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Help Sully on Feb 15th!

2 Feb 2013
Sully square 2

Help Sully Garzon pay her $1,000 ticket !

When:                Friday, February 15, 2013 @ 7 – 9 pm

Where:             Jimmy’s No. 43, 43 East 7th Street, Manhattan

$10 gets you all-the-tamales-you-can-eat. $4 craft beer specials. All proceeds go to Sully.

Sully Garzon is from Guayaquil, Ecuador. After immigrating to the U.S. in 2001, she worked in factory, then a restaurant in Queens, then got her food vending license. She sells roasted nuts on Lower Broadway, six or seven days a week. She lives in Queens with her son; her two daughters are back in Ecuador. In December, she got a $1,000 decision for positioning her cart less than 20 from a store entrance. The ticket said Sully was 17 feet away. She said that the police measured from the building line, not the door. The judge didn’t believe her.

The Street Vendor Project is working to pass legislation at City Council lowering $1,000 fines against licensed vendors (like Sully) to $250 max for minor violations like this. For more information, visit

Check our the Facebook invite here:!/events/370940346336960/

More to come!


Justice is served

2 Jan 2013

Good news! While the war continues, we have won a small battle. SVP settled a lawsuit last week that will put $228,000 back in the pockets of hard-working NYC street vendors. Due to a pesky “computer error” that the city apparently didn’t know about (otherwise they would have fixed it on their own, right?) the city was over-charging vendors on tickets for years. We found them out, and checks to vendors (like Mohammed Ali, left, who will be getting $971) are in the mail. Read about it in the NY Post if you like. But don’t think we have won the war — our campaign to permanently Lower the Fines is very much alive. And hopefully it will get a boost with this big victory. 

Photo: Robert Miller.

Sticking to it until we win

13 Dec 2012
Penn station 15

You’d think, with 20,000 or so vendors in New York City, elected officials would listen to us. Sadly that is not the case. They should, but they don’t. Many vendors are not U.S. citizens, so they can’t vote. And vendors are only now being organized into a group to have political power.

In the meantime, we’ll use our other advantages — including the fact that vendors occupy some of the most valuable real estate in the city. Outdoor advertising in NYC is effective –  ads on the sides of public telephones alone generate $62 million each year. Starting today, vendors across the city will be using their carts as billboards to encourage Speaker Christine Quinn to call a vote to Lower the Fines. We announced this advertising campaign today outside Penn Station. You can read more about it on Gothamist, Midtown Lunch, and in Metro and El Diario. Keep your eyes out for those signs – and read more about our campaign here.

Public advertising press conference, 12/13/12

13 Dec 2012

To put pressure on Speaker Quinn, we launched an outdoor advertising campaign, using vending carts as billboards. These stickers will be seen by millions of New Yorkers. Our goal is to have them on 1,000 carts by end of 2012 and 5,000 by spring. Read the coverage we got on Gothamist, Midtown Lunch, and in Metro and El Diario.

Speaker Quinn, please help

19 Nov 2012

A few of the vendors who are proudly displaying their plea to Speaker Quinn:

Hurricanes don’t stop us

5 Nov 2012
Sandy dark 2

A week after being branded as terrorists by the fire department, New York vendors are showing their service in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which left millions without power, transport, and food. Vendors, who don’t rely on any power grid, are perfect for such situations.

Jetblue acted quickly, sponsoring eleven food trucks who served more than 25,000 storm victims. Our friends at the NYC Food Truck Association crowd-sourced $27,000 to serve thousands more. All across the city, vendors kept working, providing a beacon of light, warm food, and a little bit of hope in amidst all the bad news.

10 8 12 SVP Statement to Speaker Quinn

8 Oct 2012

New York, NY – Today, Speaker Chris Quinn gave an interview with WABC’s Dave Evans, in which she spoke to the need to examine the $2,250 fine given to street vendor Alassane Fall for minor violations including a cart that was 1 inch too high, and to look into restructuring the City’s fine structure for street vendors. In response to the interview, which will air tonight, the Street Vendor Project of the Urban Justice Center gave the following statement urging immediate action:

“We applaud Speaker Quinn for recognizing that Alassane’s fine of over $2,000 for minor violations including a vending cart that was one inch too high is unreasonable, and for indicating that she is looking to take action to amend the City’s current fine structure for vendors. Sadly, Alassane’s story is all too common, and thousands of sky-high fines are given to street vendors each year for equally arbitrary violations. We urge the Speaker to take immediate action to ease the incredible regulatory burdens on New York City’s street vendors by bringing to a vote Intros 434 and 435, legislation currently before the City Council that would lower the maximum fine vendors can receive for these minor infractions. The Speaker’s plans to reform City regulations that are harming small businesses must include street vendors like Alessane – the smallest of NYC’s small business owners.”


The Street Vendor Project is a membership-based project with more than 1,500 active vendor members who are working together to create a vendors’ movement for permanent change. The Street Vendor Project is part of the Urban Justice Center, a non-profit organization that provides legal representation and advocacy to various marginalized groups of New Yorkers.

For Immediate Release: October 8, 2012

Contact: Emma Woods, 646-200-5303,


Calling Speaker Quinn

8 Oct 2012
Alhassane with ticket 2

Its great to see that NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn wants to support small businesses. Last week she announced five measures that would help undo the “gotcha” culture that pervades at many agencies, including steps to decrease fines for restaurants. Great idea!

But what about small business owners like SVP member Alassane Fall (left), who just got a $1,000 ticket because his table was allegedly one inch too high? All she needs to do is call a vote on two bills (Intros 434 and 435) that have already had a full hearing and already have the support of the majority of City Council Members. Speaker Quinn, we urge you to do so !

Please read more and take action here.

NYC Vendy Awards, 9/15/12

18 Sep 2012

The 2012 NYC Vendys were the most perfect yet.

Stop stop and frisk

30 Aug 2012
Kendall sm square

SVP has played an active role these past 6 months in the growing citywide movement against stop and frisk, the controversial NYPD tactic that caused 685,724 people (almost all young black or Latino men) to be stopped, questioned and patted down last year, with no reason to believe they had done anything wrong. Stopping stop and frisk is the first step toward having a police department that treats all people, including vendors, with dignity and respect.

In May, we began working with the Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP) our sister project at UJC who have been building a movement and generating a lot of dialogue on the issue. In June, we sent a contingent to the historic Father’s Day march. And last week, we collaborated with artist Aaron Gach, who developed a project to get vendors talking about stop and frisk with tourists, subverting the dominant narrative they receive about liberty here. We can’t explain it as well as Aaron, so check out this great article in the NY Times!