Press Statement - 11.22.16

 

Press Release                                              Contact:         Mike Dennis 626.824.6797

For immediate Release                                                     Rudy Espinoza 310.597.1812

November 22, 2016                                                                      

 

Press Statement: LA Street Vendor Campaign on the City’s Move to Permit Street Vendors

 

LOS ANGELES – The LA Street Vendor Campaign (LASVC), a coalition of vendors and over 65 organizations across the Los Angeles region, is encouraged by the City Council’s commitment to schedule a hearing to advance a comprehensive sidewalk vending policy in Los Angeles.

After years of discussion and multiple studies, we now have a chance to finally put an end to unjust criminalization and build opportunity in its place. We believe that the City should work expeditiously to create an inclusive sidewalk vending program that helps these entrepreneurs build their businesses, contribute to their communities, and take care of their families.

We are encouraged to see forward progress, in the form of a general framework proposed by Councilman Buscaino, Councilman Price and Councilman Huizar.  We look forward to hearing more details about how this policy can support street vendors and cultivate a strong local economy for them, local businesses, and residents who patronize both. 

As the policy unfolds, our campaign is focused on ensuring that the rights of street vendors are protected, and that vendors are meaningfully engaged in the policy-making conversation. We support a comprehensive permitting program that provides citywide standards and local flexibility. We support commonsense vending location regulations – not arbitrary limits on the number of vendors per street or caps on the number of permits issued. We believe that limitations on vending should only be done to support the safety of pedestrians as well as the reasonable protection of small businesses. We continue to support permitted vending on sidewalks and in parks. And we believe that vending can play an important role in increasing healthy food access in our communities.

One of our chief concerns has always been to ensure that street vendors are not criminalized unfairly. This will continue to be something our coalition monitors closely. We believe that the great majority of street vendors are honest, hard-working entrepreneurs who are willing to regulate their activities so they do not have to fear for their safety or endure confiscation of their property. We urge a humane approach to compliance, focusing on education and technical assistance and avoiding misdemeanor prosecutions in any scenario. As we strive to be an inclusive city, our policies must reflect that goal. We are encouraged that Councilmembers Buscaino, Price and Huizar share this commitment to oppose misdemeanor prosecutions.

We look forward to learning more about what the City Council proposes for street vending in Los Angeles. Our campaign will continue to advocate for a policy that is fact-based, thoughtful and just.   

 

The Los Angeles Street Vendor Campaign advocates for the rights and dignity of #LAStreetVendors as legitimate community stakeholders and business owners in the city.   Visit us at Facebook.com/LAStreetVendorCampaign or www.streetvendorsforLA.org

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