 children per day are diagnosed with elevated blood lead levels.
During 2017 and 2018, CLSN worked with Councilman Jeff Johnson to write and introduce the Cleveland Lead Safe ordinance. Despite our best efforts, Cleveland City Council refused to hold hearings on the ordinance.
In January of 2019, CLSN joined with 11 other community based organizations to form Cleveland Lead Advocates for Safe Housing (CLASH) as an Issue PAC under Ohio law. CLASH began a petition drive to place a lead safe housing initiative on the ballot.
Faced with the likelihood of a vote of the people, Cleveland City Council enacted a Lead Safe Certificate ordinance on 7/24/19.
In 2019-2020, during the pandemic, CLASH re-formed as a 501 c 3 tax exempt organization for the purpose of fully implementing the Cleveland Lead Safe Certificate ordinance and expanding the scope of lead safe housing protections for Clevelanders who are at risk of lead poisoning. During the pandemic, our we developed health safe communication channels including two email newsletters (Stay in Touch for public supporters and Weekend/midweek update for activists. We also produced a brochure on Using Nutrition to combat lead poisoning which we circulated at food programs and feeding centers. CLASH continued to meet using online meeting tools.
In 2021, as pandemic restrictions eased CLASH reached out to citizens through community events and to civic leaders through online issue briefings.