Research Paper Street Vendors In Los Angeles
UPDATE: On December 2, the city will hear recommendations about an ordinance that would legalize sidewalk vending. The Los Angeles Street Vendor Campaign is holding a rally before the hearing. Please join them and share this flyer! (En Español)
In Los Angeles, the city that brought us the food-truck revolution, traditional sidewalk vending is illegal—turning aspiring entrepreneurs into criminals. All that these vendors want to do is earn an honest living and provide for their families in a way that contributes to their communities.
Join the campaign to help the vendors!
Vending puts people to work, creates opportunities for self-sufficiency, and enriches the communities in which vendors operate. If legalized, vendors can also contribute to the city’s coffers by paying sales tax and payroll taxes, and can activate underused spaces, bringing new life to communities and making them safer, more enjoyable places to live.
The Los Angeles Street Vendor Campaign is an initiative to legalize food vending on Los Angeles’s city sidewalks.
“The campaign is driven by a city-wide coalition of organizations who are committed to developing a system that gives micro-entrepreneurs an opportunity to make an honest living, encourages healthy eating, and supports existing small businesses in communities all over Los Angeles.”
Read an editorial by the Los Angeles Times, “Legalize L.A.’s street vendors: Whether hawking hot dogs, T-shirts, sodas or fresh fruit, vending on sidewalks and parkways is illegal in the city of Los Angeles. That’s shortsighted.”
Read more about the Institute for Justice’s National Street Vending Initiative.
Read previous IJ coverage of LA’s street vendors.
Email us for a free “Legalize Street Vending” sticker.
Street vending in Los Angeles is reconfigured, organized, and supported through the daily practices of Latina/o immigrants. Vendors physically transform the streets into public markets, utilizing sidewalks, fences, walls, parking lots, and benches in immigrant receiving neighbourhoods in Los Angeles. Street vending, as the most visual occupation of the informal economy, vendors depend on their visibility to be successful entrepreneurs, while as immigrants negotiate on going surveillance and policing of their bodies by the state and its apparatus. In this paper, I explore how the informal landscapes inhabited by Latina/o immigrants can be better understood through a process of visualisation. It is my argument that through the use of still photography as part of the research process, we can comprehend more fully how Latino immigrant's racialized bodies and their use of public space are visual processes integral to the production of ephemeral street vending landscapes in Los Angeles.