SF to pay street vendors $1K, launch campaign to promote them during 90-day ban

Luz Pena Image
Friday, December 8, 2023
SF offers $1K to Mission St. vendors impacted by 90-day ban
San Francisco officials announced on Thursday the city will pay street vendors $1,000 and launch a campaign to promote them during the 90-day ban.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On Thursday, the city of San Francisco announced financial help for vendors who are currently being banned from selling on Mission Street as the city tackles the stolen goods market in the area.

Tensions continue to flare in San Francisco's Mission District as permitted street vendors held a private meeting with Supervisor Hillary Ronen urging her to end the 90-day street ban.

"Everyone after that including myself, is angry. Because she doesn't listen to us and she said this is what I want. She was closed to negotiations and proposals," said Rodrigo López, a street vendor.

After two weeks of the ban, the city announced a financial support package for vendors. But many say they just want to go back to the streets.

RELATED: San Francisco Mission vendors making '$10 a day' due to 90-day street vending ban

"One-thousand dollars - but it doesn't mean anything to us. With a $1,000, we can make it selling on the street in one week. Easily, said López

"We don't need for the city to give us any type of help. We always work and can support ourselves," said Cesar Oyagata, a street vendor.

On Thursday, Mayor London Breed said the city's one-time payout was in response to the challenges vendors are facing as city inspectors and law enforcement tackle unpermitted street vendors selling stolen items on Mission Street.

"We don't want them to be penalized financially because of all the other stuff that is going on," said Mayor Breed.

San Francisco's Office of Economic and Workforce Development is also launching a marketing campaign to help promote the two locations the city rented for vendors to sell indoors.

VIDEO: Unpermitted street vending still happening in SF's Mission District despite 90-day ban

Unpermitted street vending is still happening in San Francisco's Mission District despite the city's 90-day ban.

"Launching the campaign today. We've been working with community partners so we have a website and we even have profiles of the vendors. Some of them and their products," said Diana Ponce de Leon, community economic development director for the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

Vendors have categorized those two locations; 2137 Mission St. and a large tent on Lilac Alley as "dead zones."

Calle 24 runs the tent where many are feeling frustrated.

"It created a solution however, it's still affecting the people that were following the rules. They were paying taxes and have a legit business and they are only making $10 when they are lucky a day - how can they survive like that," said Susana Rojas, executive director of Calle 24.

Santiago Lerma is the new Mission District street crisis response manager with Supervisor Ronen's office and said the ban is working and will continue despite the challenges.

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

"The street has been clear. The amount of drug users on the street has really diminished. The amount of stolen goods on the streets is almost completely gone," said Lerma.

Luz Peña: "'If it's so clean now, why not let them go back,' is what many are saying."

Santiago Lerma: "Well, the issue is that we have a lot of folks that are waiting for us to turn our backs."

Vendors say they feel like collateral damage in a fight to end illicit activity despite them having permits all along.

"The plan is to escalate to go and try to the mayor," said López and added, "For us, Mission Street that's the place - we don't want to be anywhere else. We want to be here."

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