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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Will Boyle Heights vendors give up the sidewalk for a parking lot?

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Councilman Jose Huizar has proposed the creation of an evening "farmers market" in a Boyle Heights parking lot to provide an alternative to street vending. The market would operate out of a city owned parking lot near Cesar Chavez and Chicago avenues in an area where an increase in outdoor vending has increased competition and tension, according to a recent story in The Eastsider by Ana Facio Contreras.

The motion introduced by Huizar in August calls for the testing of a market organized and operated by nonprofits with the assistance of city agencies. The market would be located in a city parking lot on Chicago Avenue south of Cesar Chavez Avenue. "Vendors interested in taking part would have to register with the nonprofit and follow certain rules and regulations, particularly as they pertain to food preparation and public health," according to the motion. But will the vendors who now crowd the sidewalks be interested in moving to a parking lot?

Martha Nunez Marin, 53, a street vendor who sells snacks from a shopping cart on Cesar E. Chavez Avenue and Soto Street said she is distrustful of any proposed plans the city has to set up an official vending market.

“We would have to see what they (the city) want to do. I don’t want to go there and then have the city take everything away. Maybe it’s a trap. I don’t know if I would move there. I sell more here than there. I don’t want to lose my spot.”

The Eastsider is seeking more details and comment from Huizar's office regarding the plan.

Ana Facio Contreras contributed to this post.


  1. What cut of the vendor profits would be paid to the non-profit and how would the non profit give it back to the community is my question, my concern is all politicians have non profits that "donate" back to the councilman's personal interests, so besides getting ticketed, how would the vendors profit??

  2. Excuse me (illegal) street vendor Martha Nunez Marin, it's not your SPOT. It belongs to the City (the tax payer). These illegal street vendors feel "entitled" to take what does not belong to them. They are distrustful because they're operating illegally. And you would think these illegal street vendors would embrace the opportunity to be part of a legal structured way of selling their goods.

  3. As a long time (50 year) resident of Boyle Heights, I'm very concerned with Huizar's interpretation of a "farmer's market". Of what I've heard, he extended the invitation to the illegal street vendors to be part of this pilot program. This is not what I and many others wanted. He failed to include us (the residents) at these alleged meetings. We deserve a real farmer's market, during the day, not at night. Who is Huizar "really" listening to?

  4. For a Councilman who graduated from university he must know what a Farmes Market is. If he is not sure of what a Farmes Market offers. Please visit one that are over the LA.

  5. As Boyle Heights native, the illegal Street vendors are out of control. As home owner we pay for the side walks and street to be clean and fix, and we have the right to voice our opinion. Sidewalks are intended for pedestrians. What is it that these illegal vendors do not understand the "ILLEGAL" part? Probably because the city has not enforce the law. The majority do not speak English, so I would guess they are new immigrants that are ignorant of the laws. They try to convince the media, that street vending is part of our culture, however, is not part of the culture of long time residence of Boyle Heights. Five things I am appose to illegal vendors; 1. It is illegal in the City of Los Angeles, 2. They do not pay income tax, local tax, and fed taxes, another illegal process. 3. Health and safety issue in preparing the food, and blocking side walks. 4. Taking away business from legitimate business that pay the permits, Fed, State, and local taxes and must abide by the ordinance and laws that pertained to each business. 6. It is not fair to the business in the area, to block their side walks, creating traffic problems, and customers cannot get to the business because of the trash, dirt, oil spills, and abundance of people just hanging around the vendors. We must remember that the laws are made by the people and for the people. Also laws are made to protect us from each other.
    Council member Huizar, is attempting to find a solution, this is a practice that he relates to being from Mexico, but is not an American Culture. I believe that our Council member Jose Huizar should dedicate an equal time to small legal businesses that are trying to abide by the law, and the inspectors from building and safety making it so difficult to pass inspections for minor things, this is what Huizar should outreach to small business and help them with the process of getting inspections approved, and investigating why some inspectors give some businesses such a difficult time for minor issues. We should have an alternative method to question some of the inspectors as to their rational of code enforcement.

  6. Councilmen Huizar, you may want to ask who do you really represent? Because you do not represent the voters of Boyle Heights, is all about helping illegal businesses, but yet the voters are not taken into consideration on any issues you decide to support. The messasge is that Huizar thinks that the voters from Boyle Heights are not smart enough to be allowed to discuss the business of our Community. He totally disrespect the community and the people.

  7. The Police Department is been cleaning the area at Breed and Cesar E. Chavez, The police itself is doing it. The Vendors know that they are doing something that is out of the law. they dont set any tables or tents when they see the Police. The vendors shuld look for others areas to do their business, because at Boyle Heights we the voters wont let this to happen. we want a clean and safe area, where we can go out and have a nice meal.