HOLLYWOOD (KABC) -- Street vendors took to Hollywood Boulevard to protest laws that prevent them from selling in certain areas of Los Angeles.
In 2018, a California law was passed that legalized sidewalk vending across California, but protestors said the city of L.A. then passed an ordinance that excluded eight areas as "no vending zones," including areas near the Hollywood Walk of Fame, LA Live, Universal Studios and more.
"Sidewalk vendors face consistent ticketing, harassment and retaliation from city officials," said Katie McKeon, an attorney with Public Counsel.
Merlin Alvarado, a local street vendor, said even though she bought permits to sell fruit on the streets, she has faced many problems.
Through a translator, she told Eyewitness News, "I have been chased by officers and taken over 30 times on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This is harmed me and my family. This has made it difficult for me to run a successful business."
Two vendors filed a lawsuit against the city to end the "no vending zones."
The city has claimed that some regulations are necessary to prevent overcrowding on sidewalks in busy areas. People here said if brick and mortar restaurants are allowed to expand on to the sidewalks, street vendors must be allowed as well.
"They are entitled to occupy the housing that they have, but where there is a public sidewalk," said Matthew Heartney, an attorney working on the case. "they have to share the public sidewalk with all people that have a legitimate need to use that, and certainly the street vendors are part of that."
Attorneys said they would like to work out an agreement with the city, but they don't think that's going to happen. They expect the case will take at least six months to a year in court.
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