Castro releases lead proposal following trip to Flint

By: - June 11, 2019 8:06 am

Presidential hopeful Julián Castro, June 8, 2019 | Derek Robertson

After his weekend trip to Flint, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro has released a plan to “eliminate lead poisoning as a major public health threat.”

Castro’s plan would encourage Congress to appropriate $5 billion per year over a 10-year period for lead mitigation efforts, enact a tax credit to remove lead in homes, and mandate lead testing for any building constructed before 1978, among numerous other measures.

As the Advance reported, Castro on Saturday visited a water distribution site in Flint before holding a town hall at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on the city’s Northwest side. He fielded questions from residents about health care, education and the aftermath of the Flint water crisis.

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“There’s clearly been some progress, but there’s still a lot that needs to be made in terms of water infrastructure. … There’s also very clearly a tragic loss of trust between the community and some of their government officials,” Castro told reporters after the town hall.

“That affects quality of life for people in Flint, because … many people still don’t believe the water is safe to drink, and that’s like a cloud that hangs over the community.”

Flint water plant | Nick Manes

Castro was the first, and so far only, of the Democratic primary candidates to visit Flint. He currently averages less than 1% in the RealClearPolitics national average of polling, but has qualified to appear in this month’s primary debates.

“Lead poisoning is linked to irreversible health problems and developmental challenges that follow a child into adulthood,” the Castro campaign wrote in a statement announcing his lead mitigation plan.

“Every child in every neighborhood should have the gift of their full abilities. Let’s make it happen.”

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Derek Robertson
Derek Robertson

Derek Robertson is a former reporter for the Advance. Previously, he wrote for Politico Magazine in Washington. He is a Genesee County native and graduate of both Wayne State University, where he studied history, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.