After a couple of weeks of emailing the Olympia City Council about the need for better public facility access in downtown Olympia, I went to the City Council meeting and asked them face to face to commit a staff person to taking part in meetings to explore the possibilities. I did not get a yes to the staff commitment idea, but I did get a pretty reasonable reception and responses from several council persons.
There seems to be an understanding that more facility access is needed. I was encouraged by the responses. Also, big thank you to Paul for standing up to second my request. I think Paul was persuasive because he spoke from first person perspective of a guy who does not currently have good access to facilities. Paul mentioned that there is limited public facility access after-hours in Oly is at the Transit Center and out at the Marina.
Here is my current thinking on this issue: We need to convene meeting(s) with representatives from the City and from General Administration to talk about the possibility of opening up bathrooms. We need to include the downtown business owners, social service agency reps, and spokespersons from the houseless population to discuss a trial run of expanded bathroom access.
The City of Olympia responded to my request last month that they include public bathrooms in the Artesian Well improvement and reported they don't have the funds to include public bathrooms at the Artesian Well. That's fine for now. But the national and state economy are putting more people on the streets every day and public bathrooms seem like the least we can do for folks and let it not be said that we did not do the least we could do, right? Last week, I sent a message to the City Council asking them to open the bathrooms at City Hall 24/7 to improve the lot of people living on the street and to reduce the public blight of sidewalks, alleys, doorways, etc, being used as after-hour toilet facilities. I did not get a response last week, so I am renewing my request today. I suggest that those of us who support public bathrooms 24/7 let our voices be heard. I think there is a City Council meeting on Tuesday at 7 pm at City Hall. Here is my email to the City Council:
I just added an event to the calendar to pick up the PMA on October 29th. I hope someone from Olyblog will take part in the media workshop at 2:35 to talk about how Olyblog fits into the local indy media network. get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org to follow up and formalize about that. Thanks
here is the psa:
-Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace