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SmartOakland's Public Data Utility locates lead poisoning for Oakland Resilience

SmartOakland's Public Data Utility locates lead poisoning for Oakland Resilience

SmartOakland March Meetup Broadcasting Live from Oakland Civic Design Lab!

Date: March 15, 2018 6:00-8:00pm

SmartOakland.org will broadcast live from the 9th floor of Oakland City Hall’s Civic Design Lab to introduce and demonstrate the 1st-ever Public Data Utility platform created for Oaklanders to be more informed about current risks and opportunities, more prepared to take actions, more resilient and to be able to bounce back more quickly when shocks hit our communities.

Join us in person or online to see our healthy housing data dashboards featuring the 1st-ever lead location data visualizations of every Oakland Zip Code currently at risk for lead poisoning. Our visualizations include the number of homes located in each census tract with estimated material construction costs required to fix and abate lead paint-based hazards, which cause the majority poisonings of children and adults, by the year 2020.

A key component of SmartOakland’s mission is to assist in identifying and resolving issues related to safe and healthy housing. Our priority is finding where lead poison may exist and making this data known to tenants, landlords, property owners, city leaders, and resilience-minded sponsors so they can take actions and resolve the issue in the most efficient manner possible. We like the idea of people adopting Zip Codes to raise the funds to pay in sections to move more quickly looking at this issue as an investment in health, equity, and sustainability.

Lead is invisible to the naked eye and can exist in paint, soil, dust, water, and other sources. It’s too hard to find it by looking for evidence one location at a time so we use data science, public data, interviews, and the expertise of seasoned authorities to predict where there is a high likelihood for lead presence in Oakland housing. 

Our purpose is not to create unnecessary concern but to provide relevant insight and transparent data about risks people may face right now that they are not aware of so they can make informed decisions and take measured actions to check their status through testing their housing and their children’s blood for the presence of lead.

 Lead is a potent neurotoxin. Lead is associated with anemia, learning disability, hypertension, cardiovascular and renal disease, delayed puberty, and reduced fertility.

In children, the most significant impact of lead poisoning is neurodevelopmental. It has been associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, developmental delay, speech and language deficiencies, and cognitive deficiencies. Childhood lead poisoning may present as learning and behavioral issues. In teens and young adults, it may be associated with increased school drop-out rates and aggressive behavior.

We will present the Zip Code data for our audience and take questions throughout the session. If you have questions we cannot answer we will follow up and find people who can.

This session is meant to share our approach to informing city constituents on a large scale for Oakland-specific challenges and to learn from audience members what else we should be providing via our Public Data Utility platform. 

We also hope to hear from and collaborate with other cities facing the issue of lead poisoning to share methods and strategies that work so we can lock this issue down and Get the Lead Out of our communities as a network of concerned stakeholders.

Please RSVP to our event on Meetup.com so we know how many you to expect in person or online and we’ll see you next Thursday night.

Here’s the online web session information:

SmartOakland March Meetup Broadcasting Live from Oakland Civic Design Lab!
Thu, Mar 15, 2018 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM PDT
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (872) 240-3212
Access Code: 946-952-413
First GoToMeeting? Let's do a quick system check: https://link.gotomeeting.com/system-check

See you there,

Stephanie Hayden

Co-founder, E.D.


510-833-6591 o
510-385-2624 c

Here’s some background if you are thinking about your risk now and don’t want to wait until Thursday to get more info:

Call or text SmartOakland at 510-833-6591 or email: leadcheck@smartoakland.org to see if your street address is in a high-risk zone and we’ll respond with a, “you should do lead checks on your house and children”, or, “your location is not identified as a candidate for remediation”.  We will also provide instructions about testing if you require it.

If you find lead in your home, don’t panic about the abatement process, remediation is not as bad as you might think. Most of the time it includes repainting internal and external walls to control and prevent the original lead paint from migrating, replacing soil, and deep cleaning to remove lead dust.

Do Not do this work yourself you can accidentally poison yourself and your family by doing it wrong. The process requires EPA certified lead abatement contractors and special paint to do the work safely.

If you find lead in your home and are challenged financially to pay for abatement work Alameda County Healthy Homes Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (http://www.achhd.org) may be able to help you pay for lead abatement using federal grants. There is an application process and funds are limited so not everyone will qualify before these funds run out for this year so start the process now if you are interested in this option.

If you find lead in your child’s blood, don’t panic, but know it is Not easy to remove lead from a child’s blood. You can keep it from getting worse by removing lead from their environment.

Right now Alameda County Healthy Homes Lead Poisoning Prevention Program receives between 300-365 new cases of childhood lead poisoning each year. Time is critical so do not wait to get your child tested if you live in pre-1978 housing.

If you do find lead in your child’s blood and you’re willing to share your story please consider submitting it to us in writing, securely, using our Lead Surveys in English and Spanish, on SmartOakland.org because law makers are advocating for change but they need stories from individuals who have experience with lead poisoning to make change happen.

SmartOakland and Oakland City Hall Smart City Meetups Background


SmartOakland is invited to join the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Global City Team Challenge, under the Federal Department of Commerce, in their Transportation, City Platform/Dashboard, and Education SuperCluster initiatives to contribute to the global Smart City blueprints and form the first city-specific Action Cluster, called the, “Oakland Action Cluster”. This new Action Cluster will conduct real world work through SmartOakland and co-create a city blueprint for other cities to use when beginning cross-functional, inclusive, constituent engagement to build transparent insight, using data, technology, and public-private partnerships to build a Smart City/Resilient City/Data Platform for use as a Public Data Utility

SmartOakland requests access to the City of Oakland’s new Civic Design Lab to host monthly Smart City Meetups in the new space created through the Rockefeller Foundation’s Resilient Oakland Playbook Strategic Plan and dedicated to public-private and constituent-focused innovation on the 9th floor of Oakland City Hall. SO prepares to announce the arrival of the 1st lead location data dashboards developed to identify where the lead is in Oakland neighborhoods and present costs to abate the entire city and end new lead paint-related poisonings by the year 2020.


Vision Architecture attends Oakland City Camp at City Hall addressing 500+ attendees to ask if volunteers will join together to combine Smart City and Resilience strategies to use data and technology to address and fix the lead poisoning problem in Fruitvale and the crowd says YES. SmartOakland is incorporated as a CA non-profit, and begins working to understand why lead is still a problem and to find data and technologies to create the solutions.  SmartOakland gains momentum and begins conducting additional monthly Smart City Meetups, in the Fruitvale neighborhood, and sees a lot of interest from the community to learn more and become involved with solutions.


Vision Architecture volunteers to join a SmartOakland.net, a City of Oakland-sponsored initiative, to crowd-source a response to the Federal Department of Transportation Smart Cities Challenge, and later that year plays a key role taking part in the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Resilient Oakland Playbook, and relationships grow by holding monthly Smart City Meetings at Oakland City Hall

In December the Fruitvale neighborhood is hit with realization and shock of two catastrophic events, one happens within an instant, and one’s been going on for decades without notice. The Ghost Ship Warehouse fire claims 36 lives during an art party and Reuters breaks news of lead poisoning being 4xs greater than Flint, MI

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