Sam Allard / Scene
Rebecca Maurer explains the CLASH lead legislation, (2/4/19).
Cleveland Lead Advocates for Safe Housing (CLASH) has announced that its members will deliver more than 10,000 citizen signatures to City Council this afternoon, setting in motion a process that could put lead legislation on the November ballot if Cleveland City Council fails to act before then.
Only 5,000 signatures are required, but CLASH, whose members have been assiduously collecting signatures since February 15, doubled up as a precaution. Signatures are often deemed invalid. When the Greater Cleveland Congregations delivered upwards of 20,000 signatures
in 2017 seeking referendeum on the Q Deal, for example, only about 13,000 were (ultimately) accepted.
CLASH unveiled its detailed legislation
in February. It is designed to hold landlords accountable for making their properties lead-safe while also establishing protections for tenants. CLASH says its legislation is in keeping with the recommendations of the "Ohio Children's Budget
," assembled by a number of state policy groups, and with Federal legislation currently proposed.
The CLASH bill is also an update on legislation crafted by Legal Aid alongside councilman Jeff Johnson in 2017, though that bill never received a single council hearing. The current draft has been presented to Cleveland City Council and the newly formed Cleveland Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition (LSCC).
In a Monday release announcing the signature delivery, CLASH said that LSCC declined to work from the CLASH proposal but is nevertheless "coalescing around" very similar recommendations.
"We invite LSCC to work with us during the City Council review of our proposal,” said CLASH attorney Rebecca Maurer, in the release. “We all have the same goal: protecting our City’s children from lead poisoning. We hope we can achieve that goal collaboratively with City Council and the members of LSCC. But if not, CLASH is prepared to head to the ballot box in November.”