Echo Park is not alone when it comes to problems with peddling

The Echo Park Lake Sunday Swap Meet has continued to attract peddlers and customers despite complaints from some residents and a city “crack down” on vending on park grounds. The conditions mirror those on the Venice Beach boardwalk, where the recession and a complicated vendor ordinance has also lead to a spike in the number of sellers, triggering tension with residents and fellow peddlers, reports the Associated Press. The issue that has left police in Venice and apparently Echo Park unable to keep un permitted vendors off public land is what the story describes as a “social message” clause:

“The ordinance says vendors can only sell artwork such as
jewelry, photographs, or paintings, or items that are “inextricably intertwined” with a person’s artistic or social message. That would include, for instance, a T-shirt with a slogan advocating a cause. Violators can be ticketed. Store owners and artists say the regulations worked for a while, but since the economy nosedived, the boardwalk has gotten out of control with increasing number of vendors selling commercial items, such as computer mouses and incense, crowding out longtime artists selling their work, performers and political advocates.

Police say the social message clause makes enforcing the ordinance
against commercial vendors nearly impossible. “It’s very difficult for an officer to decipher what that means,” [LAPD Sgt. Marc] Reina said. “We’re not going to enforce anything like that.”

One comment

  1. How about the vendors giving a percentage of their sales to help out the park? Can we at least charge someone for using our public park as their store front? How about you cant buy something unless you have paid to shop there? How about the police ticket them if they do not clean up their mess? They do leave quite a trail of garbage behind. This is true, I see it every weekend. They do not take pride in the area because they have done nothing to earn the pride. They are getting the space for free. Give them a psychological feeling of ownership and they will fix that problem. Further when something is illegal it is just that, illegal. When I run a red light on accident I get a ticket. They are breaking the law on purpose and getting away with it. Considering the tragic drop in value of everything it is all of our jobs to do the best we can to raise the value of everything. It takes a village to keep our worlds moving forward. Progress does not come without hard work and compromise.

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