Should street vendors be decriminalized? | The Tylt

Should street vendors be decriminalized?

The City of Los Angeles recently voted to draft plans that would legalize street vending, allowing sidewalk vendors to operate without fear of being arrested. Street vendors have long argued they should be permitted to sell their items and shopkeepers shouldn't be allowed to control how and where vendors operate. But others argue street vendors hurt brick-and-mortar businesses, crowding sidewalks and creating litter, and vendors should have to play by the same rules as everyone else. What do you think?

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Street vendors in Los Angeles scored a victory after the City Council voted to take steps toward legalizing street vending. 

Advocates have long pushed for the decriminalization of street vending. Vendors argue they are unfairly discriminated against as small businesses, and brick-and-mortar shopkeepers often intimidate and harass vendors for operating near their stores.

"You don't really know what is going on out there," said Sanchez, who sells sunglasses, T-shirts and other items in the Piñata District near Alameda Street and Olympic Boulevard. "In the area where I work, they (businesses) extort us. They intimidate us. At any given moment, if we don't want to pay them, the rent they demand, they call the police."  
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But critics argue street vendors hurt small business. Street vendors are not held to the same strict standards that brick-and-mortar businesses are, putting them at an inherent disadvantage. 

While businesses such as grocery stores, bodegas and restaurants are held to strict, heavily enforced standards, even as rents continue to rise, street vendors operate under much looser, virtually nonexistent regulations. The result is an unequal playing field that has, sadly, had a direct role in pushing many outer-borough small businesses to the brink of closure.

Legalizing street vending across the board would lead to a series of devastating consequences for mom-and-pop shops, forcing many of them to close their doors. If street vendors wish to operate freely, they should be held to the same standards as other businesses, and not being given a special pass.

FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should street vendors be decriminalized?
A festive crown for the winner
#SupportStreetVendors
#SupportShopkeepers