February 10, 2020

Enterprise, Ohio Lead Free Kids Coalition Host Event on Lead Poisoning Prevention

Panelists discussing the need for cross-sector advocacy and mobilization around lead safety.

On February 5th, 2020, the Ohio Lead Free Kids Coalition (OLFKC) hosted a lunch and learn event, “Lead Poisoning Prevention: How to Create Lead Safe Spaces for Children.”

The goal was to convene health and housing stakeholders to coalesce around the issue of lead poisoning prevention in the State of Ohio by engaging in a dialogue on the intersection of lead poisoning prevention, public health, and housing quality. The event emphasized and encouraged cross-sector advocacy and mobilization to advance public policy, and to create a sense of urgency for federal, state and local action to help fund activities to prevent lead poisoning and create lead-safe homes.

The event garnered great interest from advocates, policy makers, and industry officials across the state. Over 100 people from a wide variety of sectors attended the event, including: housing developers, affordable housing advocates, public health officials, child health advocates, resident organizations, state housing officials, state health officials, and elected officials including the Ohio House of Representatives, the Ohio Senate, and locally elected officials representing the Cleveland City Council, Columbus City Council, Cuyahoga County Council and other local jurisdictions throughout Ohio. 

The panel discussion addressed the need for primary prevention and education. With a strong focus on the role of redlining and structural racism in lead poisoning, the panel addressed policy solutions and their implications for racial equity.  The panel presented a compelling case that the cost of doing nothing far outweigh the cost to creating lead safe spaces. The audience left equipped them with the necessary information to promote lead safe policies that improve health outcomes, create jobs, and save costs for the overall health care system.  
 
At the event, the OLFKC unveiled the “Ohio Action Plan for Lead-Free Children,” a 9-point action plan with the goal of eliminating primary sources of childhood lead exposure in Ohio by 2030. Looking ahead, next steps include: collaboration among industry partners on prevention, broader communications strategies, building a movement of impacted families, improving enforcement, and more.  

Enterprise Community Partners was a proud partner in planning and executing the event. The event was made possible with the generous support of the Funders for Housing and Opportunity collaborative, garnering social media and press coverage. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on the event and the OLFKC’s Action Plan, and on February 11, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine invited the Ohio Lead Free Kids Coalition to present their Action Plan to his statewide Lead Advisory Committee. 

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