On January 10, 2018 at 9 am  the Committee on Transportation & Environment, chaired by Council Member Mary Cheh held a hearing on Bill 22-0223, the Public Restroom Facilities Promotion & Investment Act of 2017.

Bill 22-0223 was Inspired by PFFC’s Downtown DC Public Restroom Initiative and its contents are drawn from lessons learned and best practices that we have identified in cities in the US and elsewhere that have successfully installed and maintained clean, safe, public restrooms available to EVERYONE 24/7.

It proposes the establishment of a working group consisting of DPW, DGS, DC Water, DDOT, DPR, and DHS . Together they will be responsible for:

— Identifying — in close consultation with ANCs, BIDs, and community associations –up 10 sites with limited access to public restroom facilities where a clean, safe public restroom available 24/10 might be installed and recommending the most appropriate public restroom model for installation at these sites.
— Authorizing the creation of a subsidy program for private entities to open their restrooms to the public.

Fourteen (14) witnesses provided powerful testimonies d at the hearing in favor of Bill 22-0223.  Among the witnesses were the Revd. Dr Catriona Laing of the Church of the Epiphany, Dr. Catherine Crosland of Unity Health Care, Patty Fugere of theWashington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, Will Handsfield of the Georgetown BID,  Nick DelleDonne, Commissioner for ANC2B04, and Marcia Bernbaum and Janet Sharp of PFFCs Downtown DC Public Restroom Initiative.

To read the testimonies as well as media coverage (WAMU. WTOP, WMAL)   at  our Public Restrooms site go down to Public Restroom Bill Testimonies. 

The next step is for the Bill to be marked-up, followed by a Committee vote. If the Bill passes in Committee it then goes to the fu;; DC Council for 2 votes . If passed. it becomes law and is transferred to the DC Administration to be implemented.

While we do not have assurance that the Bill will pass in Committee, we are hopeful.

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