February 25, 2015
As a result of this podcast conversation (which was with two other local mothers of young children), I created a petition to engage Portland’s Mayor Charlie Hales in a dialogue about cleaning up the existing lead hazards in the Portland Public Schools.
As parents, we decided to have a stab at addressing this on a local level because, contrary to what most people imagine/common sense, there is no federal legislation protecting children from existing lead hazards in schools – and the legislation I authored for the State of Oregon in 2011 was, in spite of enthusiastic bipartisan support [one of the Republican representatives turned out to have a child who had tested positive for lead, and because he had been personally affected offered his support of our bill] co-opted and dramatically rewritten without my involvement resulting in an utterly useless law (that ultimately merely proposed the creation of “an informational website”!)
Approaching the City with this issue seemed like a promising alternative – as other cities (namely Washington, D.C. & San Diego, California) have created successful models with effective programs at a local level. I have spoken to representatives from those city programs, and they have also offered to volunteer their time to help the City of Portland create similar programs to protect children—programs which include rallying collaborative efforts and resources across the public and private sectors to this end.
As of the time of writing this blog-post the petition now has 1,473 supporters… Please keep sharing and signing. Thank you.
In response to the petition I participated in the following “volley” of communications with the Mayor’s Office earlier this month. These are my actual responses to their notes at the time. Please excuse the brevity and any typos as they were written on my phone and “in the moment” (at the moment I received their communications – as an immediate response), with my children underfoot.
Lead Safe America Foundation
FIRST RESPONSE – February 12, 2015 – 11:32 a.m.
Click on the image to see the email full size. (So you can actually read it.)
My response to the above email – February 12, 2015 – 11:41 am
The Mayor’s Office response to the above email – February 12, 2015 – 12:59 pm
My response to the above email – February 12, 2015 – 1:08 pm