Evicted street vendors from LA's El Salvador Corridor ask City Council for help

Eric Resendiz Image
Thursday, January 11, 2024
Evicted street vendors asking LA City Council for help
The El Salvador Corridor vendors were evicted from a strip-mall parking lot after receiving zoning violations from the city.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- About 30 street vendors who were evicted from an El Salvador Corridor parking lot asked the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday for help returning to their longtime home.

Some of those vendors have moved their stands to the sidewalk. But they said they're facing another challenge.

"We are pretty much not working right now out of fear," said vendor Kelvin Alvarado. "We feel intimidated and we're really disappointed and hurt. Because we thought, they were going to let us work. But police officers have said otherwise."

Street vendors have been a part of the corridor on Vermont Street for nearly two decades. The 30 who were evicted used to have a makeshift market in a strip mall's parking lot. But they were cited for a zoning code violation and the property owner asked them to leave.

Vendors and advocates are fighting for a street vending space of their own on the corridor, similar to the other parts of the city. The El Salvador Corridor Association is leading the street vendors in this effort.

"Just like Koreatown, Filipinotown, Chinatown," said Raul Claros, executive director of the association. "Why can't the Central Americans and the Salvadorans and the Guatemalans have something nice?"

The association has asked the city attorney to allow the vendors temporarily back into the lot while a solution is found. The vendors said they're taking legal action themselves.

"We're going to make claims and we are going to sue the city. And we are going to seek compensation for those people who are wrongfully mistreated here," said attorney Humberto Guizar.

Alvarado said they would file a claim with the city attorney on Thursday. They also hope to meet with Councilwoman Eunisses Hernadez.

"It's really unfortunate that we have gotten to this point where these people have been removed from the plaza by the owners of the plaza," Hernandez said. "But as a city, as a councilmember, I am 100% supportive trying to find out a solution."