Cleveland, OH – Cleveland Lead Advocates for Safe Housing (CLASH) will kick off a second petition drive tomorrow, Saturday, June 1st at 10 AM tomorrow at the NEOCH office (address above).
The proposed ordinance and ballot initiative would require that all city rental properties and day care center buildings built before 1978 be tested for lead hazards and be certified as “Lead Safe” by 2021. It also includes protections for tenants, creation of a city fund for public and private contributions to assist landlords and other requirements that will educate the public about the dangers of lead poisoning to neighborhood children.
“CLASH made a promise that we would not give up the fight to protect Cleveland’s children from poisoning, and the time has come to make good on our word,” says Milo Korman, CLASH and Cleveland Democratic Socialists of America member, “The citizens of Cleveland will exercise our electoral rights to place a lead safe housing law on the ballot.”
Despite statements by City Council leaders that a “lead safe” ordinance would be drafted and introduced in the month of May nothing has been done. CLASH will continue to urge Cleveland City Council to pass its proposal while it seeks the support and signatures of Cleveland residents, but if City Council fails to pass a strong and effective “lead safe” mandate ordinance CLASH will file the completed petitions in August to trigger a public vote in the March 2020 election. The lack of a disclaimer required by state law prevents CLASH from having its previous “lead safe” proposal on the November 2019 ballot.
“We must all focus on this public health crisis. We must again ask the citizens to join us to pass a lead safe law that will require all lead to be removed from every rental housing and day care centers. If City Hall fails to stand up and act then the citizens will,” says Jeff Johnson, CLASH and former Cleveland City Council member.
Since January when the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition was formed at City Hall by civic leaders, 438 Cleveland children have tested positive for elevated blood lead levels.