A History of Lead Advocacy in Cleveland

CWRU--George Baker Class

Nord Hall 213 September 6, 2023

Title: Addressing Lead poisoning in Cleveland

Presenters: Spencer Wells, Darrick Wade

(george questions are in red

Overview of lead poisoning. 

History of lead work in Cleveland

1987-2007: Rehab at Lakeview; Demetrius illness; claims against CMHA.

1996-1998; The HELP Coalition: National efforts to address lead poisoning as a public health problem based on a medical model. secondary vs. primary prevention, the origins of the expression "children as lead detectors"

2004 -- Cleveland enacts lead safe registry. No one ever registered.

2009--Ohio law suit against Sherwin Williams dropped. https://www.cleveland.com/business/2009/02/ohio_drops_leadpaint_lawsuit_a.html

2015-2017: Changing the problem into an issue

2016-2018. Cleveland Lead Safe Network: A power analysis. Testing a theory of change: good government/consensus building. . It would be great to hear your perspective on how you have worked tobring about change in Cleveland. strategy that gained traction

2018-2019: The emergence of CLASH as a political force

Shifting from citizen advocacy to political activism. 

Triggering reaction from the oligarchy.


2020-2023: Implementation and broadening the “community”.

2024-2025: Possible next steps

More legislation?

More collaboration

Another generation of leaders and activists

George notes: 

 If possible, it would be good to get your sense of what has and has not occurred in Cleveland since the

2021 video. If there are any articles you strongly recommend regarding CLE between 2021-2023, I can make sure students have a look at them.

Student questions

Why has it taken so long for people to act?

Why such persistent neglect of this issue?

Has CLASH received any push back for our advocacy

How does CLASH members manage to sustain themselves in a long struggle