Tag Archives: CF 13-1493

The City Council Seems To Have Lost Its Grip On Reality With Its Latest Motions On Street Vending — They Want To Keep All Previously Proposed Exclusionary Zones But Change Justification From “Zillionaires Asked For It” To “Objective Health, Safety, Or Welfare Concerns” — And Paul Koretz — Who Evidently Doesn’t Believe That Words Have Meaning — Wants To Exclude A Bunch Of BIDs On The Same Implausible Grounds — This Is Obviously Going To End Up In Court

As you no doubt know, the City of Los Angeles has been arguing about legalizing street vending for years in the face of fiercely unhinged opposition to the very idea from business improvement districts and other organized gangs of zillionaire thugs. But then the whole debate was mooted by a lightning strike from Sacramento in the form of Ricardo Lara’s SB-946, signed into law by Jerry Brown in September, which imposed a set of really stringent restrictions on the form that municipal street vending regulation can take. And not surprisingly, pretty much every dirty trick that the BIDs and their buddies forced into our City’s proposal was banned by Lara’s bill.

In particular, the BIDdies had managed to get the Council to agree that street vending could be banned in any neighborhood in Los Angeles merely because their councilmember asked for it. This serves BIDdies well, of course, because their repsters will do whatever it is that they ask in order to keep the firehose of campaign contributions turned up to eleven. By the end there they’d managed to enshrine such indefensible no-vending zones as Hollywood Boulevard and recommend that BIDs should be able to charge vendors for the privilege of operating on public streets.1

But this nonsense was switched right off by Lara’s bill, which states unequivocally that:

A local authority shall not require a sidewalk vendor to operate within specific parts of the public right-of-way, except when that restriction is directly related to objective health, safety, or welfare concerns.

And right after the bill was signed it appeared as though our esteemed City Council was taking this matter seriously. They passed a motion ordering the City Attorney to draft an ordinance that would comply with Lara’s law. But such sporadic spurts of sanity swiftly scatter around here.

And thus it wasn’t really a surprise to hear renowned bigamist and CD9 repster Curren Price on the radio yesterday talking about how Council would be able to keep all the previously proposed no-vending zones and even add more and the only difference would be, according to super-genius Curren Price, that “now we’re going to have to base them on health, safety, and welfare concerns.”2 And turn the page to read all about the drastically deep dive into the crazy vat revealed by this one little stray comment!
Continue reading The City Council Seems To Have Lost Its Grip On Reality With Its Latest Motions On Street Vending — They Want To Keep All Previously Proposed Exclusionary Zones But Change Justification From “Zillionaires Asked For It” To “Objective Health, Safety, Or Welfare Concerns” — And Paul Koretz — Who Evidently Doesn’t Believe That Words Have Meaning — Wants To Exclude A Bunch Of BIDs On The Same Implausible Grounds — This Is Obviously Going To End Up In Court

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Bye Bye BIDdies! — City Of Los Angeles Finally Concedes The Street Vending Battle As Curren Price And José Huizar Move In Council Today To Instruct The City Attorney To Draft An Ordinance That’s Consistent With Lara’s Safe Street Vending Act

As you know the City of Los Angeles has been arguing over how to regulate street vending for pretty much forever now, with business improvement districts and chambers of commerce and other such-like weaponized implements of zillionaire-aligned white supremacy using every last bit of their political juice to introduce all kinds of complex conditions like opt-in districts, opt-out districts, permission from business owners, limitations on number of vendors per block, immediate confiscation of equipment, fees paid to BIDs, and on and on and on, all obviously designed for the sole purpose of continuing the wholesale arrest of street vendors.

But as I’m sure you also know just last week governor Jerry Brown signed Ricardo Lara’s Safe Street Vending Bill into law, severely limiting the power of cities to regulate vending. This bill has been working its way through the legislature since January 2018 and was well known to have an excellent chance of becoming law, and obviously voids pretty much every single feature of the City’s proposals, and yet nevertheless the City Council didn’t even start thinking about it officially until August.

But oh, they do have to think about it now. If the City doesn’t have an actual regulatory ordinance in place by January 1, 2019 they won’t have the power to regulate vendors at all. This, I guess, was enough to move them to action, and therefore this morning Councilmembers Curren Price And José Huizar introduced a motion in Council instructing the City Attorney to draft an ordinance that would comply with SB-946. The whole deal is memorialized in Council File 13-1493-S5.

