**The Street Food Working Group is no longer active. The Los Angeles Food Policy Council is advocating for street vending through the steering committee of the LA Street Vendor Coalition.**
Since its inception, the Street Food Working Group recognized that many of the city’s poorest communities have limited access to affordable, healthy food, and that within these same neighborhoods, street vendors with carts and trucks fill the void left by the absence of mainstream grocers within the community. Realizing the potential benefits of street food is challenging in Los Angeles, where vendors are currently unable to operate legally on sidewalks and food trucks encounter parking difficulties. As a result, many vendors are marginalized, criminalized, and occupy a socioeconomically and legally precarious position. In turn, consumers in Los Angeles miss out on better access to good food and are denied the assurances of purchasing food from regulated businesses.
In 2012, East LA Community Corporation and Leadership for Urban Renewal Network teamed up with the Street Food Working Group to draft a proposed ordinance for legalization. In November 2013 Councilmember José Huizar and Councilmember Curren Price authored a motion to look at legalizing vending.
The Street Food Working Group grew as more allies joined the effort. The advocacy scope broadened to include not just food vendors but vendors that sell general merchandise as well. As a result, the Working Group developed into the LA Street Vendor Coalition. The Los Angeles Food Policy Council currently serves in the steering committee of the Coalition.
In January 2017, the LA City Council voted to direct the City Attorney’s office to draft an ordinance for a street vending permit system. Though vendors will still face citations while the ordinance is drafted, vendors will no longer receive criminal charges.
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