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The Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition Submits Policy Recommendations to Cleveland City Council

Posted May 1, 2019
8:20 pm

Published by The Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition on 5/1/2019

Today the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition submitted to Cleveland City Council policy recommendations to help make Cleveland lead safe.

The development and submission of these policy recommendations fulfills an initial promise made to the community by the Coalition when it formally launched in January 2019.

The policy recommendations prioritize the prevention of lead poisoning in children and the foundational importance of proactive rental inspections. The centerpiece of the recommendations is the requirement that rental units become certified as lead safe within three years.  In addition to prevention, the policy recommendations encompass screening and testing, treatment and intervention, and education and outreach to advance the goal of preventing lead poisoning and caring for children already poisoned.

Hallmarks of the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition’s policy recommendations include:

  • Lead Safe Certificate Mandate
  • Urgent yet Feasible Roll Out
  • No Sticks Without Carrots
  • Prioritized Assistance for those Most At-Risk
  • Equitable Enforcement
  • Quality Control and Accountability
  • Protection Against and Mitigation of Unintended Consequences
  • A Well-Resourced System and Community
  • Cross-System Coordination
  • Innovation and Systems Change

“The process [of developing these policy recommendations] centered on community leadership, elevating the voices of experts, advocates, and residents who have been living this work on the ground for years and even decades. The recommendations reflect and amplify the many years of hard work,” said Kim Foreman of Environmental Health Watch and chair of the Community Engagement Committee. “A lot of best practice and expertise informed and validated the work. Simply put, these recommendations are based on science and evidence.”

“Keeping the prevention of childhood lead poisoning at the center, the Policy Committee recognized that its recommendations needed to proactively address rental housing to reduce the number of children who are poisoned while also balancing the need for the community to build resources and systems. The Policy Committee’s iterative and co-creative process reflects this balance, as do its recommendations and its expectations moving forward. As a member of the Policy Committee, I look forward to robust, public dialogue,” said Abigail Staudt of The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.

“It was with a deep sense of urgency that the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition delegated the development of recommendations to the Policy Committee, who took on the task with impressive discipline and unflinching commitment to Cleveland’s children,” said Mark McDermott of Enterprise Community Partners and chair of the Policy Committee. “The Policy Committee consists of more than 70 members representing housing, healthcare, community development, policy, government, philanthropy, research institutions, neighborhoods, and more. I’m proud to say that all of today’s policy recommendations were submitted with majority-support from this expert, diverse committee.”

The Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition welcomes continued conversation and debate. Honest and inclusive dialogue created the current policy recommendations.  Proposed solutions will continue to improve through ongoing discussion. Whether it be the creation of the Lead Safe Home Fund, the establishment of the Lead Safe Resource Center, fundamentally changing Cleveland’s expectations for its housing stock and landlords, or providing ongoing lead poisoning prevention education, the Coalition stands ready to support the City of Cleveland as a partner.

The Policy Committee will continue to meet and work on their long-term scope of work that encompasses: Comprehensive and sustainable local, state, and federal policies; administrative rules; community programs; implementation; delivery infrastructure; and resources.

For a copy of the Lead Safe Cleveland policy recommendations and accompanying documentation, please visit:


The Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition is an inclusive public-private partnership founded to address lead poisoning through a comprehensive, preventive, and long-term approach. This approach protects Cleveland’s children by merging smart, adaptable public policies; knowledgeable agencies willing to collaborate; proven community programs; and public and private sector accountability. With community voice embedded in all aspects, the Coalition is working toward an initial five-point action plan: 1) create community goals; 2) develop lead safe policy recommendations; 3) host the Lead Safe Home Summit; 4) create a Lead Safe Home Fund; and 5) advocate for state and federal resources. Initial support for the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition came from the City of Cleveland, the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation, the George Gund Foundation, the Saint Luke’s Foundation, The Cleveland Foundation, the Bruening Foundation, the Sisters of Charity Foundation, the Third Federal Foundation, and United Way of Greater Cleveland. Today, the Coalition has over 225 participants and five working committees and continues to grow. Everyone is encouraged to join us. Email: Twitter: @LeadSafeCLE, #LeadSafeCLE.

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