SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Today, a press conference was held by Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and a number of community organizations dedicated to ending lead poisoning in Central New York. The press conference featured, among other announcements, a proclamation by Walsh recognizing October 23 to 29 as Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.
“Do hereby proclaim the week of the 23 to the 29 of October 2022 to be Lead Poisoning Prevention Week in the county of Onondaga in the city of Syracuse, thank you all,” said Walsh.
The proclamation was the first of its kind in the city of Syracuse and will draw awareness and county resources toward battling the issue. The event also formally announced the implementation of the city’s new lead ordinance.
“Our lead ordinance is in full effect as of today and we are out in the community, um, doing the important work,” said Walsh.
The ordinance allows inspections of apartments or homes that are a potential lead hazard to its inhabitants. The ordinance was passed unanimously in 2020, but only recently began being implemented. It is supplemented by the new Lead Hazard Control Office.
The office will filter rental registries, check certificates of compliance, and hear complaints from residents being impacted by lead poison.
Darrell Buckingham, a program office at the Central New York Community Foundation, says all of these new announcements and initiatives have left those who have fought the long fight feeling seen.
“All of us are working in concert to do better and be better,” said Buckingham. “I’m excited about where we’re going”.
In what has been a generally tense relationship between community organizations and the local government on the issue of lead poisoning, this press conference was seen as a victory.