Major Legislative Wins!
Your Monthly Update From Lead-Free NJ

July 29, 2021
Smiling school children sitting at a lunch table.
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Hello Friend! Thank you for subscribing to Lead-Free NJ’s monthly newsletter. Our newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the collaborative’s work and what’s going on throughout the state related to issues you’re passionate about, including protecting children from lead poisoning and equitable lead policy change. Most importantly, the newsletter will provide you with opportunities to work with us to #GetTheLeadOut. We know that so many emails come into your inbox, but we hope you’ll take advantage of the opportunity to stay connected!  
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Recent Blog Posts
The Painful Legacy of Lead:
One Woman’s Story About Her Struggle
to Get the Lead Out

Lead impacts the lives of families in ways that are absolutely unimaginable. Lead-Free NJ Steering Committee member Shevone Torres was brave enough to share her story about how her nephew and son were lead-poisoned before she decided to strive for solutions to the lead crisis, herself.
Major Legislative Wins!
Summer 2021 has been full of major legislative wins related to lead policy, but there’s still more work to do. 

  • S1147 requires a lead paint inspection and an updated Lead Safe Certificate at rental turnover. It also establishes an educational program on lead hazards. - signed into law
  • A5343 requires public water systems to inventory and replace lead service lines within 10 years. - signed into law 
  • A5407 removes restrictions on special assessments and bond issuances for replacement of residential lead service lines; revises budgetary requirements for operators of certain water systems. - signed into law 

To stay up-to-date on what’s happening,
check out our recent blog post!

What is Lead-Free NJ?
About 4,000 children in NJ are lead-poisoned every year. Many of these children reside in low-income communities and/or communities of color and are most at risk because investments have not been made to remove lead from its most common sourcespaint, water, and soil. Lead-Free NJ is a collaborative made up of neighbors, friends, families, faith leaders, professionals, and elected officials working together to #GetTheLeadOut. 
What have we been up to?
We attended a bill signing
Last week was monumental! Governor Murphy signed three laws that put New Jersey at the national forefront of childhood lead poisoning prevention. Lead-Free NJ staff attended the governor’s bill signing event in Bloomfield along with several Lead-Free NJ members. Governor Murphy, Senator Ruiz, and Assemblyman Schaer spoke about the importance of these bills and the need for New Jersey to protect its children from lead hazards. In addition, Olivia Glenn, deputy commissioner of environmental justice & equity at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, shared how the new laws will benefit environmental justice communities that are most affected by lead exposure. Lastly, Sean Jackson of Lead-Free NJ member organization Isles, Inc. shared a moving story about a child affected by lead and the hope that New Jersey’s children now have due to new legislation. Thank you to our governor, legislators, Lead-Free NJ members, and all who made this triumph possible!
We held our July membership meeting
On July 19 we hosted our quarterly membership meeting. In case you couldn’t attend and don’t have time to watch the playback, here are some quick updates: 

  • We unveiled our new logo, which was selected by attendees at our last membership meeting.
  • We heard from a panel of experts working on efforts to #GetTheLeadOut of their communities, including Elyse Pivnick of Isles, Inc., Yvette Jordan of the Newark Education Workers Caucus, Shruti Banugaria of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Department of Pediatrics, and Unique Bacote of Paterson Habitat for Humanity. The panelists shared information about their work, some of the challenges they face when communicating the dangers of lead, and their dreams as they pertain to environmental justice. 
  • Unique Bacote, a community organizer with Paterson Habitat for Humanity (PHFH)—which serves as one of our Lead-Free NJ Community Hubs—gave us a quick update on PHFH’s vision for its local efforts to educate residents and advocate for lead policy change. She also took us on a tour of the city to see some little-known historical sites.
  • Lead-Free NJ co-chair Debbie Mans explained KNOW-IDENTIFY-FIX, the collaborative high-level policy agenda. Attendees voiced their opinions on policy priorities and made commitments to help the collaborative achieve the suggested priorities.

