by Courtesy

The Consortium for Immigrant Rights in San Diego called the ordinance requiring business licenses and municipal permits for vendors in public areas racist.

The municipal council approved the ordinance by eight votes in favor and one against on Tuesday. If you want to sell on beaches, tourist corridors, and other meeting places, you must have a business license and the corresponding permits.

The consortium said for its part that "this ordinance will make it almost impossible for street vendors to operate in the city of San Diego in an equitable and prosperous manner, and impacts immigrants, low-income community members and members of the community of color. "

The coalition that makes up the consortium highlighted that the "racist narrative in this ordinance is that street vendors sell drugs, they are violent and dirty; Ironically, San Diego calls itself a welcoming city, but has written this narrative of hate right in the preamble of this ordinance."

The group stated that "the idea of beautifying beaches by driving out vendors who are significantly members of the black and brown community is racist."

In addition, the consortium stressed that the new ordinance hinders immigrants and the poor "by placing unnecessary and illegal barriers that will prevent street vendors from accessing the formal economy."

The consortium's executive director, Dulce García, said that "many of our immigrant families turned to street vending to survive. However, with this arrangement, their ability to earn a living is seriously threatened."

She said that according to statistics, "half of the Covid-related deaths in San Diego have been from immigrant families. In large part, poverty is a contributing factor in these deaths," and this new measure makes it harder for them to recover.

She lamented, "the city of San Diego only listens to business owners and beach communities instead of protecting street vendors under state law."

An immigration lawyer and labor consultant, Ian Seruelo, explained that the ordinance is a "34-page document that contains at least 20 pages of restrictions, sanctions, and fines; this ordinance floods vendors with civil fines and penalties, including equipment seizure."

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