And the BIDdies don’t have any leverage over this ordinance because state law compels all the essential features. This is a huge blow for our City’s business improvement districts and other nasty, selfish opponents of vending, and a huge win for humanity. We’re going to see some snakey creepy nasty rhetoric from the BIDs over this, you wait and see! Turn the page for the complete text of Price and Huizar’s motion.
Continue reading Bye Bye BIDdies! — City Of Los Angeles Finally Concedes The Street Vending Battle As Curren Price And José Huizar Move In Council Today To Instruct The City Attorney To Draft An Ordinance That’s Consistent With Lara’s Safe Street Vending Act

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SB 946, Ricardo Lara’s Safe Street Vending Bill, Signed Into Law By Governor Jerry Brown Yesterday! — This Is A Huge Victory For Human Beings In California Over The Dark Forces Of Money, Racism, And Weirdo Puritanical White Privilege — Also A Huge Slap-Down For The BIDs Of Los Angeles, Who Evidently Don’t Control Everything

It has been a long and exciting eight months since Ricardo Lara introduced SB 946 in order to limit the ways in which cities in California are allowed to regulate street vending. Yesterday, thank goodness, it was signed into law by Jerry Brown. The preamble1 is a powerful statement of the value that street vendors bring to our City and to other cities around the state:

SECTION 1. (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1) Sidewalk vending provides important entrepreneurship and economic development opportunities to low-income and immigrant communities.

(2) Sidewalk vending increases access to desired goods, such as culturally significant food and merchandise.

(3) Sidewalk vending contributes to a safe and dynamic public space.

(4) The safety and welfare of the general public is promoted by encouraging local authorities to support and properly regulate sidewalk vending.

(5) The safety and welfare of the general public is promoted by prohibiting criminal penalties for violations of sidewalk vending ordinances and regulations.

(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to promote entrepreneurship and support immigrant and low-income communities.

The law reads as if it were written explicitly in response to the weirdo racist antics of the business improvement districts of Los Angeles, displayed during their years-long struggle to keep street vending illegal here. Also, this law completely moots the ridiculous regulatory framework that the City of Los Angeles has been struggling with for years on end, riddled as it’s become with hyperspecific carve-outs meant to appease this or that BID.2

It’s really informative to compare this law with this set of proposals made earlier this year by the Central City Association, which speaks exclusively for the BIDs and zillionaires of Los Angeles. For instance, the CCA and the BIDs want to limit vendors to two per block face. But the law says:3

A local authority shall not restrict the overall number of sidewalk vendors permitted to operate within the jurisdiction of the local authority, unless the restriction is directly related to objective health, safety, or welfare concerns.4

The CCA and the BIDs want to require vendors to obtain property and/or business owner consent. As we’ve seen, this kind of restriction is really easily exploitable to function as a de facto ban. The law says:5

A local authority shall not require a sidewalk vendor to first obtain the consent or approval of any nongovernmental entity or individual before he or she can sell food or merchandise.

And turn the page for more comparisons as well as the full text of the law.
Continue reading SB 946, Ricardo Lara’s Safe Street Vending Bill, Signed Into Law By Governor Jerry Brown Yesterday! — This Is A Huge Victory For Human Beings In California Over The Dark Forces Of Money, Racism, And Weirdo Puritanical White Privilege — Also A Huge Slap-Down For The BIDs Of Los Angeles, Who Evidently Don’t Control Everything

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The Los Angeles City Council Has Been So Busy Conspiring With BIDs And Carol Schatz To Continue To Arrest Street Vendors In Zillionaire-Occupied Neighborhoods That They Couldn’t Bother To Acknowledge SB-946, The Sanity In Street Vending Bill, Which Would Nullify Their Satanic Scheming — But Now That It Looks Like It’ll Pass They Finally Noticed It — And Introduced A Motion Asking City Staff To Figure Out What It Would Mean For Their Hateful Ordinance — Short Answer: Nothing Good For The Zillionaires

As you’re probably aware, the City of Los Angeles has been grinding away for more than four years now at developing an ordinance regulating street vending, and you can track the tortured permutations in CF 13-1493. When the whole thing started in 2013 it seemed like José Huizar and Curren Price, who kicked off the process, actually intended to develop a sane ordinance to regulate vending in Los Angeles.

But after four bitter years of exceedingly expensive lobbying, racist rhetoric, and generalized hatred and lies by Carol Schatz and BIDs, the whole thing turned into the unholy mess that we’re living with today, with e.g. Councilmembers directing the LAPD to enforce inapplicable laws on an arbitrary targeted basis at the whim of such enemies of civil society as Kerry Morrison of the Hollywood Freaking Property Owners’ Alliance.

