First District Councilman Gil Cedillo, whose district ranges from Echo Park to Highland Park, has long been a supporter of street vendors.
But today, Cedillo urged vendors who sell everything from hot dogs to tacos on the city's sidewalks to act responsibly by following guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus. He also admonished those "trying to take advantage of closed businesses for the sake of their own."
Cedillo also invited restaurants in his district that were limited to offering only takeout and delivery under the city's new emergency orders to share their info on his Twitter account.
Please send us restaurants and their contact info in Council District 1 that are open for pick up to go orders or if you deliver to email@example.com and we will post them. If you have a photo please… https://t.co/syZQgG873d— Gil Cedillo (@gilcedillo) March 17, 2020
"If restaurants, bars, public venues and others are complying and closing down their dine-in services for the health and safety of our residents," said Cedillo in a statement, "then street vendors should also do their due diligence by being thoughtful of these times by at least practicing the imperative social distancing measures; practicing minimum sanitary conditions; to be responsible by not compromising the health of others by congregating on the streets and trying to take advantage of closed businesses for the sake of their own."
But some taco and street vendors complain that their business is also suffering because of the coronavirus outbreak.
One taco vendor on Sunset Boulevard who is often busy serving a crowd on the border of Echo Park and Silver Lake stood alone under his canopy with no customers to tend to.
In Glassell Park on San Fernando Road, a woman who was tending a taco stand with two others said motorists often pull off the traffic-choked street and pull into the parking lot behind them to order some food. Today, however, traffic was light on San Fernando Road, and business was so slow that she decided to call it quits several hours early.
Update on Wednesday, March 18: The L.A. City Council voted to prohibit unpermitted street vending in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The LAPD and the city's Bureau of Streets Services will immediately begin enforcing the city's emergency action on unpermitted street vendors, the councilwoman said.
"We must take preventative measures seriously and help flatten the curve on the spread of this virus," Rodriguez said. "Large public gatherings at restaurants and food establishments present a public health risk. It is in the public's best interest to eliminate the congregation of people in all public spaces. Street vendors are no exception."