You need to know the impact of the Coalition on Lead emergency (COLE) a collective of nonprofits, environmentalists, educators, doctors, community members, and civic activists with four focuses to address the lead emergency in Milwaukee: education, workforce development, parent leaders, and advocacy. We have entered into a partnership with COLE to support their important work. 

COLE’s mission: to create a sustainable lead safe environment in Milwaukee by engaging a broad range of community partners.

You can take action too!

Read and advocate for COLE’s asks in the Wisconsin Biennial Budget

Sign up to join COLE’s monthly meetings in-person or on zoom

Follow COLE on Facebook to learn about upcoming opportunities


Did you Know?
Lead testing in Milwaukee has fallen by 39% even though 3.3% of tested kids report lead levels above 10 mcg/dL .

COLE is changing this!
By organizing, advocating, and educating Milwaukee residents to create a lead safe city.

  • Monthly resource events for families
  • 40 kids tested at one block party
  • 150 families referred to best care practices
  • Dozens of partners in most affected areas
  • In-home follow up with families
Parent Education
  • 1900 lead awareness kits given to expectant and new mothers in targeted zip codes
  • 100 families trained around water, paint, soil, and nutrition, and how to educate other parents
  • Monthly meetings open to any family to receive lead education. 400 more kits given to attending families
  • 500 filtered water pitchers to supplement families buying water bottles to protect from lead
Advocating for change

Before 2021 children had to test at 20 mcg/dL or more to receive resources or intervention.

  • COLE partners advocated with elected officials to lower the level to 10 mcg/dL so more families.
  • affected by lead have access to the resources they need.
  • Children who test at 9.9 mcg/dL or lower are referred to COLE where they can get a lead kit and training on how to prevent further exposure.

COLE programs educate parents to advocate for their children and train them to educate other parents. Results:

  • COLE’s database increased from 8 families in 2019 to over 200 families.
  • More than 500 families benefit from the COLE lead educational meetings, resources, and follow-up visits.

COLE advocated for increased state and community investment in lead prevention and education:

  • $8 million over two years from the state budget for the Lead Safe Homes Program.
  • $1 million raised for COLE: $500,000 from the UW Madison School of Public Health WI Partnership Program and $500,00 from Milwaukee County Health Department to respond to more elevated blood lead level (EBLL) cases and equip birthing moms with lead free kits.