This crazed race-to-the-bottom showed no signs of abating, with, e.g., the Bureau of Street Services weighing in just the other day with yet another unhinged series of suggestions on how the proposed ordinance could be made even more anti-human. And it’s this kind of bizarrely laser-focused insistence on punishment, torture, and incarceration of street vendors, who are one of the cultural treasures of this City, that led state senator Ricardo Lara to introduce SB-946, which would impose very strict limitations on how cities can regulate street vending.

Lara’s comments on the bill make it pretty clear that it’s substantially aimed at cutting through the money-obscured fog of the Los Angeles City Council’s inability to pass any kind of law at all while, somehow, continuing to arrest vendors, confiscate their equipment, and so on. But like the Ancient Mariner, who wouldn’t look behind him for fear of seeing the demons hunting him, the City Council has not uttered the teensiest peep about Lara’s bill.

This silence is certainly uncharacteristic of our Councillors, who will famously take a position on everything from nuclear weapons to freaking garage door openers. However, a couple days ago they finally decided to notice the existence of Lara’s bill. They’re so entrapped by various constituencies, though, that they found themselves unable either to support or oppose Lara’s bill.

Instead Huizar and Price introduced a motion asking the Chief Legislative Analyst to figure out what the passage of Lara’s bill, which seems increasingly likely to happen, would mean for the City’s increasingly unworkable collection of carve-outs masquerading as legislation. What’s amazing about this motion, as I said, is not its content, but its very existence. You can, however, read a transcription after the break.
Continue reading The Los Angeles City Council Has Been So Busy Conspiring With BIDs And Carol Schatz To Continue To Arrest Street Vendors In Zillionaire-Occupied Neighborhoods That They Couldn’t Bother To Acknowledge SB-946, The Sanity In Street Vending Bill, Which Would Nullify Their Satanic Scheming — But Now That It Looks Like It’ll Pass They Finally Noticed It — And Introduced A Motion Asking City Staff To Figure Out What It Would Mean For Their Hateful Ordinance — Short Answer: Nothing Good For The Zillionaires

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Bureau Of Street Services Chief Investigator Gary Harris Reports Back To City Council On Proposed Street Vending Ordinance — The City Must Retain The Ability To Confiscate Carts Without Hearings Or Appeals — The City Must Background-Check Vendors Near Schools In Case They’re Sex Criminals — Ricardo Lara’s Sanity In Street Vending Bill Can’t Pass Soon Enough — Cause There Is No Sanity To Be Found In The Los Angeles Lawmakers’ Discussion Of Street Vending

Even though it’s looking reasonably likely that Ricardo Lara’s deeply excellent sanity in street vending bill, SB 946, will become law when the legislature reconvenes very soon, the City of Los Angeles is still grinding away at developing its own regulation.1

This whole mess, which we have been tracking forever through every last weirdo permutation, is memorialized in Council File CF 13-1493. And this is just a short note to announce that tonight Gary Harris, the chief investigator of the Bureau of Street Services, filed his report-back announcing what his department would like to see added to the law.

And its as unhinged as any of the other unhinged contributions to this discussion over the years. First of all, Gary Harris argues that the City must reserve the right to confiscate the equipment of unlicensed vendors without hearings and without appeals and, it appears, without benefit of the United States Constitution.2 Even weirder, he wants to use LAMC 56.11 as authority to confiscate carts.

This is of course the infamous anti-homeless personal property confiscation measure. It’s written to allow the confiscation of unattended personal property, which obviously doesn’t apply to street vendors’ equipment. Additionally, a federal court has already suspended enforcement of LAMC 56.11 in Skid Row, and it’s pretty clear that the only reason enforcement hasn’t been suspended City-wide is that no one has asked a court to do it. LAMC 56.11 is itself unenforceable and is hardly a tool to be basing a sustainable street vending policy on.

Second, Gary Harris wants to require background checks for vendors that vend near schools to make sure they’re not perverts or sex criminals. It all just really makes me wonder what City, what universe, these people are living in. Here’s the deal, Mr. Gary Harris. There are already vendors vending near schools. There are already unlicensed vendors.

And maybe some of them are perverts and sex criminals. But there are certainly not vast crews of sex criminals who are not now vending but will start vending when the City passes a law, if it ever does. That’s just kooky. Whether there is a law or not the number of perverts and sex criminals selling raspados near schools will not change. There’s no crisis now, so there’s no need to prevent a notional future crisis.

