Community Organizing

water-action05aThe Childhood Lead Action Project serves as a catalyst for change by coordinating the Get the Lead Out Coalition (GLOC), a network of groups and individuals advocating for state and local policies that protect children from lead exposure. Through the work of the coalition, we defend good laws on the books and push for stronger measures by making policy recommendations, holding meetings with leaders, and being a watchdog for accountability. We also promote lead safe policies by providing representation on policy making groups, testimony at legislative hearings and intervention in the regulatory process.

Recent victories include:

  • Using the threat of human street blockades, we helped two local neighborhoods convince the Providence Water Supply Board to stop potentially dangerous lead pipe replacements.
  • Following our independent investigation into rumors that fraudulent lead certificates were being issued for local apartments, the Rhode Island Department of Health revoked the license of a corrupt lead inspector and suspended a second inspector's license.
  • In partnership with the Environmental Neighborhood Awareness Committee of Tiverton, the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island, and additional environmental advocates, we helped pass state legislation to significantly raise fines for major polluters.

Largely due to the efforts of GLOC, Rhode Island has made significant progress in securing protection for children through innovative public policy. Although much work remains to be done to truly eliminate this fully preventable disease, we are proud of our past accomplishments, including:

  • Advocating for lead safe Section 8 housing in Rhode Island, leading to an MOU (memorandum of understanding) signed by the major housing authorities agreeing to comply with federal state regulations.
  • Coordinating public education campaigns leading to state appropriations of several million dollars for lead hazard reduction funding, public awareness and staffing for enforcement efforts.
  • Working in coalition with other stakeholders to establish the Housing Resources Commission, responsible for housing, planning and policy for the state.
  • Serving as a catalyst for the State of Rhode Island to pursue its landmark lawsuit against the manufacturers of lead paint. Rhode Island was the first state to take such action.
  • Winning a campaign to obtain passage of the Lead Hazard Mitigation Act of 2002 (and subsequent amendments). The Act has resulted in thousands of landlords receiving crucial lead prevention training and has opened up new avenues for families of lead poisoned children seeking justice.