90-day SF street vending ban begins: Fencing operation 'extremely dangerous,' supervisor says

Luz Pena Image
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
90-day street vending ban in SF's Mission District now in effect
A three-month ban on street vending in San Francisco's Mission District went into effect Monday.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The 90-day ban for street vending in San Francisco's Mission Street has gone into effect.

The ban extends along a large stretch of Mission Street forcing vendors, including those with permits to move.

ABC7 News reporter Luz Pena was in the Mission District speaking to vendors who say this is not fair and are hoping city officials change their mind.

On 24th street Bart Plaza, members of the recently formed Mission Street Vendors Association asked for the ban to be postponed until January so they could sale outdoors during Christmas.

"116 vendors who are permitted, who have been in this community some as long as 35 years, some as long as 10-15 years have unfortunately being displaced," said Jon Jacobo, organizer with the Mission Street Vendors Association.

RELATED: SF's Mission St. vendors urge officials to postpone 90-day selling ban until after holidays

San Francisco Mission Street vendors are urge city officials to postpone the 90-day selling ban until after the holidays.

Along Mission Street, San Francisco police officers were ready for enforcement.

"We never see these kind of police officers. This amount of police officers in this neighborhood for the last two years. We barely see one or two police officers for half an hour. 45 Minutes and then they are gone," said Rodrigo Lopez, a street vendor who is part of the Association.

Rodrigo Lopez has had a permit for over a year. He views the ban as an unfair resolution to tackle those selling stolen items on the sidewalks

"We comply with the city. The city asked me to do everything right. We did it and now the police gave me the same punishment for the other people. For other vendors. For illegal vendors," said Lopez.

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In the crowd, Supervisor Hillary Ronen who represents the Mission district and spearheaded the plan was asked by the vendors to speak.

"The problem is that there is another element that has taken over the streets of the Mission that are stealing and selling stolen goods," said Supervisor Ronen and added, "Yes, you are a victim of that. It's true. I'm not going to lie to you."

In the past, Pubic Works inspectors have been threatened and attacked by unpermitted vendors.

"The problem with the vending situation on Mission Street is not these people behind me. Phenomenal people. The problem is that there is another element that has taken over the streets of the Mission that are stealing and selling stolen goods. It's a huge fencing operation and it has become extremely dangerous in the Mission," said Supervisor Ronen.

When asked if there was any possibility to delay the ban for the month of December she said, "I don't think so. I don't think so. As I've said we have delayed it for so long as it is. It's a huge operation to figure out and we have looked into alternatives to protect the vendors."

As they group continued to ask for an extension one vendor handed Supervisor Ronen a paper rose as a sign of "peace."

RELATED: San Francisco Mission District vendors say street vending ban isn't fair

San Francisco Mission District's vendors say street vending ban on Mission Street isn't fair to those who have been following the rules.

Supervisor Ronen talked about the solutions that will be available for them.

"We have rented a local that has 48 spots for vendors inside. We have another spot right behind you on 24th street and Capp. There are about nine spots there," said Supervisor Ronen.

Several vendors said they bought merchandise to sale during Christmas and the ban will cause a financial hit even when selling indoors.

MORE: San Francisco to ban street vending on Mission Street, supervisor announces

San Francisco Sup. Hillary Ronen announced that street vending along Mission Street in the Mission District and around BART stations will be banned.

Diana Ponce De Leon with the office of Economic and Workforce Development said some vendors could qualify for a stipend during the 90-day ban.

"For example they enroll in 12 hours of building your own business plan. Figuring out how to strengthen your business as a street vendor and then they apply to a grant. After completing those courses they apply to a grant to help them," said De Leon.

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