On February 10, 2022 Senator Lena A. Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) introduced Senate Bill 972 to help support California’s street food vendors by removing barriers to accessing food vending permits. The bill would help reduce unpermitted vending, protect public health, and create a more equitable economy for women, low-income individuals and people of color who form a major part of the industry and contribute to the State’s economy as micro-businesses.
“Today I am proud to announce the introduction of my bill SB 972 that will help support street food vendors,” said Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach). “Street food vendors are woven into the culturally diverse and culinary fabric of California. These workers, however, lack access to the permitting they need to be able to work and provide for their families. This is due to policies in the California Retail Food Code that make it difficult for them to enter local permitting systems. SB 972 will remove those barriers and at the same time uphold public health and safety standards to protect consumers. I am excited to move this legislation forward this year and look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure we provide a more just, accessible pathway to economic stability for California street food vendors.”
“I am proud to support Senator Lena Gonzalez and her SB 972 that would modernize the California Retail Food Code so that sidewalk vendors are able to meet achievable, fair, and practical licensing, public health, and safety standards,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, a bill co-sponsor. “This measure will build on the ‘Safe Sidewalk Vending Act’ law that I authored in 2018, creating more opportunities to support these hard-working micro-business owners so that they can continue to provide for their families and be part of a just, fair, and inclusive economy as our state gets back on track during this pandemic.”
“Every day, thousands of street food vendors across California venture out to create jobs by feeding their communities,” said Rudy Espinoza, Executive Director, Inclusive Action for the City, on behalf of the California Street Vendors Campaign. “Despite the broad support many street food vendors enjoy from the public, too many lack the resources to pay for the expensive permits and equipment that the California Retail Food Code requires. It is now time to make sure that our Retail Food Code acknowledges street vendors as members of our community and an important part of our local economies by creating a feasible pathway for them to join our public health system.”