Post 2: From Bangladesh to Jackson Heights

7 Aug 2022

By Lead Vendor Power Intern Sunehra Subah

“Everyone over here knows each other well. I met most of the people selling here a long time ago, right after I came from Bangladesh. You just kind of get to know everyone, and people help each other out. 

Even for my previous work, I met someone and asked them if they could get me a job and they said “okay, you can come work for me.” And all the vendors working in front of TD Bank are my close friends”

Colorful hijabs drape over the side of MD Ramij Uddin’s table. Crates full of prayer mats are placed next to rows of prayer beads (tasbihs), azan clocks, copies of the Quran, and random merchandise like face masks. Uddin’s table sits in a corner of Diversity Plaza, surrounded by mini paan shops, Kabab King, the food court Ittadi Garden and Grill, and racks of South Asian clothing floating around the street. 

When another intern Awestaa and I first introduced ourselves to MD Ramij, he outlined a map of other vendors he thought we should talk to, waving his hands to mimic the intersecting avenues and streets around his corner. MD Ramij has an endless amount of knowledge of where people’s usual spots are, including where Afghan vendors are located for Awestaa, who speaks Farsi, to talk to. 

MD Ramij specifically pointed us towards his friends on the block in front of TD Bank. It became clear that this block doesn’t operate as individual vendors, but works more as a unit, with the vendors knowing not only their own businesses, but everyone’s on the block like the back of their hands. One of the vendors working on this block is Kamal Nasser, who filed the lawsuit in 2014 to offer specialized licenses to veterans with mental disabilities. When Nasser leaves briefly for afternoon prayer, his neighboring vendor, MD Munaf, always steps in to watch over his table. Munaf rattles off the prices he’s memorized for each piece of clothing when customers come up to sift through them, all while keeping an eye on his own business.  

The “TD block” is a relationship-based ecosystem of vendors who protect and nourish one another, and this is made even clearer when merchandise vendor MD Nasir Uddin is able to casually walk up to one of the halal carts and grab two free cold sodas. One is for himself and one is for me, serving as very temporary relief for the hottest day of the week while we chat about why he first started vending.

“Before I would work in a supermarket in Manhattan. They wouldn’t give me my hours correctly, some weeks they’d give me 30, 15, 20, they’d change it or decrease it. Here, I can make my own hours.”

MD Nasir expressed how he felt exploited by the supermarket he previously worked at, which would either underpay him for the full hours he’d worked or randomly change his schedule without notice. Other people I’d spoken to also echoed that they started vending for more control over their own labor. Particularly, they are able to step away for prayer on time without judgment, and actually have a strong network of “coworkers” to support them. MD Ramij also added that people with disabilities have greater agency in determining their own physical and mental limits, and don’t have to fear punishment from their supervisor for needing to change their schedules. They are able to actually listen to their bodies, and put their health first (rest is resistance!)  

Rather than having an exploitative and paternalistic power dynamic between boss and worker, the vendors around Diversity Plaza and TD Bank are able to work as a community of workers with respect for one another and care for the streets they work on. While vendors are often blamed for trash, many people I spoke to talked about how they worked with other vendors to collaboratively clean around their area. This coordination is not unique to Jackson Heights either, with the 90 food and merchandise vendors in Corona Plaza also coming together to write up a community agreement on managing trash, make a map of each vendor’s spot to avoid future conflicts, and elect people to form a Corona Plaza Vendors Association. For the Bengali vendors in Jackson Heights, Kamal Nasser and MD Nasir Uddin have been unofficially elected as organizers because of the trust they’ve created with each person on the block and because they’ve become familiar with people’s schedules. 

The Corona Plaza street vendors’ drawn-up map of their spots, figuring out how to share space efficiently

Vendors are putting in the work to organize themselves and share space efficiently. They have invested in and created self-governing systems out of nothing, and have shown up for each other when the city has not. However, it is difficult to make progress with their productive visions of city planning when they are constantly threatened by the NYPD and DCWP. Even just recently, the Corona vendors’ meeting on August 4 was stopped by the police and officials from the DCWP coming to fine vendors. And in Jackson Heights, the DCWP intentionally came to ticket vendors the day before Eid because that is when the religious merchandise vendors get the most business. According to vendors, the DCWP stayed until 6 PM and so they couldn’t start selling until the late evening. Many vendors I talked to repeated that while they appreciated how vending gives them collective power over their work, they obviously do not want to work illegally and in constant fear.

Something that came to mind as I was speaking with the Bengali Jackson Heights vendors was the labor movements documented in “Eat This!”, the Fall/Winter 2000 edition of the South Asian Magazine for Action and Reflection. The magazine covers everything from undocumented South Asian workers in New York restaurants demanding better working conditions to self-reliant and sustainable village economies back home in the countries we came from. From Bangladesh to Jackson Heights, the organizing work of vendors in New York City is part of a larger global labor movement to demand work autonomy, and demand participation in the informal economy without fear, policing, or paternalism from larger governing bodies and corporations.



Post 1: We Keep Us Safe

31 Jul 2022

By Lead Vendor Power Intern Sunehra Subah

“I’ve been a part of many movements in my lifetime. I’m not unfamiliar with having to fight for my rights. I know how it is, so I’m thankful to you all for doing this work. It is really important.

I mean, if we could get permits, then we’re all good, right! But I’m not ready to put down my contact information yet. First I’m going to talk to the other vendors along 37th to see if they’ve heard of the Street Vendor Project, and then I’ll call your number.” 

I met this vendor while doing outreach in Jackson Heights. His table was covered with a variety of merchandise, ranging from hijabs and tubes of henna to baseball caps and face masks. 

