Confronting the Mayor


Frank Jackson: Doing his best to hide in the closet.
With one of the highest rates of childhood lead poisoning in the country, Cleveland is struggling to repair thousands of older homes laden with toxic paint ["The Poison Kids" Aug. 16, 2006]. Last winter a Rhode Island jury ruled that paint companies like Sherwin-Williams should pay for the clean-up. Ever since, activists here have been lobbying for similar deals. Already, at least six Ohio cities have sued Sherwin-Williams, alleging that the company knew its product was harming kids for decades before it stopped selling it. But strangely, Sherwin-Williams' hometown hasn't joined the fight. This afternoon, members of the activist group ACORN plan to march into Mayor Frank Jackson's office and ask for a sitdown. Not surprisingly, they claim The Invisible Mayor has ignored their requests for weeks. You mean I actually have to meet with people? Since Jackson is slightly less talkative than a Tibetan monk, their chances of success are slim. But it doesn't hurt to try. Bets are being taken on how quickly the mayor can hide in his closet. — Lisa Rab


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