Oakland’s pushcart organizers fight illegal street vending
on March 30, 2009
By Anna Bloom/Special to Oakland North
Emilia Otero, and her daughter, Shelly Garza, longtime organizers of food vendors in East Oakland, say they are seeing a marked increase in illegal street vending.
Since 1998, the two women have fought hard for the legitimacy of street vending, founding ACAF, Asociation de Comerciantes Ambulantes de Fruitvale. However, the economy and crime have left the city short on resources. Garza and Otero say that in East Oakland, where the city limits the number of street vendors to 30, there are now as many as 80. Left unregulated, many of these vendors are not paying for permits or adhering to Alameda County Public Health Department food preparation standards, and may be putting the public’s health at risk.
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