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The Legalization of LA Street Food

Los Angeles Has Officially Legalized Street Food for the First Time Ever.

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The Legalization of LA Street Food

A street vendor located just blocks away from the Cal State LA campus

A street vendor located just blocks away from the Cal State LA campus

Cara Gonzales

A street vendor located just blocks away from the Cal State LA campus

Cara Gonzales

Cara Gonzales

A street vendor located just blocks away from the Cal State LA campus

Melorie Cruz, Contributor

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The Los Angeles City Council has officially approved the legalization of street vending with a vote of 11-4. Councilmembers Joe Buscaino, Curren Price Jr. and Jose Huizar have sixty days to create a sidewalk vending ordinance outlining exactly what street food legalization will look like in Los Angeles.

According to Eater LA, various features still need to be sorted out. Specifically, the city must reach a settlement between street vendors and business owners about where and when they can operate together.

However, despite how long it will take for this to happen, this is the first time in the city’s history that street food is legalized.

Councilmember Jose Huizar tweeted: “This creates a fair system to allow 1000s of hardworking mostly #immigrant, low-income workers come out of the shadows and feed their families.”

This also marks off five years since the council first took this issue upon themselves, demonstrating how slow-moving legislation continues to process in the city.

Paola Gutierrez a daughter of hardworking parents who sell tacos on the streets of LA, is relieved to know that street vending is now permitted:

“I definitely think it’s a good thing for the city of LA to legalize street food because I can tell you first-hand how hard it can be for people like my parents that do street food, getting picked up by the city and throwing everything away. It’s honestly really heartbreaking because they work really hard to give us, their kids, everything we need”.

Before street vending was officially legalized, seven female protesters from the LA Street Vendor Campaign were arrested in front of City Hall last month while protesting for the rights of street vending.

A female street vendor who sells tamales described her experience selling food on the streets:

“I’ve gotten my stuff taken away a couple of times and it saddens me because every day I wake up early to make my tamales so I can go out and sell them in the streets to make my own money, to pay the rent and provide for my kids without having to depend on the government system. So, when the city takes away my merchandise, it’s painful to watch how all my hard work is being taken away.”

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