(By Christopher Johnston for Eye on Ohio.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan for Ohio News Connection Collaboration reporting for the Ohio Center for Investigative Journalism-Public News Service Collaboration) – While running for Cleveland City Council Ward 3 seat last year, Ayat Amin spent a lot of time canvassing neighborhoods and talking to residents about environmental issues. “What came up time and again in our conversations that really resonated with people was air quality,” she said. “Specifically there were a lot of residents who felt they were experiencing poor air quality but didn’t know what to do about it.” When she inquired about signs of air pollution in their neighborhood, residents told her they would have to wipe soot off of their outdoor plants or off their houses. In Ohio City, residents of Lakeview Terrace, one of the oldest public housing complexes in the U.S., complained of particles in the air from the roughly 1,000 trucks passing through, spewing exhaust and stirring up dust that landed on their cars, homes and in the air they breathed every day. After she lost the election to incumbent Kerry McCormack, Amin convened an informal citizen action group that met regularly to research available data and discuss air pollutants such as methane and lead in the air.
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