About 100 people congregated on Main Street on the morning of Friday, March 9, to hear women vendors and allies of the Los Angeles Street Vendor Campaign, speak about the threats of the “business veto” in City Council’s proposal to legalize street vending.
Vendor leaders spoke about the fear of extortion they experience and the opportunities at hand if city council creates policies that encourage cooperation between all entrepreneurs.
After the press conference, a group of women street vendors entered city hall to ask every council office if they were willing to protect women vendors from extortion by opposing the business veto. After the delegation team returned disappointed with no clear commitment from the council, the group took over Main Street and shut it down in protest to the business veto.
Seven members of the campaign, including South Central street vending leader Yolanda Granados, engaged in a planned civil disobedience by refusing to leave the street after the police orders. Women leaders and allies in this movement are willing to go to great lengths to ensure the right of all women to work without the fear of harassment.
Our next steps are to host our monthly organizing committee meetings with vendors across the city in the next two weeks to ensure any alternative proposal comes from the vendors who have been organizing for the past ten years to create a permit system. We will continue to fight for the rights of our local entrepreneurs. For more information regarding the LA Street Vendor Campaign, contact Carla DePaz.