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.
Antiquity: lead as a condiment
Lead paint, lead in gasoline Thomas A. Midgely.
Midgley invented Ethyl gas and got lead poisoning. Bounced back and invented Freon. Then contracted polio in his 50s, invented a mobility of ropes and pulley so he could move around the house, accidently hung himself when his rope system strangled him.
1970--Herbert Needleman. Identified lead as a medical and public health issue; fired for his reasearch at University of Pittsburgh, moved to University of Pennsylvania. His research was challenged throughout the 1990s, later his results were confirmed by subsequent studies.
1978-84: lead banned from residential paint, real estate disclosure rules, lead banned from gasoline
2014: Flint changes everything.
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
Cleveland vs. Metropolitan vs. model project?
writing the ordinance/lobbying city council
water vs. paint in CLE
Focus on rental housing.
Designing a legally bullet proof model. Funny in retrospect. Models from Cleveland (Jackson’s efforts to block predatory lending and Toledo’s failure to survive a legal challenge).
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”.
LSCC becomes the public-private partnership (analyzing the corporate/philanthropic/government model)
CLASH reforms (gains and losses), become a 501c3, decides to continue be an all volunteer. Moves to broadens the issue base, musters more forces, and extends the geographic base.
The pandemic diversion
The 2022 Municipal elections: wins and losses
2024-2025: Possible next steps
Another generation of leaders and activists
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.
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