Monday, June 15, 2015

SF Chron: Toilet Access Expands; Public Citizen Omitted

This is one way to reach the homeless. The SF Chronicle's entertainment section socialite columnist Leah Garchik promoted the toilet access expansion at taxpayer-funded firehouses. Here's what she wrote on June 11th:

"And bravo to the San Francisco Fire Department, for a May 30 release — signed by Chief Joanne Hayes-White, Department of Public Health Director Barbara Garcia and chief of the city’s homeless programs Bevan Dufty — underlining the department’s policy of making fire station toilets accessible to the public, including homeless people, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. The announcement, which also lists the locations of automatic public restrooms, specifies that "any member of the public may ring the Fire Station doorbell and will be let in to use the toilet.'"

I'm not sure how many homeless folks read the Chron's Datebook section, but any publicity for making more people aware that they can pee and poop at SF Fire Department facilities is a good development. Would have been nicer for the paper to give this development some hard news coverage and mention the public citizen advocacy I performed, but can't have everything.

By the way, on June 13, on page two of the Chron's Sunday edition, "Native Son" columnist Carl Nolte highlighted the work of Dufty and no mention was made about the change in SFFD restroom policies.

You may recall my advocacy at the fire and health departments and with Dufty led to this toilet access expansion. Here's the video of me at the May 19 health commission, after months of delays and broken promises from DPH and Dufty, demanding access not only to toilets but also showers at fire houses:

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