SACRAMENTO, CA – Soon-to-be father Assemblyman Ian Calderon and his colleague Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, father of a two year old daughter, introduced Assembly Bill 1127, requiring baby diaper changing stations be installed in men’s and women’s restrooms in restaurants, department stores and other frequently visited public buildings and businesses in California.
“Family responsibilities have evolved over the years. As an expectant father, I look forward to handling my fair share of the diaper duty with my wife. However, changing tables are not readily accessible at all venues, and are even less available to men,” said Majority Leader Calderon. “Without male access to changing tables, the burden falls to the mother, or, in cases where no changing table exists at all, parents are compelled to get creative – usually resorting to diaper changes on tables at restaurants or even on bathroom floors. AB 1127 will ensure that both moms and dads have a safe, sanitary place to change their baby.”
AB 1127 requires buildings owned by a state or local agency, as well as public venues such as restaurants, movie theaters and grocery stores, to provide at least one diaper-changing table available to both women and men. This requirement will apply to all new construction and any restroom renovations that exceed $10,000. Local building inspectors or a local permitting entity will enforce the requirement as part of their existing inspection process.
“I am proud to join Majority Leader Ian Calderon to advocate for baby changing stations in men’s restrooms. As a father this strikes me as a logical and essential measure that aligns with our state’s inclusive values,” professed Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia. “We must ensure our public health polices evolve to support the varying array of needs for Californians and their families.”
AB 1127 is consistent with federal action taken last October, when President Obama signed the “Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation (BABIES) Act,” requiring that male and female restrooms in public federal buildings be equipped with baby changing facilities.
According to a 2013 study on modern parenting conducted by the Pew Charitable Trusts, parenting responsibilities are more equally distributed between partners than ever before, with fathers spending triple the amount of time with their children now than in 1965. Additionally, the number of single father households has increased about ninefold since 1960, from less than 300,000 to more than 2.6 million in 2011. AB 1127 recognizes that the family unit is changing, and seeks to rectify any inequities in the accessibility of diaper changing stations.
Majority Leader Ian C. Calderon was elected in November 2012 to represent California’s 57th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Industry, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, La Puente, Norwalk, Santa Fe Springs, South El Monte, Whittier and the unincorporated communities of Avocado Heights, Bassett, East La Mirada, East Whittier, Los Nietos-West Whittier, South San Jose Hills, South Whittier, and Hacienda Heights.