Our History

DC Public Restrooms History

DC Public Restrooms builds on the successful efforts of the People for Fairness Coalition (PFFC) Downtown DC Public Restroom Initiative, which was launched in the Fall of 2014 with the objective of ensuring that clean, safe public restrooms are available to everyone in needed areas of Washington DC.

Following a research-based approach (which included a feasibility study, an inventory of restrooms in private facilities in five areas of DC, and studies of experiences with the Community Toilet Scheme in England and with the Portland Loo in the US) PFFC’s Public Restroom Committee developed and carried out a vigorous advocacy campaign designed to raise consciousness of the need for clean, safe public restrooms in DC; who benefits; and restroom options. 

Between 2015 and 2020 members of PFFC’s Public Restroom Committee, with the assistance and participation of their advisors, developed and delivered over 70 presentations to DC Council Members and their staffs, representatives in key DC Government Agencies, numerous ANCs and community organizations, churches, BIDs and associations presenting hotel and restaurants interests in DC.  They also delivered over 40 testimonies at DC Council Oversight and Budget Hearings. 

These efforts resulted in the publication of articles in the Washington Post, the Hill Rag, Street Sense Media, DC Line, DCist, Greater Greater Washington, and aired over radio (Kojo Nnamdi Show and A! which is aired nationally) and a variety of TV  stations. 

Most importantly they resulted in the presentation by Council Member Nadeau in April 2017 of Bill 22-0223, Public Restroom Facilities Installation and Promotion Act of 2018 whose contents were based on the research findings of the Initiative. Bill 22-0223 was passed unanimously by the DC Council in December 2018, became Law 22-280 in April 2019, and on October 1, 2019 went into effect with funding from DC’s FY 2020 budget.

With Bill 22-0223 passed, Law 22-0223 funded and in effect, and concrete steps taken to prepare for the implementation of both pilots, members of PFFC’s Public Restroom Committee and its advisors decided in November of 2021 that the time was appropriate to form an independent entity, DC Public Restrooms, composed of interested DC residents focused on assisting with the implementation of the two pilots.

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