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Defending L.A.’s street vendors




Street vending is illegal in LA. Vendors can get county health permits, but they’re not allowed to sell on the street.
Street vending is illegal in LA. Vendors can get county health permits, but they’re not allowed to sell on the street.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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Street vendors are a distinct part of the urban landscape in L.A., but most of them are in a never-ending cat and mouse game with law enforcement.

Selling goods without a license is illegal in the city, and getting caught can be a pricey ticket. Fees pile up quickly, because most can’t afford to pay. Ingrid Eagly is a law professor at UCLA and heads the department’s criminal defense clinic. She tells Take Two that the system needs to change:

“Los Angeles is the only major city that has a ban, so there’s actually no way for vendors to get licenses. … Sidewalk vending has long been a part of the culture and vibrancy of the city, and the City Council is currently looking at proposals to try to create a lawful and regulated system by which vendors could obtain permits to sell on the sidewalk.”

Press the play button above to hear professor Eagly’s conversation with Take Two.