by Guadalupe Canales
Four years ago, a vote to legalize street vending in Los Angeles was completed, but why has not action been taken?
Living with the fear that they receive a one thousand dollar citation, and or be discriminated, assaulted, or robbed many still take on this job.
Street vendors rely on this job to help them provide for their families, and for immigrants, it is one of the only jobs they can do to earn a living. Street vending is known to be one of the few jobs immigrants are able to take on because of their status, but many vendors have not seen any change toward legalization or protection of street vendors.
In this past year, we have seen discrimination and violence towards street vendors more than ever before. With Trump serving as president many fear to go out and do their jobs because of the challenges they face not only with discrimination but also with deportations and fines. Recently, the city council voted 11-4, to draft a policy for street vending. This project has been targeted as a priority in hopes to make a proposal by summer.
If a proposal is passed, we will see the city take action as soon as next year. The proposal is set to regulate where street vendors will be allowed to sell. Street vending will be banned 500 feet from busy venues including Dodger Stadium, Staples Center, Hollywood Bowl and many other crowded locations. Each vendor will have to apply for a permit and they will have assigned locations. The idea is to minimize groups of street vendors, only two street vendors per each side of a city block will be allowed.
The delay has been in part to local property owners who do not want street vendors around their establishments, as well as undecided council members who cannot decide on restrictions that should be applied for street vendors safety and for the safety of the communities.
Until then, street vendors have to wait and see if city council will have a proposal by July to stop living in fear, for not only their lives but also for the sake of their families.