Bill pushing for more public restrooms in D.C.


Millions of people visit Washington, D.C. every year. And why not? There are the monuments, free museums and amazing food.

But the questions remains: Where are the public restrooms?

Toilet, potty or latrine, it has many names and one important use.

But walk around the District, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find one.

“Everyone needs to use the restroom from time to time and you don’t know where you’re going be when that happens,” D.C. Council member Brianne Nadeau said.

Nadeau wrote a bill to get free-standing public restrooms in the city.

It’s gotten this far all thanks to the “Loo Committee,” who are members of the People For Fairness Coalition.

They did a review and found five public restrooms in the downtown area, which had limited hours.

“And what was a real shocker, was that in all of DC, there are only two restrooms open 24/7,” said Marcia Bernbaum of the People For Fairness Coalition. “And guess where they are? Way off in the corner of the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials.”

If you’re not down there, something as simple as using a restroom is anything but.

“I hate to say this, but there is such a thing as discrimination,” said Janet Sharp of the People For Fairness Coalition. “Just because you don’t look like I do, they may say, ‘No, you can’t use the bathroom.’”

For George Olivar, a monk who lived with D.C.’s homeless, there have been many times he’s gone from restaurant to restaurant to use the men’s room with no luck.

“Sometimes I have accidents,” Olivar said. “I’m very embarrassed. Believe me.”

He doesn’t want that to happen to anyone else.

Sharp says if their work of getting free-standing public restrooms in D.C., she would be quite happy.

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