The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Poisoning Children in Chicago

Jan 4, 2016

The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and the federal government are helping to poison children in Chicago.

When a nurse diagnosed Lanice Walker’s 4-year-old daughter with lead poisoning, which can permanently damage children’s brains, Walker suspected crumbling lead paint in her apartment. The Walker family lived in subsidized but private Section 8 housing, so she asked the CHA for an emergency move.

But CHA officials turned her down. The amount of lead in her daughter’s bloodstream was more than double the standard set by the Centers for Disease Control–but federal housing regulations set a limit FOUR TIMES higher than the CDC’s! So the CHA said that if she wanted to keep her housing subsidy, she had to stay.

Eventually, all nine of her children got elevated lead levels from living in that apartment!

Since 2012, as least 178 other young children in Section 8 housing in Chicago have fallen into the same gap, and have had to stay in apartments with poisonous lead paint–EVEN AFTER they were diagnosed.

Chicago’s city government–with federal help–has proven once again how little it cares about the lives of its poor residents. As Lanice Walker said: “They treated me like I was nothing, like my daughter didn’t matter.”