Street Vendors in Los Angeles by Suzanne Scheld, California State University, Northridge

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Street Vendors in Los Angeles by Suzanne Scheld, California State University, Northridge

Above is a photo of a food vendor in Lake Balboa Park on Saturday, April 4, 2020, 2:30 p.m. The park is located in Encino a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley, a rapidly urbanizing area within the political boundaries of Los Angeles, California.

Just as new rules for street vendors in Los Angeles have come into effect, the pandemic has scrambled opportunities for these workers.  In April 2019, sidewalk street vending was legalized in Los Angeles, a move that would assist over 50,000 street vendors in the city and was conceived as a means to mitigate aggressive efforts to deport Central American refugees.  Starting on January 2, 2020, vendors would need permits or face fines; however, few vendors were aware of the new laws and the process of applying for permits.  The city has been slow to disseminate this information.  But now the lack of information is all but a mute point, as COVID-19 has prompted the city to stop issuing street vending permits for an indefinite amount of time. Technically, vendors who were able to obtain permits are authorized to sell, and some farmer’s markets are still permitted to operate.

 

 

 

 

Suzanne Scheld, Ph.D.

Chair and Professor

Dept. of Anthropology

California State University, Northridge

18111 Nordhoff Street

Northridge, CA 91325

818-677-3331

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