Are you hitting roadblocks trying to start a street food business? Does your city say you can’t do it? Let me shed some light on this kind of situation and get you some help.
What to do when your city says NO
That is what one town is telling it’s hopeful vendors. For a moment I want you to imagine this, McDonalds restaurant leases a prime piece of real estate in order to build a restaurant and are approved by the planning commission for the placement of the building on the lot. But they are told when attempting to obtain their business license that they can only operate for 30 days, but that they can reapply after a 15 day waiting period – for another 30 day permit but the maximum time they can operate on their lot is 60 days per year. How long before do you think it would take before Summerville, SC was being sued for violating the federally protected constitutional rights of McDonalds’ owners?
One licensed and legal hot dog vendor has been told exactly this. He’s been told that he’s welcome to work for up to 60 days a year on the private property he arranged. The city made no suggestions on what he should do with the other 305 days each year that they prevent him from operating his legal business.
SHOW YOUR TOWN THE FACTS!
WHAT THE &%$*?
Are you scratching your head too? Did I say this was in Summerville, IRAN or was it really South Carolina? What happened, what’s going on here? How can city/county officials create codes that restrict lawful businesses from operating – and why would they? It’s simple really. Summerville assholes, also known as politicians, created codes and ordinances that would protect brick and mortar restaurants from competition. Probably under the guise of ignorant rhetoric such as, “we can’t be having nasty food vendors trashing up our streets and increasing the crime rates”. I say ignorant because the facts are in direct opposition to such backassward speak.
- Studies show that areas where street vendors operate have significantly higher public safety statistics.
- Studies show that areas where vendors operate, crime rates have dropped dramatically.
- Real world experiences have shown areas where vendors operate invoke a sense of nostalgia and actually improve the overall conditions of that area.
Stupid “reasons” to outlaw street food
“Brick and mortar businesses pay more taxes.”
True, but they also make more money, they also don’t work in the bad weather and they also receive city benefits that vendors don’t receive.
“We already have enough food establishments.”
Would you tell Golden Corral they can’t come to your town because you already have other steak houses?
I read another story recently where the city is using protectionism coupled with cronyism to defend their codes against a 13 year old hot dog vendor. The officials blatantly erode the rights of others in an effort to monopolize their friends businesses.
Why does this happen?
My hillbilly take on all this is simple:
- Successful businessmen/women run for public office – and win.
- To protect themselves and their companies they create codes and laws restricting potential competition.
- Those attending the meetings and those in office voting are all too ignorantly selfish to consider the smaller businessman. And why would they; their hunting buddies, their fellow cigar clubbers and their wives bridge partners are all those same successful businesses.
It’s the keep ya down philosophy. We don’t want anyone else in our club. They can try to argue the facts, but the truth is that streets that have vendors are safer, all across America. The Institute for Justice offers a PDF that anyone can freely download and share with their ‘powers that be’. It shows the benefits of vendors to cities everywhere. The Institute has overturned many harmful and un-Constitutional laws set in place by these zealous pigs.
Is it legal for cities to restrict vendors like this?
It’s a violation of your Right to Work, it violates the U.S. Constitutions Bill of Rights. Like slavery and woman’s rights, it has to be fought on every front. We look back now on our ancestors in complete awe of the ignorance, how dare they restrict the rights of others, how dare they say women are less, how dare they enslave another human being. One day, our descendants will look back and say; “What! They didn’t want street food vendors! – How dare they.”
How can a city create discriminatory laws that prevent lawful and peaceful operations? It amazes me. Even after many are educated, they will still stand by their ignorant code and defend it vehemently as if their arguments are valid. Facts mean nothing to these people.
What can we do about this?
My perfect solution: (it sounds perfect in my head)
- City officials receive a letter describing how their code, rule, law, bi-law or ordinance violates the Constitution along with a copy of cases where precedence as been set.
- City has 30 days to modify the offending code.
- City is fined $50,000 daily for each day the code is not changed after the 30 day period.
- The City must offer reparations to all those effected by the illegal code.
Why I believe a city must be punished: Most cities have an attorney, e.g. City Attorney – said attorney should have reviewed any complaint made. Any attorney worth his weight in salt and with an IQ higher than a plant should be able to pull up case law and determine the validity of a complaint. Attorneys make oath to uphold and protect the U.S. Constitution, therefore they should be punished when found to have ignorantly ignored the potential violations.
Some cities have silently adopted the; ‘we are a city of the people for the big business man who donated to my election fund last year.’ We are not that, we are a country by the people for the people and ‘people’ includes the hot dog vendor and the food truck operator. Period!
That’s my 2 cents worth. If you want to help, please click a link or two below and join, donate or just give a word of encouragement.
Check out the Institute of Justice page on legalizing street food vending! And be sure to read/download/share the presentation from IJ on the “Streets of Dreams” project here!
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