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Santa Ana Shuts Down Street Vendors Before Christmas, Mayor Says, ‘We Cannot Allow Unsafe Food Conditions to Endanger Public Health’

9:01 AM PST on December 21, 2022

The city of Santa Ana issued a statement via a release this week,  blessed by their newly elected mayor Valerie Amezcua, for Santa Ana revealing a six-week operation in which 100 street food stands were shut down by the City of Santa Ana and Orange County's Health Care Agency. According to the release, the vendors were found to be "selling food unfit for human consumption and operating without the proper health permit."

The street vendor sweep comes shortly after California's landmark passage of SB972, which would change the state's antiquated food code to include street vending practices and give respective cities in California the power to facilitate the street vending permit process. The exhibitionistic civic post juxtaposes Long Beach's community-minded approach to regulating the recent growth of sidewalk taquerías and street vendors, which included a survey on the city's site asking how the city should proceed. That survey resulted in the decision to take an education-focused route rather than one centered on penalization and confiscation, such as in Santa Ana and at times, Los Angeles.

Southern California's street vending watchdog Edin Enamorado, who is first on the scene with anything street vending-related, declared Amezcua's move "waging war against street vendors" and posted the quote, "Sometimes your worst enemy is your own people."

Despite Amezcua's claim that the sweep was due to "conditions that endanger public health," no reports or isolated incidents were cited in the release.

L.A. TACO has reached out to Amezcua for further comment.

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