Getting the Lead Out

ACORN Community Organizing Ideas and Issues Personal Writings

Cleveland       The ACORN National Board met for its fall meeting in Cleveland in order to be close to the fight to raise the minimum wage in Ohio from $5.15 per hour to $6.85 per hour.  But, before that the leadership had a number of other pieces of business.  One had the top elected leaders continuing the negotiations with New Century representatives to see if an agreement on better lending practices was possible.  The rest of the leaders joined with Ohio ACORN members in putting the heat on Sherwin-Williams to finally do the right thing and get the lead out of our neighborhoods that came from their paint.

The opportunity to take the message to Sherwin-Williams was possible because the Chairman of the Board and CEO Christopher Connor lived in an upper income suburb called Chagrin Falls (seriously, chagrin) not far from Cleveland.  Several busloads of our members rallied in front of his house and asked his neighbors to join with us and talk to him about making homes lead-free. 

After seeing the house, the busses went to the town center and unveiled a fancy balloon message to Chris Connor asking him to do right.  The balloons once inflated raised up a giant banner that could be seen all over town.  We got the idea for this prop from our friends at the Ruckus Society, so props for this.

The flyer we passed out had the heart of the message at the very bottom of the page:  some 35 million homes in the US still have lead-based paint on the walls.

This has to end.  Today in the cold, ACORN waited for an answer.

October 14, 2006