NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York City street vendors are taking it to the street.
Workers and business owners gathered outside City Hall Thursday to call for action from the Adams administration. They are calling attention to new regulations that were designed to create additional spaces and guidelines for vendors. Instead, vendors say they seeing more tickets.
“They should not criminalize street vending. We are a small business. We need more permits and licenses,” said a street vendor named Lupe.
Currently, vendors are supposed to have a permit. But the actual number is capped. Legislation was passed a few years ago to set up a waiting list for new street vendors.
“They’ve been saying that for the last 15 years and they haven’t done a thing about it yet. What is taking so long?” asked a vendor named Calvin Butler.
The Street Vendor Project is an organization that advocates for these workers and business owners. It’s part of the Urban Justice Center.
“All the agencies involved are doing enforcement and cracking down. There’s too much enforcement and not investment in formalizing the system,” said Mohamed Attia with the Street Vendor Project.
City Council member Pierina Sanchez has been working on the issue, including the original legislation. She represents the Bronx.
“There were a lot of things left undone. As a Council member, I will be introducing legislation to reopen the discussion. How to have a structure that treats them with dignity and gives education,” Sanchez said.
A spokesperson for Mayor Eric Adams said street vendors are an integral part of New York City’s economy and give communities character.
“We are committed to adopting thoughtful rules that balance the needs of these vendors, brick-and-mortar businesses, and residents, while ensuring public safety is at the core of our regulatory landscape,” the spokesperson wrote in an email to PIX11 News.
The Street Vendor Advisory Board continues to meet and work on issues related to the industry.