Turn the page for some more commentary along with a transcription of Gary Harris’s report-back.
Continue reading Bureau Of Street Services Chief Investigator Gary Harris Reports Back To City Council On Proposed Street Vending Ordinance — The City Must Retain The Ability To Confiscate Carts Without Hearings Or Appeals — The City Must Background-Check Vendors Near Schools In Case They’re Sex Criminals — Ricardo Lara’s Sanity In Street Vending Bill Can’t Pass Soon Enough — Cause There Is No Sanity To Be Found In The Los Angeles Lawmakers’ Discussion Of Street Vending

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Ricardo Lara’s Street Vending Bill SB-946 Clears Senate 22-10 On Straight Party Line Vote

I usually leave this kind of reporting to the professionals at the Times, but as of right now they haven’t published anything, and this is important, so I’m just dropping this short note on you. As you know, we’ve been tracking Senator Ricardo Lara’s hugely important SB-946, which would prohibit cities across California from stifling legal street vending with oppressive zillionaire-friendly regulations. For background, see this fine article on the bill in the Times by the incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes.

Well, yesterday, this bill passed the full Senate on a 22-10 straight party line vote. The opposition amongst Los Angeles zillionaires and their BIDdie minions is building, but has not yet reached the feverish peak that we can surely expect. The bill is not in the clear yet, as it still must pass the Assembly, and it’s not a given that the governor will sign, but nevertheless, this is a huge step. You can find your Assemblymember here and urge him or her to support this essential legislation. See here for sample letters of support to crib from.
Continue reading Ricardo Lara’s Street Vending Bill SB-946 Clears Senate 22-10 On Straight Party Line Vote

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Letters Of Support For SB 946, Senator Ricardo Lara’s Street Vending Regulation Bill, Begin To Arrive At The Capitol — We Have Copies!

As I’m sure you’re aware, the City of Los Angeles has been trying for years now to develop a framework for legalized sidewalk vending, but the process has been so thoroughly hijacked by the City’s Bad BIDdies that we’re going to be lucky if sidewalk vendors get out of this process merely no worse off than they are now.

Just for instance, if the BIDdies have their way, and if it’s left up to their tame councilpets why would they not, they’re going to have vendors on their knees begging the owner of McDonalds can they please sell pupusas outside her damn store and they will have to pay BIDs for the right to vend inside the BID’s territory. These are merely two of the many, many abominable restrictions that BIDdies would dearly love to impose upon our City’s beloved sidewalk vendors.

Well, seeing the years-long series of episodes of confusion and terror that the City of Los Angeles has been putting itself through with respect to this issue, Senator Ricardo Lara decided that enough was, as they say, enough, and introduced SB 946, which would severely limit the ways in which cities are allowed to regulate street vending. The incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes recently published a fine article on this bill in the Times.

One of the most striking limitations is found in the cartoon above, but they’re all very powerful, very sane requirements, and they would, it turns out, completely gut the anti-vendor, anti-human traps and snares that the BIDdies have so successfully schemed to embed in the City’s proposal. Thus, naturally, the BIDdies are gearing up for a fight.

And we mustn’t underestimate the power that these BIDdies have to torpedo state-level legislation when it threatens their weirdo parochial interests. Last year, e.g., we saw them absolutely destroy a very sane, very modest, improvement to the California Public Records Act, merely because they’re a bunch of damn whiny-babies who can’t or won’t live up to contracts that they themselves signed willingly.

In any case, these battles are fought and won or lost at the state level via letters of support or opposition, which are collected by the bill’s author and are available on request. So the other day I asked Lara’s staff to send them to me, and this afternoon they did! I set up a page on Archive.Org to collect them. As of today, there are only five, and they’re all in support. Expect this to change, and I’ll have copies here as they arrive.

Turn the page for links to all five of them and a transcription of one of them. I’m sure no one will mind if you want to appropriate some of the ideas and/or language for your own letter, which you can send to your legislator(s) after locating them using this web page!
Continue reading Letters Of Support For SB 946, Senator Ricardo Lara’s Street Vending Regulation Bill, Begin To Arrive At The Capitol — We Have Copies!

