San Francisco Bans Street Vending on Mission Street for 90 Days

Street vendors frequently congregate at the BART plaza at 16th and Mission streets when the sun sets. The city of San Francisco will outlaw street vending on a section of Mission Street for ninety days, beginning on Monday, November 27.

The mission is part of Supervisor Hillary Ronen’s district, and she stated that extensive fence activities had caused havoc and grave safety issues. Threats and physical attacks have been directed at enforcement-related public works employees.

Zachary Guyton stated, “I’m among the vendors, so I’m a product of the environment, as you may call it.” You can usually locate Guyton at the plaza, where he has been for the last six months. He claims that he uses a government-funded program to give away free or heavily reduced phones.

For the ban, I feel that it’s wrong because a lot of people who pay for a permit and have families and need to provide for them — they can’t because there’s a 90-day ban.”

Guyton claims that since he isn’t really selling things, he shouldn’t be obliged to pay for permission and doesn’t do so. However, he feels compassion for the street sellers with whom he walks.

There’s a lot of suffering on the street. There’s a lot of people battling addiction. There’s a lot of items that may or may not be stolen.”

Speaking on behalf of the vendors organization, Jon Jacobo stated, “There’s a lot of things that are happening on the streets right now … we cannot pretend that that’s not happening.” “At the same time, as has been made clear to the supervisor’s office, the people that aren’t following your rules today are very likely not going to follow your rules tomorrow.”

Residing in the Mission, Jacobo serves as the spokesman for the recently established Mission Street Sellers Association, an organization that represents over 100 approved sellers advocating for the suspension of the ban until after the holidays.

The office of Supervisor Ronen announced that it has taken possession of an indoor marketplace at 2137 Mission Street, where 50 spaces will be open on Monday.

Additionally, negotiations are underway to create a second location on 16th Street with the potential for 50 spaces. The application period is currently open.

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As co-president of the San Francisco Latinx Democratic Club, Kevin Ortiz is in favour of the efforts made by legal vendors.

One hundred sixteen vendors that went through the whole process. It completely leaves out the rest of those folks that are kind of going into place and the other thing I’ll mention is, in terms of the enforcement, DPW workers aren’t out here after 5 ‘o clock right? And so, what ends up happening is, you actually see a lot of our conditions coming to be this way after the hours of 9 to 5“, Ortiz remarked.

Supervisor Ronen made the following statement to KPIX on Sunday:

Mission St. Supervisor Ronen said:

While I am incredibly empathetic to the vendors’ situation and constantly fight for economic opportunities for our newcomers, the chaos on the street must end. Public Works has already delayed implementation of the new ban until we could obtain two off-street locations for legitimate vendors to sell their goods. We are currently accepting applications for those spots and the indoor market will be open Monday Morning.

We have held several meetings with vendors and the city has been doing outreach about the ban for over a month. We have heard the concerns of the vendors and acted quickly at both monetary cost and dedicated staff time of the city to secure locations off the street where legitimate vendors can continue to sell their goods.

Due to the serious safety concerns and other problems caused primarily by the large scale fencing operation on Mission Street, we must act to address the problem as soon as possible. There has already been a murder and several stabbing associated with these fencing operations. Safety in the Mission is paramount and we can simply no longer wait.

As Supervisor my job is to balance the needs of brick-and-mortar businesses, residents, city workers and legitimate vendors. I’m trying to balance the conflicting needs of all parties in the fairest and best way I know how.”

When asked if he thought Monday would see any changes to the plaza at 16th and 24th Streets, Ortiz responded, “No, no, I don’t think so.”

Guyton stated that he might simply relocate to another city block.

On Monday at 11 a.m., the Mission Street Vendors Association will stage a protest at the 24th Street BART plaza. They continue to press for a postponement of the ban until January 1.

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