Street vendors rally against LA City proposals, say would lead to more citations

Eric Resendiz Image
Wednesday, October 13, 2021
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Street vendors and advocates held a press conference in front of Los Angeles City Hall to rally against new proposals calling them a renewed criminalization of street vending.

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- On Tuesday, street vendors and advocates held a press conference in front of Los Angeles City Hall and rallied against what they call is a renewed criminalization of street vending in the city.

According to organizers, there are two motions making their way through the L.A. City Council - which could bring back criminal penalties for street vending and displace vendors from certain communities.

One of the items is a health code motion that would put food vendors at higher risk of criminal citations, rally organizers said. The second item is a motion targeting sidewalk vendors that would give them criminal citations.

"We need change and it needs to be clear cut. Not where it's impossible for us when we are trying to cooperate with what is in place," said Vanessa Supervil, a street vendor at the rally.

Also, organizers said they believed Councilmember Paul Koretz was going to request for Melrose Avenue to become a no-vending zone because of a rise in crime linked to street vending, which organizers say is not the case.

According to the office of Councilmember Koretz, there is no official request to ban street vending on the corridor.

"I want to be clear that I am not opposed to street vendors," said Councilmember Koretz in a statement. "Now that I have called for strong LAPD and relevant enforcement agencies presence on Melrose, I am confident everyone is feeling a lot safer being in the region."

Councilmember Curren Price was among some of the council people present at the rally advocating for vendors.

"We are looking at all of those restrictions very carefully. We were certainly intentional of removing some of the criminal penalties for street vending. So, we don't want to push them back in another way," said Price about the items making their way through the council.

According to Price, L.A. County needs to make it easier for vendors to obtain permits and remove obstacles.

"For street vendors, they need to update their food codes. They need to be more inclusive, catch up to the times where street vending has evolved more," said Supervil.

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