Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is expected to join hundreds of volunteers in a neighborhood walk on Saturday morning, to encourage area residents to sign up for free lead testing in their yards and gardens.

This will be the city’s first door-to-door activity to reach out to tenants and homeowners whose homes may have been contaminated by the former Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon. For weeks, Los Angeles County crews have been reaching out to homes in the unincorporated neighborhood of East Los Angeles, as well as the cities of Maywood, Huntington Park and Commerce. Some 10,000 homes in these communities are believed to have some level of lead contamination in their yards.

Boyle Heights volunteers trained for the community walk at a meeting held Wednesday at Resurrection Church, where families who have been affected by Exide contamination have met regularly on Monday nights for several years. Volunteers learned how to sign up homeowners and tenants for a cleanup that will be scheduled over the next three months. Saturday’s walk will take place in homes near Resurrection Church and Ramón García Park, south of the 60 Freeway.

A spokesperson for Garcetti’s office said some 300 volunteers are expected for Saturday’s walk, and they expect to sign up as many as 400 homes.

Besides the door-to-door outreach, the city will hold a Community Resource Fair where area residents can get more information about lead contamination and learn about resources available to those affected by Exide contamination. Free blood lead tests will also be given at the fair.

The Community Resource Fair will take place on Saturday, March 12, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Ramón García Park, 1016 South Fresno Street.

Those wishing to volunteer can show up at Ramón García Park at 9:00 a.m. and receive training. Lunch will be provided for volunteers.

Photo above: Volunteers during this week’s training session at Resurrection Church. 

Boyle Heights Beat

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth "por y para la comunidad". The newspaper and its sister website serve an immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles of just under...

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