Posted: June 14, 2012 in VNC
Tags: , , , ,


Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice —


June 11, 2012  – The Administrative Committee of the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) discussed a proposed resolution calling for public access to bathrooms as a Human Right – The committee voted unanimously to refer the motion to the Visitor Impact Committee of the VNC.

Item E. ACCESS TO TOILETS IS A HUMAN RIGHT on behalf of the Venice Community Unity Coalition.

MOTION : WHEREAS, according to the Venice Chamber of Commerce, Venice Beach is the 2nd-largest tourist attraction in Southern California after Disneyland and can draw up to 16 million visitors per year; and

WHEREAS, according to the Venice Neighborhood Council in 2004, an average summer weekend yields approximately 350,000 visitors to Venice Beach; and

WHEREAS, Los Angeles City provides 54 individual public restroom stalls at Venice Beach; and

WHEREAS, the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks closes said restrooms from approximately 9:00 pm — 6:00 am (the actual closing time varies from 6:00 pm to 10:30 pm), daily; and

WHEREAS, visitors and residents, including homeless persons, at Venice Beach are denied access to public restrooms after they are closed, on any given day; and

WHEREAS, lack of access to public restrooms may force the most law abiding persons to seek immediate relief, whereby everyone is affected negatively and it creates a health hazard; and

WHEREAS housed residents in Venice have been negatively impacted by the resulting inappropriate use of yards and alleys as latrines; and

WHEREAS, access to safe drinking water and sanitation is considered to be a ‘human right’ by the United Nations Human Rights Council; and

WHEREAS, in her report to the United Nations Human Rights Council on August 24, 2011 titled: “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque”, top UN investigator, Catarina de Albuquerque, states: “The human right to safe drinking water and sanitation derives from the right to an adequate standard of living which is protected by Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 11 and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights…States’ obligation with regards to the right to safe drinking water and sanitation requires that water and sanitation be available, accessible, affordable, acceptable and of good quality for everyone without discrimination;” and

WHEREAS, the said UN report also states: “The United States, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, must ensure that everyone [has access] to sanitation which is safe, hygienic, secure and which provides privacy and ensures dignity. An immediate interim solution is to ensure access to restroom facilities in public places, including during the night. The long-term solution to homelessness must be to ensure adequate housing.”

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Venice Neighborhood Council calls upon the City of Los Angeles to:

1) declare access to safe drinking water and sanitation to be a human right;
2) provide adequate public restroom facilities to accommodate the large number of visitors to Venice Beach on any given day by:

a) allowing 24 hour daily access to existing public restrooms at Venice Beach;
b) providing additional portable public restrooms with 24 hour daily access at Venice Beach and other areas of Venice, particularly where homeless people congregate.


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