Toledo community leaders speak out against Rep. Merrin amendment

Toledo community leaders speak out against Rep. Merrin amendment

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo's lead ordinance continued to be a centerpiece of controversy Wednesday at Nexus Healthcare.

Local clergy and community leaders gathered to speak out against Representative Derrick Merrin's amendment bill and support Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson's response.

Mayor Hicks-Hudson says laws should not allow children to be human lead detectors.

"That's the message that we need to get through to everyone in Columbus and need to have the support of everybody here in Toledo because they need to understand that too," James Willis, President of Toledoans United for Social Action, said. "It's too late after it's in their system."

Representative Derrik Merrin's amendment virtually depletes the Toledo's lead ordinance, saying it's discriminatory.

Mayor Hicks-Hudson has been working on this issue for years says Toledo's approach is evidence-based.

"I've worked with Toledo Public Schools on discipline and expulsion and a lot of that results from the fact that the children have lead in their system," Willis said.

The community leaders that gathered at Nexus they couldn't disagree with Merrin's statement's more.

"We want to do something about it, whether that's sending letters to legislation, we want to say hey, please make a decision for the children of Ohio," said Timothy Clark, Senior Pastor at Harvest Christian Center.

Toledo Senator Edna Brown says she is issuing a counter amendment, and she says she's giving control back to local governments.

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