Skip to Content
Featured

Decriminalize Street Food…Again: 100 L.A Street Vendors March for Their Right to Earn

5:37 PM PDT on June 23, 2020

    [dropcap size=big]M[/dropcap]ore than two dozen hot dogs buns filled with citations were presented in front of the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health’s headquarters in Baldwin Park yesterday morning as a form of protest against the continued criminalization of street vendors in the county. 
    The community action was organized by Vendedores en Accion (VEA), Community Power Collective, and The Los Angeles Street Vendor Campaign. It attracted street vendors from all corners of the county to take part in the demonstration, from Hollywood to the Valley to Boyle Heights to MacArthur Park. Powerful signs in both English and Spanish were painted with sayings such as “MIS ATOLES Y TAMALES NO MATAN” (“My atoles and tamales do not kill”) to “CESEN LA CRIMINALIZACION: SOLO QUEREMOS GANARNOS LA VIDA HONRADAMENTE” (Stop the criminalization: We just want to earn an honest living).

    This protest demanding the right to work without fear of being penalized by L.A.’s street vendors is the latest action in almost a month of nonstop civil unrest all over Los Angeles county. It is the result of what the majority of street vendors in Los Angeles argue to be an unfair policing system that prevents them from earning money since the start of the coronavirus shelter-in-place law. 

    Street vendors asking to a meaningful investment in their future. For years they’ve been pushed to this side. They are not being included in recovery efforts. @CPColectivo @PublicCounsel @InclusivAction pic.twitter.com/iEfBYh2Bum

    — Rudy (@MrDOLPH) June 22, 2020

    Yesterday’s event in Baldwin Park was a response to Mayor Garcetti’s initial exclusion of street vendor flexibilities in his “LA Al Fresco” temporary program to allow the city’s eating and drinking establishments from opening again, while some were granted to the restaurant’s brick and mortar restaurants. That decision drew criticism from the street vendor community and its advocates, especially since many street vendors had already purchased the controversially priced permit to legally vend in the city starting this year. 

    READ: A HUNDRED BLACK HORSE RIDERS SHOWED UP TO SUPPORT THE COMPTON COWBOYS PEACE RIDE FOR BLACK LIVES MATTER

    As a result of this public scrutiny,  Los Angeles city councilmember Monica Rodriguez drafted an “emergency” $5 million fund to directly help street vendors, as reported by Eater LA. Forcing Garcetti to also address the issue and announce “relaxed enforcement” of street vending-based violations. 

    Nonetheless, the street vendors present on Monday’s protest say they are tired of being pushed to the sidelines and hope city officials recognize their struggles as entrepreneurs in Los Angeles’ informal economy.

    Stay in touch

    Sign up for our free newsletter

    More from L.A. TACO

    What To Eat This Weekend: Cannabis-Infused Boat Noodles, Thai Smashburgers, and “Grass & Ass”

    Plus, a pizza festival and a respected chef from Toluca, Mexico comes to Pasadena to consult for a restaurant menu, including enchiladas divorciadas, and more.

    April 12, 2024

    Facing ‘Immediate Layoffs,’ L.A. TACO Launches Membership Drive to Save Our Publication

    After Sunday, we do not have enough money to make another payroll. We need 5,000 members to become sustainable. Our deadline is April 26th to hit this goal.

    April 12, 2024

    The Final Round of TACO MADNESS 2024 Is Now Open for Voting! It’s Highland Park vs. San Fernando Valley

    It was an incredible comeback to deny last year's winner and bring a first-timer from the San Fernando Valley to the finals. They will have an uphill battle against Villa's Tacos, who lead all teams in total votes so far in the 2024 competition. L.A.'s favorite taco will be decided on Sunday, April 14th, at 11:59 P.M. 

    April 11, 2024

    This New Koreatown Onigiri Spot Is Unlike Any Other in Southern California

    Supamu, which started as a food truck and a series of pop-ups, brands itself as Southern California’s first Okinawa-style onigiri. What sets its onigiri apart from competitors? All the details are in the post, plus where to find it.

    April 10, 2024

    When ‘Tomorrow’ Never Comes: The Saga of a DTLA Bar Staff’s Struggle To Get Paid

    A barback recalled a time when he had to use a payday loan app to cover a dinner bill. “How can you, with a straight face, hand someone a check knowing that there isn’t money in the account,” the barback questioned.

    April 10, 2024
    See all posts