Mayor Comes Out Against Anti-Food Truck Bill… So What’s Next?
SVP Collecting Signatures in front of the truck in Lappin’s district on 86th Street
Yesterday we live blogged the City Council hearing dedicated to discussing the anti-food truck legislation being introduced that would revoke a permit of any food truck that received 3 parking tickets in a 12 month period. Vendors turned out in force, along with food truck advocates like the Street Vendor Project, to plead their case… explaining how this law would effectively put them out of business. But the biggest moment of the hearing came when the Mayor’s office submitted a letter expressing their opposition to the legislation. You should read the entire letter, although it mostly says what we’ve been saying for a week… even though food trucks need to be good citizens, and should be held accountable when they break parking laws, the penalties from this particular law are too punitive, and would be very difficult to administer.
The best part about the meeting was that after hearing the testimony the City Council seems genuinely eager to work with the vendors to come up with a solution that pleases their constituencies- while allowing the food trucks to stay in business. Even Jessica Lappin, the council member who introduced the legislation, joked yesterday on Twitter that her favorite part of the hearing was a quote from the Schnitzel Truck.
We’re not exactly sure what the next step is, or how the City Council plans to proceed with this legislation (we reached out to Jessica Lappin via email, but haven’t heard back yet) but as soon as we know, we’ll let you know. Either way, it’s pretty clear your voices were heard, and it did some good.
Clearly we side with the vendors against this law, and our coverage reflects that… but we still have sympathy for the independent business owners who have been affected by the food truck craze, and hope that future discussions come up with a solution that everybody can get behind. (After all, if a food truck put Hing Won out of business by parking rent free on 48th btw. 5+6th, I don’t think we’d be behind that!) Want to read a more balanced account from yesterday’s hearing? The New York Times has a great report that has quotes from both sides of the issue.