100 signatures reached
To: Members of the U.S. Congress
Protect our children. End the #LeadEpidemic.
Our nation’s children are not well. They are developing lead poisoning and suffering from the devastating and permanent harm it causes. Our federal policies should reflect our ethical duty to care for the most vulnerable and prevent the tragedy of lead poisoning for all children. We can protect our children and - as clergy, faith leaders, and people who hold different ideologies as truth - we urge you to use your power to support the Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act of 2016 (S2631/HR4694).
Why is this important?
Every child deserves a safe and healthy home. Innocent children are being lead poisoned and our current laws do nothing to stop it. Over 1.6 million low-income families rely on the federal government to provide them with safe, decent, and affordable housing. Yet, the majority of these homes are clustered in areas at high risk of lead poisoning.
Lanice Walker learned this truth the hard way. When she received a housing voucher, she felt like she could breathe again, like her children finally had a place to grow and thrive for the first time. Shortly after moving into her new home, Ms. Walker’s hopes were shattered when all of her young children were diagnosed with lead poisoning. Unknowingly, Lanice Walker and her family had moved into a home that was rife with lead hazards. Today, her youngest children Emaurie and Mahogahny receive special education services while Ervin struggles to speak. This mother’s dream of security became a tragic reality.
(Mahogahny is pictured above. Photo credit: Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)
Across the country, families like the Walker's have been exposed to dangerous lead hazards in their homes, with poor and communities of color disproportionately at risk of harm. These risks are multiplied by outdated policies that don’t respond until after a child suffers severe brain damage.
Our respective faiths teach us that life is sacred and as such we each have a responsibility to care for one another and protect the most vulnerable in our society. It is time to pay more than lip service to these beliefs because, in this case, inactive faith invites death.
Taking action to end the #leadepidemic is a way to respond to the call to confront and eradicate that which harms the most vulnerable in our human family. To ignore the threat of lead poisoning, or the devastating effects it has on our children, is to turn our backs on all we hold to be sacred and true.
The Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act of 2016 will identify lead hazards before a child is harmed, ensure that federal policies reflect the prevailing science, and allow families living in toxic homes to move if they so choose.
These actions are critical to stem the tide of lead poisoning and represent the long overdue solution to a widespread problem that has endangered far too many lives.
Signing this petition is a good first step in calling on our country’s moral consciousness to protect our children and telling Congress that we wont stand by as more children are lead poisoned.
Called to do more? Here are some suggestions:
Spread the Word to Project Our Children - Movements grow in strength as people are engaged. Make sure this crisis is known more broadly by sharing with your networks and communities by word of mouth, on your website, in your newsletter, on your social media pages. The more people know, the more they can protect themselves and others at risk of lead poisoning.
Here are some informative articles that can be shared with your community:
The Poison in Our Walls: http://nyti.ms/1VTRv8P
We Know How To Stop The Epidemic Of Lead Poisoning. So Why Aren’t We?: http://bit.ly/1ZwWM4q
Legislation to protect children in public housing from lead exposure introduced in House and Senate: http://bit.ly/1pIrACr
Durbin, Quigley target lead hazards in Section 8 housing with new bill: http://trib.in/1QSE6pi
Federal housing policy leaves poor kids at risk of lead poisoning: http://trib.in/1QlbIzc
Chicago medical clinic prescribes legal help for housing: http://apne.ws/1pIrWcn
Stand with Us and Join the Movement - Partner with us for change as a faith leader or as a community. Let others know that faith inspires action to end the #LeadEpidemic through your endorsement. Add your organizations, institutions, and communities to the growing list of those publicly standing in solidarity through endorsement as a means of addressing this #LeadEpidemic harming our nation's children. (Send us a message through our Facebook page to endorse the bill as a community or organization.)
If we act together, we can end the #leadepidemic!
How it will be delivered
This petition – which is being organized in partnership with ColorofChange.org, the Health Justice Project, and Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty law – will be hand delivered to members of Congress at the end of the month. Our goal is 20,000 signatures.
Co-Authored by Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III and Alicia Crosby