Supporters Say Legalization of Street Vending a Big Win for Immigrant and Low-Income Community

After years of debate and protest, Los Angeles has become the second largest city in the nation to legalize street vending. The City Council passed the law to legalize and regulate street vending with a unanimous 13-0 vote.

The City Council announced the passage of the sidewalk vending ordinance to cheers and applause at City Hall on Wednesday.

The law will legalize and regulate the estimated 50,000 vendors throughout L.A. selling everything from fruit, hot dogs, CDs, clothing, and much more.

"Justice for tens of thousands of immigrant and low-income Angelenos, who work early mornings, late evenings, and sacrifice weekends," Councilman Curren Price said to a crowd after the ordinance was passed.

"History in the making," street vendor Patty Archuleta said. "This is what we want. This is what we've been fighting for."

For the past decade, Rudy Espinosa has been advocating for the vending community.

"They were being criminalized. They were getting misdemeanors. They were getting their things confiscated," Espinosa said. "They are not respected on our public right-of-ways because there is no system for them, and they live in fear when they're trying to take care of their families."

"A lot of us were low-income and we don't have money," vendor Rosa Rodriguez said. "The rent is so high that we can't afford it; we're just living day-to-day."

Vendors said they've been wanting to be legitimate, have a legal space, and pay taxes. Councilman Price said the rules will be fair, enforceable, and inclusive.

"They must be three feet from one another; maintain a clean area around their cart; have all the necessary permits; and abide by a series of other regulations," Price said.

Vendors can not block sidewalks, business entrances, parking meters, or driveways.

The ordinance also includes a limit to how close they can get to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame Chamber of Commerce said in a news release they have been working with city officials for the past five years to "ensure that adequate protections for the Hollywood Walk of Fame were included in the sidewalk vending ordinance."

“We are elated that in the final ordinance adopted today, Council has included a no vending zone which will prohibit vending within 500 feet of the Walk of Fame,” Leron Gubler, President & CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, said in the news release.

The ordinance also includes a limit to how close vendors can be to Dodger Stadium.

The law goes into effect Jan. 1.