Friday, November 14, 2008

A Message from Council Member James Regarding Vending


Today, the New York City Council Committee on Consumer Affairs and the Committee on Immigration held a hearing to discuss vending-related bills before the New York City Council. Although I not a member of the Consumer Affairs Committee or the Immigration Committee, I am continuing to monitor the progress of this issue closely, with specific interest to the needs of immigrant communities who often rely heavily on vending as a way of accessing goods, and those who look to vending as a source of economic empowerment.

I recognize that vending is a vital economic and cultural lifeline in New York City. After meeting with unified street vending organizations, and corresponding with art street vendors, I have a strong understanding of the issues that street vendors face. These issues include vending laws that are often outdated and unenforceable, increasing fines, and unequal and improper regulation of a system that should encourage economic growth and empowerment. I believe that vending needs to be regulated efficiently and fairly.

There are 17 recent vending-related bills currently before the New York City Council, and today's hearing focused on seven specific bills. Of those seven bills, I have co-sponsored the following:

Int. 828, which would amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to prohibiting general vendors from leaving pushcarts, stands or goods unattended;

Int. 834, which would amend the administrative code of the city of New York in relation to increasing the number of licenses for general vending.

I have also co-sponsored Proposed Int. 324A, which would increase the number of full-time vending permits to 25,000, with 5% increases in the following years. This bill differs from the above-mentioned Int. 834, which would increase the number of vending licenses for general vending 20% (from the current 853 to 1023).

I look forward to continuing discussion on how to improve the business of vending for both vendors and other residents in New York City, and will continue to support legislation that expands employment opportunities, and establishes a safe and efficient atmosphere for such business. It continues to be a great pleasure to serve the 35th Council District of the City of New York.

Letitia James

No comments: