Here is it! This Memorial Day weekend marks the start of summer. Americans will be taking to the road in waves not seen in nearly two years. You’ll be at rest stops, you’ll be at resorts and vacation spots, you’ll be at parks and beaches. What we want to know is: Are America’s Public Restrooms open? What condition are they in? So, head over to your favorite social sites – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and Pinterest and show us **discreetly** the good, the bad, and the ugly of restrooms in the USA. Use the hashtag: #OpenUP_ARA. Feeling old school? email@example.com works, too!
It must have been on live TV, perhaps a sporting event, when I saw it. I’m one of those people who will do anything to avoid watching commercials. The fact that I was actually watching a commercial is noteworthy. But the deep and measured buttery baritone voice-over grabbed me right away: “Dignity . . . this thing you can neither see nor measure, but that demands the return of small moments in attempts to steal.”
The American Restroom Association is very gratified to be closely connected to the Washington, DC area efforts of the People for Fairness Coalition (PFFC) and their Downtown DC Public Restroom Initiative. PFFC Advisor Marcia Bernbaum and volunteers have been working tirelessly to see two public restrooms installed in areas of desperate need in our nation’s capital. It is heartening to see their progress, but also frustrating to witness how exasperating the effort is. As you can read below, the initial introduction date of the legislation was Spring 2017(!). Marcia provided the following update:
My new friend, Marcia Bernbaum, Mentor and Advisor to the People for Fairness Coalition (PFFC) in Washington, D.C., rang me up.
“Where is it?” she asked.
“Where’s what?” I replied.
“You know. The list.”
“The list?” I started to get concerned.
“THE LIST the ARA published in 2015 that catalogs the long, long rolls of the restroom challenged. It’s been a great resource for us. It has really helped us make our case for more public restrooms in our nation’s capital.”
Now with a push from many states, and an increase in teacher vaccinations, schools are truly re-opening. At last! But let’s rewind the clock a tick. Early July 2020 was a hopeful time. As Americans, we were planning for a return to some normalcy in the Fall, and for school re-openings. But that was before the summer bump in cases appeared, and before a devastating Fall and Winter. The majority of schools – especially public schools – remained closed. In July 2020, Dr. Tom Keating of Project CLEAN and the American Restroom Association ARA) released a brief article titled, “Ten Things to do NOW to get your School Ready for Students in a COVID-19 World.” Those same 10 things hold true today.