“Many other street food advocates pointed out that street vending isn’t just a showy way to add “vibrancy” to a city; it’s an important means to allow people on the lower rungs of the economic ladder to get a foothold in the local business community. In other words, aspiring food sellers should be able to go from owning a cart to owning a restaurant; the current ordinance requires exactly the opposite.”—
Metro Mag on problems with the current street vending ordinance. Via chriseats, who also has a fantastic summary of the city meeting on bringing food trucks to downtown Minneapolis.
Street vending is so close I can almost taste it! But I agree, more time is needed and a better approach should be crafted. The ordinance on the table right now is one step forward, two steps back. As much as I love Hell’s Kitchen, whose gripe with food trucks comes down to not wanting new competition, it seems to me the city should be enabling new businesses [insert obligatory especially “in times like these” comment], not just necessarily rewarding existing ones. (via colinkloecker)
*URBANFOODIE’S TAKE ON THIS*
This point speaks to what I think is the elephant in the City Hall room: issues of equity, access, socioeconomics, and (yes, I’m going to go there) race. People with dreams of trendy, hip food trucks aren’t the only folks who have an investment in a street food movement. This is a potential opportunity for people from low-income and immigrant backgrounds to start businesses that would be impossible with traditional brick-and-mortar models. Given that these populations usually have fewer economic AND social capital resources, they may be shut out of these entrepreneurial opportunities, particularly with requirements such as prior ownership of a brick-and-mortar operation. Look at the culture of street food in major metropolitan cities: the Halal Cart in NYC, the Bacon Dog Cart in LA and SF, the Kogi Truck model in LA. You cannot ignore that this is an issue for immigrants and minorities. I also find the reactions of current business-owners interesting: indignation? Threat? What is really going on here with these reactions?
To the Task Force that will tackle this issue at a much deeper level:
I urge you to take a broad, critical perspective in examining issues of fairness and access. Widen the view about how we think about who the stakeholders are and what our city has to gain from this initiative. This is the time for a city that prides itself on community and progressiveness to walk the walk (preferably on a sidewalk that will have a Tamale Lady cart).
In early 2009, Sandbox Theatre commissioned artwork in the form of graphic novellas from an eclectic group of Twin City-based artists. Its purpose was to gain perspective of our subject matter from the minds of artists outside the realm of the theatre stage. Inspiration pieces, leaping-off points,…
if you think i was cranking this in the ford exp on my way to the courts from my ju-co business administration class — you know, the school i had to enroll in after getting kicked out of the u? yeah, that one — you’d be dead right. always a sucker for the power ballad.