Community Member

Cleveland Lead Advocates for Safe Housing

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland Lead Advocates for Safe Housing (CLASH) is a self-funded, all-volunteer coalition of organizations that advocates for the full and timely implementation of the Cleveland Lead Safe Certificate Ordinance. The coalition includes the Cleveland Lead Safe Network, which was founded in 2017 and has since pursued lead safe housing advocacy in a city where most of the homes were constructed before lead-based paints were banned for residential use. In addition to adopting the ordinance, the coalition also advocates for an expanded scope of lead safe housing protections for Cleveland community members who are at risk for lead poisoning. Moving forward, CLASH will continue to pressure city officials to do their jobs and create a safer community for everyone, especially the vulnerable children who are being exposed to lead poisoning in their own homes.

After decades of promises, Cleveland’s children are still poisoned by lead.

A New York Times report in 2016 exposed a lead crisis in Cleveland on the heels of the national attention Flint, Michigan received for its water crisis. The report revealed that more than twice as many children in Cleveland than in Flint had elevated levels of lead in their blood, which can lead to physical and developmental challenges. Since a more concerted effort for lead testing began, nearly half of Cleveland kindergarteners have tested positive for lead exposure. Yvonka Hall and Spencer Wells, CLASH coalition leaders, are not surprised by the statistics and continue to work to improve racial inequities in Cleveland to ultimately improve the health and well-being of its residents. They supported the introduction of a Lead Czar in Cleveland, collected thousands of signatures to support the demand for lead poisoning legislation, and continue to advocate for the full implementation of the city’s lead safe ordinance as its rollout has so far been inadequate.

Members of Cleveland Lead Advocates for Safe Housing (CLASH) delivered more than 10,000 signatures to City Hall today in order to get lead poisoning prevention legislation in front of City Council.

For more information:

Unraveling a ball of confusion over Cleveland lead-poisoning remediation: Spencer Wells –, November 2022

With hundreds of properties still deemed hazardous, lead paint problems persist in Cleveland area – News 5 Cleveland, October 2021

A2 Staff

A2 Staff

This profile was compiled by a dedicated team of staff members who conducted interviews and gathered information from various outlets, including news articles, social media, and other sources.


Spencer Wells


Social Media

Climate Impacts

Water Contamination

Environmental Justice Concerns

Lead Contamination


Community Organizing and Education, Direct Relief and Aid, Fighting Industrial Contamination, Policy Reform, Political activism, including protests, petitions, and lobbying

501c3 Tax Deductible


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