San Diego takes action on a highly-anticipated piece of legislation that aims at cracking down on street vendors in many parts of the city.
According to the legislation introduced this week, dozens of new restrictions on the matter will include several bans in highly-populated areas such as Gaslamp quarter and Little Italy.
This topic has been a hot subject lately, as many people have already criticized this plan because it requires street vendors to hold a business license and vendor permit in order to continue to operate.
This plan, however, is reportedly proposed to reach a compromise between letting street vendors continue to operate their microbusinesses, while at the same time keeping key public spaces safe in the city, such as Downtown and Ocean Beach.
Councilmember Dr, Jennifer Campbell, who contributed to the proposed legislation, says that this plan is filled with great effort to satisfy both sides of the coin on this issue. According to the prosposed plan, these bans would take effect just during the busiest months of the year, primarily during the summer when tourism is sky-rocketing, rather than simply banning street vendors throughout the entire year.
City officials say they are hoping to finalize the proposal before the next San Diego Padres baseball season goes underway this coming April.
Chair of the Economic Development Committee Councilmember Raul Campillo is remaining optomistic on the issue, saying that these street vendors deserve a shot at making their money through their operating microbusinesses.
“Many of our street vendors hail from immigrant communities, and they deserve a shot at the American Dream through these microbusinesses,” Campillo said. “Through the pathway this ordinance lays out, we can ensure that all street vendors run their businesses in a way that stimulates our economy, adds to our culture and ensures public safety.”
Advocates on the issue are also concerneed how placing these bans on microbusinesses could lead to pushing street vendors to operate in limited areas where street vendors are allowed to operate, which could potentially result in overconcentration in those areas.
However, advocates have seen some light at the end of the tunnel, including the possibility of all street vendors coming together in one area to grow side by side through an entreprenuership point of view, with the possibility of receieving some financial assistance from the city during that process.
Further discussion on the matter will take place this coming Wednesday by the San Diego City Council ecenomic development comittee.
Council President Sean Elo-Rivera said this week that if this law proposal is given the green-light by the economic development committee, he will proceed to schedule a full-council vote for March 1st.
"We believe it is critical community members have ample time to read, analyze and make suggestions so that the council can make the best choice possible for our city,” Elo-Rivera stated.