It is important to take notice of the incredible work of people and groups around the world advocating for more just food systems. One such group is the Street Vendor Project, in New York City, which organizes around an important and often overlooked side of urban food systems: street vendors.
Working in partnership with the Urban Justice Centre, the Street Vendor Project comprises over 2 thousand vendors, who fight for the rights of street vendors and for permanent change in the city. The majority of New York street vendors are people of colour and new immigrants, who work long, dangerous hours to make ends meet. In recent years, street vendors have been subject to the ‘quality of life’ crackdown in New York City, which has seen denials of vending licenses, pushback from large business interests, and exorbitant tickets for small violations. The project organizes demonstrations to raise awareness of the struggles vendors are facing, as well as facilitates education on their legal rights and aids in legal disputes.
With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit New York especially hard, the Street Vendors Project has provided a conduit for vendors to rally together and support their community. One such show of support has been vendor teams in The Bronx and Brooklyn providing weekly nutritious meals to working-class families in their communities.
The Street Vendors Project is a shining example of the power and possibilities that come with solidarity movements, and reminds us of the work that needs to be done to ensure an equitable food system for all.
Check out their social media to stay up to date with events: https://www.facebook.com/StreetVendorProject/
|Dear SVP community,|
No matter what the election outcome may be, we will continue to organize and grow our power as street vendors who support NYC. Every human being has the right to a dignified life, and it is through grassroots organizing and community building that we make this possible.
There are 20,000 street vendors in NYC, primarily immigrants, people of color, and women, who come through for New Yorkers rain or shine to keep our city running.
Even in one of the most progressive cities in the country, racist and xenophobic laws targeting street vendors prevent our smallest businesses from thriving. The cap on permits forces thousands of New Yorkers to either work in fear of police harassment without one, or rent a permit in the underground market for up to $25,000. This broken system has gone on for far too long, and with your support we can pass vending reform for the first time in 37 years!
We hope you’ll show NYC’s street vendors some love, and join us for the International Street Vendor Day March on November 12th!