New York w/ Street Vendor Project / by Rudy Espinoza

Faces and scenes from my 24 hour trip to New York City on April 10th to meet with the Street Vendor Project, a division of the Urban Justice Center. Carla De Paz from East LA Community Corporation and I went to New York along with vendor leaders Faustino and Mayra to share lessons from the The Los Angeles Street Vendor Campaign and lend support for a big hearing the Street Vendor Project has tomorrow to remove caps on vending permits in NYC. LA Councilman Price also came to support and encourage leaders. Because of these arbitrary caps, a black market exists in NYC where vendors without a permit have to pay thousands of dollars for a permit to vend on the sidewalk. We shared our experiences, heard about the challenges in New York, visited with some vendors on the street, and also spoke with NY Councilmembers and staff about why vending is important for local economies. It was good to build solidarity with other cities. While different in many ways, our cities are also very similar. They need bold leadership that is willing to stand up for the working class and are open to learning by doing.