The City is seeking to dismiss the lawsuit instead of implementing lawful and non-discriminatory sidewalk vending policies in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES, February 9, 2023 – The City of Los Angeles filed a motion yesterday asking the court to dismiss a lawsuit challenging many of the City’s restrictions on sidewalk vending, including the creation of eight “no-vending zones.” Public Counsel and the law firm Arnold & Porter filed the lawsuit in December on behalf of sidewalk vendors and community groups that support them. The suit describes in detail the City’s violation of state laws designed to protect sidewalk vendors and the harm it has caused sidewalk vendors, working-class immigrant communities, and our local economy.
The legal team representing the street vendors and community groups that filed the suit issued the following initial statement in response to City’s filing:
“We are disappointed with the City’s decision to ask the Court to dismiss our complaint to end LA’s unnecessary and discriminatory restrictions on sidewalk vendors. Recently, the City has offered words of support for street vendors, yet in practice, it defends policies that are harmful and discriminate against our clients. Instead of engaging with the substance of the lawsuit, the City is attempting to end the lawsuit without further discussion of its treatment of sidewalk vendors.
“Since 2018, the City has restricted vending in many of the City’s most lucrative retail areas in violation of California state law, which protects sidewalk vendors from discriminatory treatment and limits a City’s ability to ban sidewalk vendors from public rights of way. With the City’s response to the lawsuit, it has ensured that sidewalk vendors – who have been wrongfully excluded from popular areas of the City for years – will have to wait even longer for an end to the City’s exclusionary treatment. The Petitioners in this action are prepared to continue the fight for the rights of sidewalk vendors in Los Angeles as long as necessary. We look forward to the successful resolution of the lawsuit.”
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Public Counsel: Founded in 1970, Public Counsel is the nation’s largest provider of pro bono legal services, utilizing an innovative legal model to promote justice, hope, and opportunity in lower-income and communities of color in Los Angeles and across the nation. Through groundbreaking civil rights litigation, community building, advocacy, and policy change, as well as wide-ranging direct legal services that annually help thousands of people experiencing poverty, Public Counsel has fought to secure equal justice and opportunity for all for more than 50 years.
Arnold & Porter: With nearly 1,000 lawyers and 14 offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia, Arnold & Porter’s lawyers practice in more than 40 practice groups across the litigation, regulatory and transactional spectrum to help clients with complex needs stay ahead of the challenges they face.