SAN DIEGO - May 16, 2022 – Last week, the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC) delivered a letter to San Diego City Council expressing concerns about the proposed allocation and implementation of the Sidewalk Vendor Ordinance included in the San Diego FY 2023 Budget.
SDIRC continues to question the underlying motivation and intent of the ordinance. The majority of the proposed budget supporting the ordinance focuses on enforcement and compliance versus ensuring public safety and reducing economic impacts on street vending entrepreneurs, who are among the most vulnerable of San Diego’s small business owners.
The FY 2023 budget allocates roughly $4.1 million overall toward enforcement of the ordinance — $2.3 million to environmental services for impoundment and storing, $1.3 million to parks and recs for coordination and enforcement of the ordinance, and a little of a half million to development services for enforcement and support.
The proposed budget affirms that the sidewalk vendor ordinance is restrictive and punitive and is inconsistent with current efforts at both the city and county levels that are addressing working families, economic opportunities, micro-entrepreneurship, immigrant integration, and reducing homelessness. It unfairly excludes immigrants, low-income community members, and community members of color from contributing to and benefiting from the region’s economic recovery.
Background: In 2018, the CA legislature recognized that removing obstacles for sidewalk vendors is a common sense way to bring legitimacy and opportunity to these small businesses, and they passed SB 946 Safe Sidewalk Vending Act. SB 946 decriminalizes sidewalk vending, protects vulnerable immigrant vendors from policing that could lead to deportation, and creates a pathway for vendors into the formal economy. However, it also left the regulation of sidewalk vending to individual cities. Over the last couple of years, we have seen cities pass various sidewalk vending ordinances that have actually gone against the intent of SB 946 and have made it harder for sidewalk vendors to operate their businesses.
About the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium
The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium is a project of Alliance San Diego. Since 2007, community, faith, labor, and legal organizations have come together as the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC). Through SDIRC, these organizations are pursuing four common goals: support comprehensive immigration reform; stop the spread of local policies and practices that target and violate the civil and human rights of immigrants; educate immigrants, and educate the public about the important contributions of immigrants. More at: www.immigrantsandiego.org.