News

Date:
18 April 2017
Country:
United States of America
Title:
A Day in the Life of a Food Vendor
Publication:
The New York Times
Reporter:
Tejal, Rao.
Description:

This article describes a day in the life of Kabir Ahmed, a food vendor in New York City. It includes a description of the regulatory barriers that he and other vendors face in the city, and the efforts of the Street Vendor Project to advocate for reform:

 

"He applied for a food vendor’s license, took a required health and safety class, bought a used cart and took it for an inspection by city officials. (The health department inspects carts at least once a year, and more frequently if a violation is reported.)

Mr. Ahmed still needed a food-vending permit, though, and because of a cap on permits imposed in the 1980s, only 4,000 or so circulate. He acquired his from a permit owner who has charged him and his partner $25,000 for two-year leases (for a permit that cost the owner just $200), which they are still paying off.

A day ago, Mr. Ahmed received a text message: 100 vendors were protesting the cap. Organized by the Street Vendor Project, a nonprofit group that is part of the Urban Justice Center and offers legal representation to city vendors, they hoped to pressure the City Council to pass legislation introduced last fall that would double the number of food-vending permits, gradually, over the next seven years. Mr. Ahmed, who believes the costs for those starting out should be more manageable, wanted to join them, but like many vendors, he couldn’t get away from work."

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