*NOTE: If you attended the event and need compensation for attendance, a limited number of $30 Visa gift cards are available. For more information, email
We're organizing our committees
We’ve selected committee co-chairs, and our committees have begun hosting their first meetings. Lead-Free NJ’s committees help advance the collaborative’s yearly objectives and long-term goals. Are you interested in learning more about our committees and how you can get involved? Visit our website for more information and contact with any questions.
We held our first Lead 101 training 
A great group of community members and advocates attended the first session in a three-part series of educational events. Together, we learned more about the sources of lead exposure, health implications, and resources for testing before engaging in an exciting dialogue about potential policy solutions for remediation. Click here to access the slide deck. We encourage you to present this resource to members of your organization or your community to help them understand why we ALL need to fight to get the lead out.
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Events, Opportunities, and Highlights
Are you a community member who is interested in learning more about lead exposure and sharing your thoughts with changemakers? Jersey Water Works, in partnership with Lead-Free NJ and East Trenton Collaborative, will hold a virtual 1.5-hour listen and learn session on August 26, 2021 at 5:30 pm to gather grassroots feedback from residents in high-lead communities regarding exposure to lead in water and paint.

Stay tuned for information on how to register!
Sustainable Jersey's Gold Star Standard in Health launched this week after a two-year effort of collaborative research, strategy development, and program implementation aimed at leveraging the potential of local governments to build a culture of health and advance health equity. The Gold Star in Health includes a new Lead and Healthy Homes suite of actions, among other actions containing guidance on practical steps your town or city can take right now. To start work on getting lead out of your homes and communities, see the new, free Municipal Guide to a Lead-Safe Community that presents 18 recommended strategies that municipalities can implement to prevent lead poisoning.

Get your town started on the Gold Star in Health:
Member organization New Jersey Future is looking to fill the following positions: Communications Director, Policy Director, and Program Associate. All three positions support the organization’s work to create more livable communities throughout the state. For information on how to apply, visit their website.
Congratulations to Peter Chen, Lead-Free NJ steering committee member, on his new position as Senior Policy Analyst to research child and family policy at New Jersey Policy Perspective!
Debbie Mans, Lead-Free NJ co-chair, was quoted in a recent article about laws addressing lead exposure that were signed by Governor Murphy last week.
Share your news with us!
Do you have a lead-free event, opportunity, or highlight you’d like to share? Email Jael Davis with the details and get it featured in the next newsletter!
Interested in learning more about how to organize to #GetTheLeadOut of your community? Check out our Community Organizing Toolkit for practical advice and guidance that can be applied not only to lead-free community engagement and policy advocacy, but to other issue areas as well.
Pending Lead Legislation
  • S829 adds a question about the home seller’s awareness about the presence of lead plumbing and lead service lines onto the property condition disclosure statement, which is a first step to ensuring home buyers are informed. - passed both houses and headed to the governor for signature
  • S830 requires public water systems to offer free lead/water testing during an action level exceedance or partial lead service line replacement. - passed both houses and headed to the governor for signature
  • S320/A842 requires property condition disclosure statements to include questions concerning lead plumbing and lead service lines and requires the replacement of lead service lines upon sale of residential property.
  • S702/A814 requires landlords to disclose the existence of lead service lines and lead water supply plumbing to tenants.
  • S77/A968 requires the NJ Department of Environmental Protection to adopt a statewide plan to reduce lead exposure from contaminated soils and drinking water.
  • S1282/A1233 requires municipalities to conduct lead paint inspections in single- and two-family dwellings and requires municipalities to report results to the State.
  • A216 requires public schools to educate staff and parents about lead hazards and allows school staff to know students’ history of elevated blood lead levels.
Staff Contact Information
Jael Davis
Program Manager
New Jersey Future
Anthony Diaz
Community Outreach Coordinator
New Jersey Future