LA to offer free menstrual products at city libraries – NBC Los Angeles

What there is to know

  • “The city should provide menstrual products in its restrooms the same way it provides other basic hygiene products, like toilet paper, soap and paper towels,” Blumenfield said.
  • The total cost of the program over two years is $53,205, which includes monthly supply fees.
  • UCLA announced Monday that it will also begin providing free menstrual products in campus restrooms beginning April 4, becoming the first campus in the University of California system to offer the service.

The Los Angeles City Council moved forward on Tuesday with a pilot program to provide free menstrual products in restrooms at five public libraries.

The program was launched in a 2019 motion by Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who on Tuesday called the program “long overdue,” saying the COVID-19 pandemic had set back the effort.

“The city should provide menstrual products in its restrooms the same way it provides other basic hygiene products, like toilet paper, soap and paper towels,” Blumenfield said. “Equity is not treating everyone exactly the same, it is recognizing that some of the groups of people, in this case women and some transgender men, have different needs that need to be met in order for them to can participate fully in the services offered by the city.

The pilot program, which was approved by a 14-0 vote by City Council on Tuesday, will begin in 30 unisex and women’s washrooms at the following libraries:

  • Central Library, at 630 W. Fifth St.;
  • Canoga Park Branch Library, 20939 Sherman Way;
  • West Valley Branch Library, 19036 Vanowen Street;
  • Los Feliz Branch Library, at 1874 Hillhurst Ave.; and
  • Will & Ariel Durant Branch Library, at 7140 W. Sunset Blvd in Hollywood.

According to the Department of General Services, the locations were chosen “because they represent a diversity of racial and economic populations, including homeless people.”

The total cost of the two-year program is $53,205, which includes monthly supply costs and the one-time cost to purchase and install dispensers. General services estimated that each toilet would provide 60 menstrual products per day – 30 sanitary napkins and 30 tampons.

“I look forward to the results of this pilot project and ultimately to expanding it to all city restrooms across the city,” Blumenfield said. “The goal of this pilot project is to test different delivery mechanisms to see what works because we know this is something that is needed, not just at a pilot level, but at scale.”

A report from the Department of General Services estimated that the pilot project would begin in April.

UCLA announced Monday that it will begin providing free menstrual products in campus restrooms beginning April 4, becoming the first campus in the University of California system to offer the service.

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