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City and advocacy groups issue all-access bathroom challenge
Commissioner Nick Fish, local business organizations and community organizations challenged the Portland business community to create 1,000 all-access single-stall restrooms on Friday.
Speaking at a press conference at The Station restaraunt in the Alberta neighborhood, Fish said such restrooms are more welcoming for a wide range of people, including parents with young children, senior citizens, the disabled and transgender individuals.
"The City of Portland successfully converted 600 single-stall restrooms to all-user restrooms. I am formally challenging the business community to meet us, and beat us," said Fish.
The conversion only requires replacing a sign that identifies a restroom as reserved for a single gender with one indicating all-access. The challenge does not apply to restrooms with multiple stalls.
Joining Fish were representatives of Venture Portland, the Portland Business Alliance, the Main Street Alliance, the Portland Area Business Association, Yelp, the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association, and Basic Rights Oregon.
The challenge follows the City Council's unanimous passage of a resolution introduced by Fish in December which affirmed the city's commitment to "removing barriers to a safe and inclusive workplace for employees, to creating spaces which are welcoming to all visitors, and to treating all people with respect and dignity."
The policy was crafted with community partners including Elders in Action, Multnomah County, SMYRC, Basic Rights Oregon, PHLUSH, and Disability Rights Oregon. Within a year, Fish and Amanda Fritz celebrated the successful conversion of 600 single-stall restrooms in city facilities.