We're launching a crowdfunding effort for lead poisoning intervention
So we're kicking off our first crowdfunding effort! One of the ways that we thought we could start action right away is to turn to the public for support. Here's the background info for helping us launch a lead detection and abatement micropilot in Fruitvale.
Stories like Antonio's featured in the video below (credit: Lauren M. Whaley/CHCF Center for Health Reporting) are entirely too common, especially when lead poisoning is IRREVERSIBLE but PREVENTABLE.
What we are raising funds for:
In the rest of the U.S., kids in over 3000 cities have elevated blood lead levels. The answers to their problems are not simple, and it has been shown that the most vulnerable children are those in communities of color, and socio-economically disadvantaged. Lead in the environment has been a known problem for quite some time, but recent news reports since Flint's water crisis has captured the public's attention. Media coverage about lead poisoning has not been sensationalistic or about exploiting others' pain, but nonetheless shocking. However, there are still many people who are unaware of lead exposure effects, still too many children left unscreened for lead poisoning (because it's not yet required by law to screen all children), still too many cracks in our current systems for kids to fall through. These are major barriers to equity, and there is simply not enough being done to ensure a fair chance for lead-poisoned children.
SmartOakland is starting a micropilot to address those concerns in Fruitvale, Oakland CA, a location that Reuters reported child blood lead levels to be worse that that of Flint's. Fruitvale is a neighborhood teeming with friendly faces and a vibrancy characteristic of Oakland, but has historically been underserved. Too long, we have relied on external entities to come together for environmental testing and policy change. However, there are steps that our communities can take now, to decrease lead poisoning exposure among children--the most impacted population due to the stage in their development. Since self-reliance is an aspect of community resiliency, we have developed a program model to train community members to collect analytical data using the latest technology to foster ownership of information and family health. The cycle of child lead poisoning can be stopped.
How you can help here:
Donating what you can would be a great way to make sure this project gets funding and off the ground. A cash donation would be a direct way to do this, but so is widely sharing this campaign to your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn). Spending some of your time to learn about the childhood lead poisoning issue is another way to engage. We guarantee that it will be difficult to ignore the problems we collectively face after understanding the enormity of the consequences and urgency of finding sustainable, lasting solutions to the invisible threats to the health of our communities now, and in the future. We have plenty of opportunities to show up on the hyper-local level, and have our waves of action be felt through the country. We can only do this together; no child deserves to be sentenced to a life of environmental/health/social injustices.
Want to be directly involved with SmartOakland?
Want to be involved in our movement and collaborate? Know of a problem with lead in your neighborhood? Have special skills, for example, fundraising or communications that you think would be helpful to SmartOakland's growth? Are you a community leader and member who is dedicated to ending childhood lead poisoning in your neighborhood? Get in touch!
If we exceed our funding goal in the next 30 days, we will allocate the remaining funds to the next neighborhoods for community outreach & engagement e.g. listening sessions, health communications, portable XRF scanner, and tailored solutions. The more locations we cover, we can keep bringing the wealth of knowledge, perspectives, and resources we all gain. You are helping to build equity, one micro-community at a time, and soon, yours.