The Los Angeles City Council approved a pilot initiative to distribute free menstruation products in five public libraries' toilets. Under a program adopted by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, the county would give free access to feminine hygiene products, diapers, and other personal care goods at various government sites.
The county Chief Executive Office (CEO) would collaborate with the parks, library, and social services departments, as well as county museums and cultural sites, to design a one-year pilot program providing the items, according to a resolution by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl. Los Angeles County authorities will also look at potential future financing sources to ensure the program's continuation if it proves effective.
"The city should provide menstrual products in its restroom in the way that it provides other basic hygiene products, like toilet paper, soap and paper towels, Equity isn't treating everybody exactly the same, it's recognizing that some groups of people, in this case women and some transgender men, have different needs that must be met in order for them to fully participate in the services that the city offers.'' said Councilman Bob Blumenfield who introduced the motion in 2019.
The entire cost of the program over two years is $53,205, which includes monthly supply expenditures as well as the one-time cost of acquiring and installing dispensers. According to General Services, each restroom would give 60 menstrual items every day, which are 30 sanitary napkins and 30 tampons.
The motion directed the Chief Executive Office to support federal and state legislation reducing the cost of feminine products and diapers, providing additional federal and state funding to cover the cost of providing these free products to low-income residents, and/or that would allow government benefits to cover the cost of feminine hygiene products and diapers.
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