It’s a been a big year in the battle against childhood lead poisoning in NYC—and, next Monday, December 16, WNYC is holding a free event about what the city can do next.
In January, Mayor de Blasio launched his LeadFreeNYC campaign, promising to eliminate lead poisoning in the city by 2029. And in March, the City Council passed ten new bills strengthening the city’s existing lead laws.
But then, an investigation by WNYC and Gothamist found that those protocols largely ignored the very buildings where we concentrate our young people: the city’s public schools. Our reporting found peeling lead paint in four elementary schools and lead-dust levels up to a thousand times the city’s current safety standards.
The story prompted the Department of Education to conduct citywide inspections, revealing over 1,800 3-K through first-grade classrooms with active lead-paint hazards in need of remediation, and led to a total overhaul of school policy and a rewriting of the city’s health code.
Bring your questions to The Greene Space on December 16 and join WNYC host Kai Wright and editor/reporter Christopher Werth for an in-depth look at what’s been called the nation’s longest running (but totally preventable) public-health crisis.
Then, we’ll be in conversation about where the city should go from here with de Blasio’s senior advisor for citywide lead prevention, Kathryn Garcia; the head of Montefiore Hospital’s Lead Poisoning Treatment and Prevention Program, Morri Markowitz; and the attorney who wrote much of NYC’s current lead-protection laws, Matthew Chachère. Afterwards, we’ll be joined by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson to talk about what additional legislation is needed to bring the number of children exposed to zero.
The event starts at 7 p.m. Admission is free!