By Catherine Saillant and Kate Linthicum
Two Los Angeles City Council members on Wednesday called for the city to legalise street food sales and no longer penalise those who sell fried pupusas, fresh-cut fruit and bacon-wrapped hot dogs on sidewalks.
The current city code prohibits selling things on sidewalks, exposing vendors to hefty fines, confiscated equipment and even incarceration. That needs to change, said Councilman Jose Huizar, who represents the Eastside of Los Angeles, and Councilman Curren Price, whose district takes in much of South L.A.
"Los Angeles has a world-class street food culture,'' Huizar said at a news conference at City Hall.”But we sometimes want to pretend it doesn't exist."
The council members asked for a study of how the city can legalise street vending. Legalisation would bring Los Angeles in line with other major cities, including New York, San Francisco, Portland and Chicago, which allow people to sell things on sidewalks.
"That tells me that street food and brick-and-mortar businesses can co-exist,'' Huizar said.
A spokesman for Huizar said any legislation would involve regulation, such as requiring vendors to register with the city. In the case of food vendors, regular checks by L.A. County health inspectors would probably be required.
Storefront business owners have long complained that sidewalk vendors -- as well as food trucks -- are unfair competition because they don't pay rent or taxes. To address those concerns, the city could write rules keeping vendors away from established eateries, Huizar said, and invite restaurants to set up their own sidewalk sales.
"In the beginning there might be some fear about what this means,'' he said.”But once people see what it is and understand that they benefit as well. ... I think it's going to be good for everyone."
Even with the threat of citations and arrests, street vending has flourished. One city official estimates there are 10,000 sellers operating in the shadows.
Janet Favela, 31, of South Los Angeles said she knows a 60-year-old single woman who recently had her coolers and $260 of tamales confiscated in a bust.
"That was money that she needed to pay her rent,'' said Favela, an organizer with East L.A. Community Corp. Her own father raised three children by selling cut watermelon when welding jobs dried up, she said.
East L.A. Community Corp. is among number of groups working to change the rules on street vending, including the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles and the L.A. Food Policy Council.
Huizar said the report would examine all types of sidewalk sales in the city, including CD vending on Hollywood Boulevard and the Venice boardwalk. The city would consider adopting different rules for food and non-food vending, he said.
Sourced from www.latimes.com
There is also a portuguese version of the Blog where one can access personal updates on news and events. It can be found on this link: http://streetnetbrasil.wordpress.com/
StreetNet Newsletter 31 [pdf]
INDIA. DP is irreparable, scrap it, say activists. Times of India (10 April 2015).
TANZANIA. College plans to identify trade opportunities for hawkers. Daily News (10 April 2015) by Ludovick Kazoka.
INDIA. No street vendors, cycle rickshaws in Lajpat Nagar market: NGT. Zee News (8 April 2015) by PTI. New Delhi:
BOTSWANA. EDD is the way to go. Mmegi Online (8 April 2015).
USA. Five Courses: Hawkers' street food flair & more. Creative Loafing Tampa Bay (8 April 2015) by Meaghan Habuda.
INDIA. Hawkers may be allowed near Rishi Kapoor, Anil Ambani's Pali Hill residences. DNA India (8 April 2015) by Amrita Nayak Dutta.
ABU-DHABI. Abu Dhabi Municipality raid scares away street hawkers. Gulf News (7 April 2015).
SINGAPORE. Hawker centres to be spruced up with murals and art installations. Channel News Asia (5 April 2015) by Vimita Mohandas.
MALAYSIA. 'Development will be inclusive'. The Star Online (3 April 2015).
INDIA. 'Street vendors denied right to livelihood'. The Hindu (1 April 2015) by K.N. Umesh.
StreetNet International is an alliance of street vendors. It was launched in Durban, South Africa, in November 2002.
Membership-based organizations (unions, co-operatives or associations) directly organizing street vendors, market vendors and/or hawkers among their members, are entitled to affiliate to StreetNet International.
The aim of StreetNet is to promote the exchange of information and ideas on critical issues facing street vendors, market vendors and hawkers (i.e. mobile vendors) and on practical organizing and advocacy strategies