Democrats Add Eliminating Lead Poisoning to Party Platform
by Julie Kruse
On July 9, 2016, history was made: A major U.S. political party added the words “we must make it a national priority to eradicate lead poisoning” to its platform. Never in the history of American politics has a major party called for the elimination of lead poisoning explicitly as a portion of its platform.
That finally changed late Saturday night as the Democratic Platform Committee approved Amendment 176 to add the following language to their platform:
“Democrats believe we must make it a national priority to eradicate lead poisoning which disproportionately impacts low-income children and children of color and can lead to lifelong health and educational challenges, as a public health threat. We will prioritize hiring and training workers from affected communities to clean up toxic brownfields and expand clean energy, energy efficiency, and resilient infrastructure.”
As a nonpartisan organization, NCHH hopes that all of the political parties will recognize the importance of this provision and add it to their respective platforms. The health, safety, and well-being of America’s children is important to all Americans.
Kudos to platform committee members Mara Keisling and Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), for promoting and offering this amendment.
Watch a video of the amendment’s introduction by Mara Keisling and its subsequent approval here.
Julie Kruse, worked as NCHH’s director of policy from November 2014 to January 2017, passionately advocating for safe, healthy, and affordable housing of high quality. In her long and distinguished career, she has served such organizations as the Immigration Equality Action Fund, the Center for Economic Progress, Chicago Women in Trades, and the Midwest Women’s Center. Since 2017, she has worked with the Family Equality Council’s public policy team to gain legal equality for LGBTQ families, LGBTQ youth needing families, and LGBTQ adults waiting to foster or adopt in the U.S. Ms. Kruse holds a B.S. in biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana and a Master of Science in education from Northwestern University.