Sidewalk vending ordinance approved by unanimous Los Angeles City Council vote

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- After 10 years of debate and compromise, the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday voted to approve an ordinance that will grant permits to sidewalk vendors.

The move will allow the sellers of street tacos, souvenirs and accessories to come out of the legal shadows and put the city on the same footing as New York and Chicago on the issue.

Some 50,000 vendors peddle their wares along L.A. sidewalks and in parks and other public places, hawking baseball caps, sunglasses, T-shirts, purses and other merchandise, as well as food from countries all over the world.

Many are immigrants eking out modest livings who have pushed for years for the change.

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Friends and family of a street vendor asked for the public's help Wednesday to find six people who beat and robbed the man and two other vendors.

"Our vendors are very excited that after 10 years of conversation and discussions and work on this that it's feeling like it's coming to fruition," Isela Gracian, president of the East LA Community Corporation, which lobbied the city for such an ordinance, said before the vote.

Some details were still being worked out Tuesday morning, including how many competing vendors could operate a table or pushcart in a park or on a street. And, more importantly, how much a permit would cost.

Food vendors will need to get separate permits from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, just like the hundreds of food truck operators in the area.

Officials said setting up the regulations for street vendors will take about a year. They expect the first permits to be issued by the beginning of 2020.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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