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Sneaky Shit-Sneakers Sneakily Sneak Sneaky Shit Into Current Version Of Street Vending Legalization Process, Setting The Stage For Continued Persecution of Vendors in Business Improvement Districts

Yum, danger dogs!
So today the City Council moved forward with CF 13-1493, which, of course, is the famed street vending thing. For a good, objective,1 discussion of today’s developments, take a look at this article in today’s Times by the incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes.2 This is just a brief post to note the fact that the various anti-human opponents of legalized street vending won a major, seemingly unnoticed by anyone but me, victory via amendment in the current version of the motion.

Today’s motion doesn’t actually legalize street vending. What it does is direct the City Attorney, the Chief Legislative Analyst, and the City Administrative Officer to put together a proposed ordinance. This was to be based on this detailed set of recommendations from the Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee report. This report was amended in Council today before being adopted, and at least two of the amended recommendations are quite sneaky, and, I predict, will undermine the future ordinance in quite underhanded ways that will please business improvement districts and other business interests who have been working tirelessly to keep street vending illegal for years now. See the details and some3 predictions after the break.
Continue reading Sneaky Shit-Sneakers Sneakily Sneak Sneaky Shit Into Current Version Of Street Vending Legalization Process, Setting The Stage For Continued Persecution of Vendors in Business Improvement Districts

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Donald Trump’s Election Inspires City of Los Angeles To Finally Move Forward With Long-Delayed Street Vending Legalization Despite BIDs’ Irrational Opposition. Street Vendors To Pay BIDs An Operations Fee. BIDs To Get Effective Veto Power Over Vending Within Their Boundaries.

Aren't you glad I didn't put a picture of freaking Donald Trump here?!  Not that Joe Buscaino is less ethically challenged, but at least his hair is prettier...
Aren’t you glad I didn’t put a picture of freaking Donald Trump here?! Not that Joe Buscaino is less ethically challenged, but at least his hair is prettier…
I know the headline sounds like a joke, but it’s not. The L.A. Times reported on it this morning, although their article, as is their wont, did not mention business improvement districts at all, and, at least briefly, I thought they were kidding. But this is the Los Angeles City Council we’re talking about, and they were not. Huizar and Price first made a motion to legalize street vending in November 2013, three years ago, and, over the last three years we have been subjected to an endless stream of hysterical, mendacious, probably illegal, lobbying by the BIDs and their ideological allies against the very idea. They even managed to get the Times itself to accept their misbegotten point of view as somehow legitimate. In response to this outpouring of unregistered lobbying behavior,1 the City Council essentially responded by ignoring the issue,2 as you can see from the council file, which has no official City action since October 2015, until yesterday, when Curren Price and Joe Buscaino slapped this little number on the table. It’s a letter, which does indeed refer, albeit obliquely, to Darth Cheeto himself:3

Despite the undeniable division and polarization that exists in our country right now, there is one common characteristic that is shared by Americans of every gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status and political party: our entrepreneurial spirit. We value the notion that everyone deserves the opportunity to start a small business, on a level playing field, with failure or success determined by our own talent, hard work, and perseverance. At an early age. we teach our children concepts like overhead, profit, and loss by encouraging them to sell Girl Scout Cookies, candy bars, and lemonade. Yet, if they sell any of those on a public sidewalk in Los Angeles, they are committing a crime of the same seriousness as drunk driving.

They go on to urge the Council to go ahead and legalize street vending because otherwise Trump has already won, and I can’t say that I disagree:

Recent talks about changes to our nation’s immigration policy, including threats to deport millions of undocumented immigrants – starting with those with criminal records – has created significant fear amongst our immigrant communities. Continuing to impose criminal misdemeanor penalties for vending disproportionately affects, and unfairly punishes, undocumented immigrants, and could potentially put them at risk for deportation.

Furthermore, Buscaino and Price claim that:

The core question the Council must answer is whether sidewalk vending poses a threat so grave to public health, safety, and welfare that it is worth continuing to expend limited police and prosecutorial resources enforcing a citywide ban.

Which is also reasonable, but read a little deeper in the letter and you can see the fingerprints of the BIDs all over the damned thing. And, as usual, their input makes a lie of the whole thing. The BIDs’ version, which is the version that will be passed, is going to require the same amount if not more of our “limited police and prosecutorial resources” to enforce.
Continue reading Donald Trump’s Election Inspires City of Los Angeles To Finally Move Forward With Long-Delayed Street Vending Legalization Despite BIDs’ Irrational Opposition. Street Vendors To Pay BIDs An Operations Fee. BIDs To Get Effective Veto Power Over Vending Within Their Boundaries.

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