Los Angeles has already legalized some street vending, but new rules about the activity didn’t totally declare open season on selling things from carts in public spaces.
Right now, one of the places where vendors can still be hit with misdemeanor criminal charges for vending is in parks, but a new motion introduced on Tuesday by two Los Angeles City Councilmembers seeks to change that, NBC Los Angeles reports.
The motion, introduced by councilmembers Jose Huizar and Mitch O’Farrell, would be a first step toward decriminalizing vending in city parks. It calls for city staffers to “examine the feasibility ... [of removing] the misdemeanor penalty and replace with other penalties to compel compliance without the threat of a criminal charge.”
The move comes as a direct response to the “real fear amongst these most vulnerable” people that minor infractions could be used as cause for deportation, say the motion’s authors.
The motion could close one of the bigger gaps in the legalization of street vending.
While the city took criminal charges off the table for selling goods on sidewalks, those penalties remained in place for vending in parks and selling food from pushcarts, the Los Angeles Times said in October. “Both are typically charged as infractions, but repeated violations for vending in the parks can also be punished as a misdemeanor,” notes the Times.