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

Luz Pena Image
Thursday, November 23, 2023
SF's Mission St. vendors urge officials to postpone 90-day ban
San Francisco Mission Street vendors are urge city officials to postpone the 90-day selling ban until after the holidays.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The 90-day ban on street vending on San Francisco's Mission Street is approaching. Street vendors will be asked to move or sell indoors. If not, they will be at risk of their items getting confiscated.

ABC7 News reporter Luz Pena has been covering this for months and spoke to vendors who are urging Supervisor Ronen to postpone the ban until after the holidays.

Over 100 San Francisco Mission Street vendors are fighting back five days before they are prohibited from selling on that street.

"They have permits, they have the ability to be here and you are not going to shuffle the board simply because that is how you think you are going to solve the problem. If you want to solve the problem, speak to the experts," said Jon Jacobo, organizer for the Mission Street Vendors Association.

MORE: SF health dept. launches campaign against unpermitted food vendors citing 'unsanitary conditions'

Vendors say the ban from Supervisor Hilary Ronen is unfair. Last week, they created the Mission Street Vendors Association bringing together a group of 116 vendors seeking to delay the ban.

"My family depends on my job," read the sign street vendor, Tito Ledesma was holding.

Tito, Luz and Luis Ledesma are family. Street vending has been their source of income for the last decade. They got their first permit in 2015. They don't understand why their livelihood should be impacted because the city is overwhelmed by those selling stolen items and attacking inspectors.

With tears in his eyes, Luis Ledesma said in Spanish, "I don't know what to do. We are worried because we don't know what is going to happen to us financially."

The ban is part of a strategy to regain control of the sidewalks.

MORE: Video shows San Francisco city worker knocking over hot dog vendor's cart

An investigation is now underway into a San Francisco Public Works employee caught on video knocking over a hot dog vendor's cart.

"What happened is that it has really overwhelmed our resources. We have people that are using fake receipts to sale their products that could be stolen and frankly the number of vendors operating on the street is impossible for us to regulate right now," said Santiago Lerma, aide for Supervisor Hilary Ronen.

Lerma showed us one of the three locations they are planning to open for vendors on Monday.

"We are spending in total about $500,000 in rent and construction for the three sites that are currently going to open. Where vendors can sale their products for free," said Lerma.

Many view selling indoors as a setback especially during the holidays when their businesses make the most money.

Sofia Lopez is part of the association and said she has been following the rules since 2015 and is concerned the ban will be extended past the 90 days.

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

"What should we expect for next year? We are in limbo," said Lopez.

As to the possibility of delaying the ban...

"The reason we can no longer delay is simply because of the crisis on the street. There has been already a murder that is affiliated with some of the fencing operations. There are constant assaults. There is battery," said Lerma.

Starting Monday, November 27, there will be at least two public works inspectors and SFPD officers on Mission Street from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

According to Supervisor Ronen's office, vendors who ignore the ban on Mission Street won't be arrested, but their items could be confiscated. Street vendors are not banned from doing business elsewhere outside Mission Street.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live