|Parks and Rec Set to Sabotage Glover “Open the Bathrooms” Proposal|
|Time||4:00 PM – 5:30 PM|
|rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com|
|Santa Cruz Council Chambers at 809 Center St.|
BATHROOM BUFFONERY ON TODAY’S AGENDA
Item #4 on the P & R Agenda today is Hours of Public Facilities (for bathrooms over seen by their department. That’s most of the public ones.
Instead of directing Tony Elliot to immediately reopen the Louden Nelson bathrooms–closed to the public since March 2018, the staff proposal supports continued closure. As a kind of “split the baby” diversion, the pro-closure staff report also suggests forwarding to City Council a second proposal to require City Council vote before any further closure of bathrooms
This might also include portapotties–the night-time bathrooms for poor and unhoused people. That proposal was part of a packet of items presented by Councilmember Glover back in January-February, but set aside by Mayor Watkins.
HISTORY OF STRUGGLE
Conscience and Action has held meetings with City Manager Martin Bernal and P & R Director Tony Eliot. It has also engaged in public protests in front of the P & R department, at City Hall, and at Louden Nelson last year and petitioned the Council to act to restore the traditional open status of the bathrooms.
Last year the local ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) weighed in demanding reopening of the bathrooms there and moved its meetings away from the Center in protest. See https://www.indybay.org/
As an outgrowth of the Freedom Sleepers and the subsequent Survival Sleepers actions of 2015-2017, the “Give a Shit” campaign arose urging reopening of the City Hall bathrooms–closed by City Manager Martin Bernal to “discourage” protest and homeless use. (See https://www.indybay.org/
THE STALL CONTINUES
TOILET TRAINING FOR THE ELDERLY, DISABLED, & UNHOUSED?
Private attempts to fill the “bathroom gap” created by City Council and P & R’s refusal to restore bathrooms were thwarted by city action removing a privately-fundeed portapotty. See “Further Developments in Poo Poo Politics” at https://www.indybay.org/
The 8 portapotties (2 of them disabled accessible for the first time) and 3 wash stations finally set up at the Ross Camp before it was destroyed by police and rangers have not been replaced since their removal in early May.
Ironically, it was concerns about preventing a Hepatitis A out break initially led to the setting up of portapotties first at the San Lorenzo campground in 2017, and then at Ross Camp in 2019.