Food truck at downtown Los Angeles, USA

Source: Feifei Cui-Paoluzzo / Getty

There have been a great deal of conflict that has occurred over the past couple of years in Los Angeles in the protection of street vendors. Hollywood cracked down on the everyday business people in July and an elotero had his cart attacked this past summer.

Now, a new law will ensure that California street vendors will get the rights that they deserve.

Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 946, a statewide legislation that regulates street vending practices. The Sidewalk Vending Act requires cities and counties to maintain certain rules when interacting with street vendors. One of the biggest wins about this new law? Sidewalk vending is no longer a crime.

The bill was introduced by State Senator Ricardo Lara earlier this year in February and was designed to help bring vendors out as viable contributors to local economies. However where it gets a little tricky is that these vendors cannot be regulated without an existing licensing system, which many cities do not have.

This means street vendors are free to function under the legislation until a licensing system is put in place. California street vendor licensing systems will have to adhere to the following:

1. California cities cannot ban vending in parks

2. Cities cannot determine where vendors can operate unless there is a health, safety or welfare concern.

3. Street vendors are no longer required to ask permission from adjacent businesses.

Each individual city will be able to determine what will work best based on their local government when it comes to business licenses, taxes, and health regulations for vendors selling food. When vendors are in violation of the law, the local governments can fine them or repeal their licenses.

The amazing thing about this law is that it will help protect immigrant businesses, however attaining a license might be pricey for newer and smaller stands. All this means is that it’s time to ban together and support your local elotero or taco person before SB 946 goes into effect on January 1, 2019.