A SoHo street vendor got slapped with $2,000 in fines for a matter of inches. This is ridiculous! Since working with the Green Cart Initiative and learning more about street vending on whole, I have become much more aware of the challenges that all vendors face. One – police harassment – makes me sick; nobody should have to shell out absurd amounts of money for a small error in meeting strict vending regulations. (Question: Why don’t people smoking within 10 feet of most buildings get fined ever?)
Join Sean in the fight for vendors’ rights and for fairer laws by sharing your opinion with your Councilperson. Via Christine Quinn:
The Council is looking at the issue of street vendors. Street vendors are different from small businesses because they operate outside. We’re also looking at the fine structure—not just the level they are at, but how they are being used. We need to make sure the fines aren’t just being used to make money. On the other hand, we need to take into consideration the community’s complaints – because the issue of access is important. If there’s only one vendor on the street, that’s not as much of a problem, but if there are more, it’s an issue. We need to look at this with common sense. The Council is working on this and there is a process in place. Once all the research is in and we feel confident that we have all the necessary information, we will take the next steps in the legislative process.
I respect the research process, but let’s help move this forward in a way that doesn’t unnecessarily hurt these small business owners or the folks in the communities they vend in.