Both of the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination for President of the U.S. brought up mold issues during the Spring 2016 campaign season.
While campaigning in Detroit in early March, Hillary Clinton spoke out about the deplorable conditions of buildings in the public school system there. She said:
It is just unacceptable that precious little children are going to school in classrooms full of mold and rodents. I don’t know how any public official can look in the mirror and know that little kids in Detroit are being denied physical and educational quality.
Then on April 13, Clinton again spoke about the issue of mold in a speech delivered to the National Action Network. She stated:
Right now in the Detroit public schools, there are children in classrooms breathing the toxins from mold and there are rodents sharing their space. And even here in New York, we know we’ve got problems. Let’s do more, like Philadelphia did, when it installed green roofs and porous pavements to keep sewers from backing up into low-income neighborhoods.
Now you don’t have to look too far to see what this means for people. A woman named Michelle Holmes is here with us today. She’s lived in the Polo Grounds Towers in Harlem for decades. She does daily battle with roaches, vermin and other pests. And then the chemicals used to exterminate them cause other problems. Her family has frequent asthma attacks that often land them in the hospital. And then there’s the mold – brown and green spots on the bathroom ceiling. No one should have to live like that in America.
Every child and every family in America deserves clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and a safe and healthy place to live. This is a justice issue. It’s a civil rights issue. And as President, it will be a national priority for us.
Meanwhile, on April 17, Bernie Sanders mentioned the issue of mold in public housing in a speech he gave after visiting a housing project in New York City. He stated:
I came away from this visit more determined than ever to address the affordable housing crisis and to build an economy that works for all of us, not just those on top.
In the wealthiest country in the history of the world, the estimated 600,000 people who live in New York City’s public housing facilities should not be forced to struggle with leaky roofs, mold, unreliable heating, broken down elevators and vermin. As a nation, we must do better than that.
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