If a candidate has no chance of winning the nomination, they should at least be trying to inject some good ideas into the debate. This is something Jay Inslee has been doing. Now it’s Julián Castro’s turn:
Julián Castro, the former Housing and Urban Development secretary now running for president, wants to eliminate lead poisoning. He laid out the first dedicated plan on the issue of any 2020 candidate after a visit to Flint, Michigan, over the weekend.
Castro is proposing to set up a presidential task force on lead, which would be “charged with eliminating lead poisoning as a major public health threat,” and the plan would include a national assessment of communities at risk of lead poisoning.
“Today I’m putting forward a plan to combat lead exposure across the country, and to ensure that no families experience what those in Flint have had to endure,” Castro said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.
He would ask Congress to allocate $5 billion per year for 10 years to replace lead pipes and address lead contamination in paint and soil “in areas of highest need,” as well as an additional $100 million per year toward preventing lead poisoning in children.
For people whose blood has high levels of lead, Castro’s plan includes provisions for treating lead poisoning under universal health care, mandatory lead testing for children under 2 years old, and “support services including counseling, tutoring, education on nutritional needs.”
As the influence about the effects of lead poisoning piles up. this is a useful initiative I hope other campaigns will adopt.