FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Zoe Ades, Communications Director
COUNCILMEMBER PINTO INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO EXPAND ACCESS TO PUBLIC RESTROOMS
Today, Councilmember Brooke Pinto introduced legislation to dramatically increase the availability of public restrooms. The “Expanding Access to Public Restrooms Act of 2023” provides grant funding to facilitate the provision and maintenance of public bathrooms and requires that all new and substantially renovated parks that are one acre or more in size have a public restroom. This legislation follows previous legislation introduced by Councilmember Pinto to expand restroom accessibility – the Medical Necessity Restroom Access Act of 2021 –which provides an individual with an eligible medical condition the right to use a public or employee toilet facility at retail establishments. The legislation was co-introduced by Councilmembers Robert White, Brianne Nadeau, Matthew Frumin, Janeese Lewis George, Charles Allen, and Vincent Gray.
Currently, public restrooms are difficult to access in the District, which disproportionately impacts people experiencing homelessness, pregnant people, people with gastrointestinal diseases and a variety of other medical conditions, young children. A lack of public restrooms contributes to public urination and defecation that lead to serious public health issues.
“Access to safe and clean restrooms is a basic necessity and it is past time we take action to address the scarcity of public bathrooms across the District,” said Councilmember Pinto. “This legislation will provide dignity to people experiencing homelessness, pregnant people, people with medical conditions, and young children who rely most consistently on access to restrooms. By expanding public restroom access, the District will be a safer, more welcoming and inclusive place for all residents and visitors.”
The “Expanding Access to Public Restrooms Act of 2023” will increase the availability of public restrooms by: