Street vending decriminalized in Los Angeles

A street vendor greets an acquaintance in front the Maravilla Meat Market, with a mural depicting Cesar Chavez, left, in East Los Angeles, on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

The Los Angeles City Council voted to decriminalize street vending on Tuesday, paving the way for the city to start permitting and regulating street vendors.

The ordinance, proposed by councilmembers Curren Price, Joe Buscaino, and José Huizar, passed by an 11 to 2 vote.

The city passed the ordinance to decriminalize street vending in the wake of President Donald Trump's executive orders for his controversial refugee and immigration ban.

"We cannot continue to allow an unregulated system that penalizes hard-working, mostly immigrant, vendors with possible criminal misdemeanor charges, particularly in the current political environment," Huizar said in a written statement. "These people are not asking for a handout, they are asking for an opportunity to lift themselves up and provide for their families."

Officials said a report was being prepared on the best way to implement a program, and once completed, a new ordinance would be written to give the Board of Public Works the power to issue permits for vendors.

Councilmembers said Los Angeles was one of the only major cities in the U.S. that didn't allow sidewalk vending.

An estimated 10,000 food vendors and 40,000 other vendors do business on sidewalks and parks in L.A., according to numbers released by the city's chief legislative analyst.

Those in opposition to the ordinance said the policy would be unfair to brick and mortar businesses that pay higher taxes, rent and employees.

Related Topics:
newsfoodlos angeles city councilsmall businessfood cartbusinessimmigrationDowntown LALos AngelesLos Angeles County
(Copyright ©2017 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments