Address public policy that has impacted African-American communities in order to remediate the effects of racism on health outcomes by advocating for policies to promote programming designed to achieve health parity.
African American Policy Committee
The African American Policy Committee (AAPC) of the Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition is a committee consisting of public, private, and community members working to identify, understand, and collaborate around issues to change and influence policies related to black health. The AAPC was created because racism has been declared a public health crisis in a number of local and state municipalities. In response to the growing frequency of these declarations, the AAPC believes that the only way we can effectively address these structural dilemmas of systemic health disparities is through changes to policies that are fundamentally racist in origin, intent, and application.
The AAPC meets the first Monday of every month from 2-3pm.
In January, 2015 the Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition hosted the Local Conversation on the Department of Justice to focus on the systemic issues in the Cleveland Police Department. Our report was used to craft the consent decree for the City of Cleveland. The Community Corrective Action Report provides principles for engagement, support, and implementation of practices that reflect the ideological underpinnings of equitable treatment under the law. This document is the first of its kind to provide an actionable plan that captures the insight and experiences of those who are disproportionately affected by law enforcement practices. Recent grassroots responses across the United States indicate the need for solutions that link community vision with fair practices. The Community Corrective Action Report provides these linkages through:
Identification of key factors that create, maintain and naturalize problematic practices in law enforcement
Providing recommendations for addressing these factors
Providing a framework for assessment of progress
The Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition formed the Cleveland Lead Safe Network (CLSN) in January 2017 to promote legislation that would require owners of rental properties built before 1978 to make their properties lead safe before children are poisoned. About 4 children per day are diagnosed with elevated blood lead levels. In January of 2019, CLSN joined with 10 other community based organizations to form Cleveland Lead Advocates for Safe Housing (CLASH) as an Issue PAC under Ohio law. CLASH began a petition drive to place a lead safe housing initiative on the ballot. We want to change the way the city of Cleveland does business with the citizens of Cleveland.
Accomplishments of CLSN and CLASH
Barely three months old, in 2017, Cleveland Lead Safe Network (CLSN) helped organize citizen groups across the state to defeat an effort to preempt local jurisdictions from enacting legislation around lead safe housing. https://www.cleveland.com/metro/2017/04/budget_amendment_would_strip_cities_of_authority_to_address_lead_poisoning.html
Later in 2017, worked with Councilman Jeff Johnson to introduce Cleveland’s first ever Lead Safe Housing Ordinance and worked for a year to mobilize support for the ordinance.
In 2019, CLASH’s ballot initiative forced passage of the Cleveland Lead Safe Certificate ordinance.by Cleveland City Council. https://www.cleveland.com/metro/2019/07/cleveland-city-council-passes-historic-lead-poisoning-prevention-law.html
The Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition co-founded a coalition of 14+ grassroots, community-based organizations demanding justice for people impacted by the horrifying conditions in the Cuyahoga County Jail system. Over the past year, much has come to light regarding the horrendous, inhumane conditions in the Cuyahoga County Jail system, including a 52-page report from the US Marshal’s service, who will no longer even house their own detainees there due to the substandard conditions and overt brutality experienced by our most vulnerable residents.
In response to this crisis in Cuyahoga County, the Coalition to Stop the Inhumanity at the Cuyahoga County Jail has been building a powerful, community-based campaign to demand justice and accountability.
The Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition has been working to change policies that disproportionately impact communities of color by highlighting equity issues and working to dismantle the systems that created these environments in the first place. We are currently working on a menthol free community campaign, highlighting the impact of lead poisoning, the elimination of sugary soda from the SNAP program and antiracism efforts in hospital systems.