Portland Building Gets a Second All-User Bathroom Back, in New Location

After City Commissioner Amanda Fritz complained, the city reopened a women's room on the second floor. Now a women's room on the first floor has been converted to an all-user bathroom.

Portland City Hall with Portland Building at right. (Beth Slovic)

The city of Portland has a second all-gender, multi-stall bathroom back in action in its biggest building.

Earlier this week, the city converted one of the two all-user bathrooms on the second floor of the Portland Building to a women's room.

The change came after Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz threatened not to attend council meetings there—if action was not taken on "unsafe" conditions. Council meetings are being held in the Portland Building this month while work is completed on council chambers.

By Friday morning, the city's Office of Management and Finance converted the women's restroom on the building's first floor to an all-user restroom, leaving a men's room on the first floor as a gendered bathroom. The second floor will continue to have a women's room and an all user-bathroom.

As part of an effort to make bathrooms available to transgender people and others, the city converted all of 600 of its single-stall bathrooms last year, making them open to all users. It also launched a pilot project in the Portland Building converting two bathrooms with multiple stalls into all-gender restrooms.

City Commissioner Nick Fish, who championed the all-user bathrooms, says he's pleased with the outcome in the Portland Building this week, because offering an all-user bathroom on two separate floors creates more options.

"OMF, which oversees this program, has actually come up with an improvement," says Fish. "They've improved access and convenience."

Fritz had threatened in emails last month to boycott City Council meetings if a second-floor all-gender bathroom wasn't changed to a women's room. She described the multi-stall, all-gender bathrooms are dangerous and threatening to women and transgender people.

Fish says he's heard from members of the transgender community who were alarmed after Fritz's emails became public in WW's story Tuesday. He is meeting with community partners this afternoon, he says.

Fritz apologized in an email earlier this week and says she still supports the all-user bathrooms.

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