On Thursday, Margaret Chin, city Council member, spoke at the rally in support of his bill to increase the number of licenses for street trading in more than two times.
Currently in new York issued only 3 thousand permits, allowing urban street vendors to sell hot dogs, drinks and other dishes. Supporters of the project say that this number has not changed for more than three decades. In the end, the price of a license on the black market jumped to $25 thousand, while the legal cost is only $200.
Bill Margaret Chin provides for phased issuance of 4 million additional permits for 10 years and the creation of a new office which will enforce the laws on street trading.
«It is unfair and immoral to punish hardworking people for what they are just trying to earn a living,»she said.
City Hall Not Craving More Street Vendor Licenses — New York City, NY Patch https://t.co/p6mtVZ4WsE pic.twitter.com/4Gy9glmpzG
— #NewYork (@NYunvrz) April 12, 2019
45-year-old Maria Marin says that selling tamales on the streets of Brooklyn is one of the few works that she can perform during cancer treatment. It works without permission, so the police can at any time to catch her, fine her and confiscate the goods and equipment.
«I’m a single mother. I have to feed four children,» said Maria, explaining to journalists The Guardian, why she’s willing to take that risk.
She believes that the consent of her life will be much easier.
«My life will be completely different, because I have no more problems with the police and I will be able to do their job,» added Maria.
Thank you to our brave vendor members for giving such eloquent and moving testimony in front of the city council 🙏 pic.twitter.com/WEpz9JgTZm
— StreetVendorProject (@VendorPower) April 11, 2019
Hakim El Nagar, who sells Halal food in the city centre, is in line to receive the official license since 2006. He, like many other merchants, is an immigrant. In 1996, he came to the US from Egypt. Every two years he is forced to pay about $60 thousand for your three carts of food, buying permits on the black market.
According to Hakim, obtaining a legal license could have saved him a huge amount of money, giving the opportunity to realize his dream – to open his own shop.
When we talk about enforcement, we need to talk about the comprehensive picture.
We need to make sure that small businesses survive and vendors survive. Street vendors shouldn’t be considered the enemy. There is a part of our community. #vendorsRsmallbiz pic.twitter.com/kyGwooI81H
Margaret S. Chin (@CM_MargaretChin) April 11, 2019
However, the administration of de Blasio believes that this bill will not solve all the problems in this area, because it says nothing about when and where street vendors will work, and therefore issues such as traffic jams on the sidewalks due to the increase in the number of points of sale of food and beverages will not be affected.
«In the long term, we agree to increase the number of licenses, but you must first reform to issued permits acted in a more effective and functional systems,» said Lindsay Greene, senior Advisor to the Deputy mayor for housing and economic development.
Many local shop owners also oppose the bill, fearing it could hurt their business. The usual cafes and restaurants have to pay high rents and other costs not faced by the owners of the food carts. As a result, they can offer a lower price for their products and that lead buyers from the usual eateries.