Did Donald Trump Just Bring an End to L.A.’s Street Vending Ban?
The City of Los Angeles has finally decided to decriminalize street vending and all it took was a little fear of Donald Trump.
Fearing a coming crackdown on immigrants, Los Angeles City Council members Joe Buscaino and Curren Price vowed to stop punishing vending as a crime and begin setting up a regulated system. The council pushed forward with their plan Tuesday, voting to draft a law that would decriminalize sidewalk vending.
Given the recent executive order on immigration, Buscaino, Price and others worry that criminal actions could jeopardize the fate of the many street vendors who are in the country illegally.
Immigrant activists have been calling for an end to the ban on street vending for years. How ironic that decriminalization would finally come about because of the new Trump presidency.
“It took something horrible at the national level for them to see the urgency that we’ve been seeing for a long time,” said Mike Dennis, who sits on the steering committee of the L.A. Street Vendor Campaign.
It could be months before the new regulatory system is in place. Until then, vendors could still be cited but they would not face criminal convictions. Attorneys for the city are also looking into whether those already facing charges could be granted some type of amnesty.
Los Angeles is the only major American city that prohibits street vending. Between October 2015 and October 2016, city prosecutors filed charges in over two dozen cases.
Read more about the Los Angeles City Council’s actions here.