Street Vendor Ban Goes Into Effect at LA Parks

New ordinance band vendors from selling in parks

An ice cream vendor, Juana Martinez -- not her real name -- said she pulls in about $40 a day, her family's sole source of income as a food vendor in LA.

Olga Trigeros was selling fresh fruit on a sidewalk just outside the park.

Guadalupe Santiago offered hot dogs wrapped in bacon right across the street from the park.

Two of them showed health permits.

Some showed "business licenses" issued by Los Angeles County.

The bottom line: all of them believe they're operating within the law.

But as of Monday, all of them are wrong, said Janet Favela of the East LA Community Corporation.

"They could be warned. They could possibly be ticketed," Favela said. "Depending on how many times they've been cited, the could end up in jail."

For years, city laws prohibited selling stuff on the sidewalks.

So, while it wasn't always enforced, there's already an ordinance against what Trigeros and Santiago are doing.

"If she is on the sidewalk, she is operating illegally," Favela said.

In the past, when police would enforce those rules, vendors would often move into the parks, where they'd find a kind of "sanctuary," said Favela.

Fitness trainers were allowed to conduct "boot camps" and other exercise activities there.

But as of today, it's all banned.

Favela says vendors don't have the right to apply for permits and pay a fee for the privilege of operating in a park.

The fitness trainers, however, can do just that and many probably will.

She said it's unfair.

The law needs to accommodate the vendors whose citywide numbers are now estimated in the tens of thousands.

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