I wasn't going to write about this because I didn't think anyone would care, but how there's been a very small buzz about it in the local media, so I feel I'd be remiss if I didn't document this turn of events...
I think I may have mentioned this once before, but I've been involved in this sort of organized push among the employees in my building to get showers added to the building during an ongoing remodel. The idea kinda started with Amy. She has showers in her office building at work, and she and her coworkers are in a crossfit program during lunch where they work out every day (it's sorta like aerobics combined with strength training). Some of her coworkers also bike to work.
This got me thinking because there are a number of people in my office who exercise during lunch and others who bike to work. There are also many people who would like to do these things but who are afraid of to get sweaty and have to be stinky all day.
So we started a sort of gentle push to get showers. I'm definitely not the only one who supports the showers, but I sort of ended up being the de facto "annoyer in chief", sending emails to members of the Travis County Commissioners Court and gathering signatures on a support list (the word "petition" sounds too antagonistic, you see).
Well, the whole thing came to a vote yesterday in commissioner's court (the body which decides how Travis county money will be spent). The night before the vote, the local news ran a weird story about the issue. If you look closely when they show the petition, you might might see my name at the top of the list (and a bunch of my friends right after my name).
Not sure how long they'll keep that story on their site.
KLBJ News Radio also ran a story about the showers.
Anyway, there was a bit of drama in the 11th hour of the shower thing as Gerald Daugherty- a nice guy, but one of our more conservative commissioners- voiced some objection, saying that he didn't really feel that it was the role of government to provide these kinds of services to its employees. Since the State of Texas, one of the most conservative governing bodies in the country, is providing these services to its employees in the Capitol Complex right down the street, I didn't have too much sympathy for that argument. I like Daugherty and all, but we wanted our showers!
In the end, we rallied some shower supporters who went to commissioner's court. Then a week later my boss, David Escamilla (our County Attorney) showed up at commissioner's court and went to bat for the idea. He not only advocated for the showers, but kicked in money from the County Attorney budget that covered a pretty good sized chunk of the project. This sort of caught us off guard (we had done this as sort of a grass roots thing, mostly), but it was really cool of him and made us all feel supported by the office. That's a good feeling.
In the end, even Commissioner Daugherty voted for the showers and they were easily approved.
So now we'll be getting showers! Eventually. And I'll have to start putting my money where my mouth is and riding my bike to work. Or exercising at lunch.
I've made a terrible mistake. ;-)