Like other vendors I’d spoken to, he seemed more comfortable and open about his experiences selling on the street once I started talking in Bengali. Sharing the same language, the same accents and emphasis on the same words, created a greater sense of familiarity–––in an “I see you, I got you, we take care of each other” type of way. During street outreach to speak with vendors, I’ve witnessed this sense of community care over and over again. One uncle insisted on holding an umbrella open for me and another intern to protect us from the sun while we all spoke. And I’ve had to shove money in tip jars and semi-sprint away on multiple occasions after vendors with major aunty/uncle energy pushed free food into my hands. And this care goes beyond language barriers; vendors are the eyes and ears of the street, watching over each other’s carts and making folks feel safe in spaces that are often overlooked by city planners. In front of neglected train stations and empty storefronts, vendors are there, even after dark, brightening up the sidewalk with their colorful stands.

While shared language and similar identities help create a certain bond and level of trust, when it comes to organizing there is often still slight caution with vendors we’ve just met for the first time. Although the merchandise vendor gave us a lot of useful information on the presence of police and the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) in the area, he was still very careful with giving out personal information. Considering how the city targets and over-polices street vendors, most of whom are low-income immigrants and people of color, this distance is very valid and understandable. 

The over-policing of vendors is evident in the ridiculously high fines for small violations, limited number of licenses and permits, number of restricted streets and limits on when folks can sell, and the many cases of police harassing vendors and confiscating their carts. Local Law 18 of 2021 helped increase the number of permits available to food vendors, and helped shift street vendor enforcement away from the NYPD by creating the civilian Office of Street Vending Enforcement; however, there still aren’t enough permits and licenses available to meet the demand, and vendors are still harassed and discriminated against by the police and DCWP. The City’s continuous investment in more police and its campaign against vendors intersects with aggressive crackdowns on homeless folks and fare evasion. This emphasizes how ultimately these campaigns are not about investing in and protecting our communities, but about policing low-income New Yorkers. 

To survive in a world where they are aggressively policed, vendors rely on the relationships they’ve created with one another. When the merchandise vendor responded that he’d check in with other vendors in the area about the Street Vendor Project (SVP), I was reminded of something we do at our general membership meetings. All vendors and allies stand in a circle, throw our hands up together, and chant “Vendor Power!” in various languages.

Vendors are more powerful when they come together; they help each other survive by sharing knowledge and resources, by letting each other know who is safe to talk to, by going through “know your rights” training together, by role playing ‘what to do when approached by enforcement’  at our meetings. “Vendor Power!” is spoken with the same strength, solidarity, and love for community as the chants “Who keep us safe? We keep us safe!” and “El pueblo unido jamás será vencido (the people united will never be defeated!)” used in protest centralized on Black and Brown people and other people of color. 

There is no one better to lead the fight for street vendor rights than street vendors themselves, because they know the streets and have established trust and care for each other. This is why SVP is membership-based, and why vendors drive our organizing work. 

The struggles of New York’s smallest businesses are a result of larger histories of systemic racial exclusion, anti-immigrant sentiment codified into law, and lack of investment in marginalized communities. Vendors are aware of these histories and are not afraid to fight back, whether they are fighting through the courts, marching on the streets, or just establishing their right to be there by showing up at their spot day after day.

While walking along Junction Blvd or Roosevelt Avenue, I am welcomed by the comforting sound of sizzling oil, by the endless rows of bright scarves and linens, by the scent of familiar spices wafting into the air. My conversations with vendors I’ve known for a while sound like catching up with old friends. And when I check in with one vendor, I usually end up meeting the entire block, being introduced and reintroduced and offered several cups of tea during it all. Vendors are integral to making New York City feel like home —- not just for the communities they serve, but also for each other. In the face of displacement and exclusion, the love and labor vendors put into their work help hold our communities together. This blog will attempt to translate that love and labor into words and pictures, but to truly understand it, you’ll just have to visit all our wonderful street vendors!

Vendor Power Summer Internship Program

12 Jun 2022


SVP is looking for three dynamic, young adults (ages 18-24) for our summer internship program, Vendor Power Summer. Vendor Power Summer will provide young adults with leadership development skills and non-profit management, knowledge of food-justice practices in New York City’s diverse neighborhoods, and the various social, economic, environmental immigrant, and racial factors that marginalize street vendors. Through Vendor Power Summer, SVP aims to boost the confidence of young adults in their communities with the hopes of becoming future grassroots leaders who advocate for themselves and others.    


Program dates: July 6, 2022 – August 25, 2022 

Application Due Date: June 26th, 2022 at 11:59 PM

To Apply: Email your cover letter & resume to with “Vendor Power Summer Internship” in the subject line by application due date.

Ideal Qualifications and Skills 

  • Relentlessly dedicated to building the power of working class, immigrant communities of color to incite transformative social and economic justice movement building 
  • Excited about working across multiple cultures and is flexible and patient when communicating with people who speak different languages 
  • A team-player eager to collaborate with diverse, intergenerational, and multicultural stakeholders to achieve systemic change 
  • Committed to and knowledgeable of SVP’s mission and movement building, and enthusiastic about nurturing leadership growth among members 
  • Bilingual in any of these languages: Arabic, Wolof, Mandarin, Spanish, or Tibetan 


  • Coordinate and implement membership recruitment activities including direct outreach on-the-street and through partner organizations 
  • Support other outreach activities such as phonebanking and flyering 
  • Maintain database for tracking participation and development of members 
  • Translate various outreach, educational, and membership-related materials and communications
  • Participate in legislative campaigns that engage members and leaders with elected officials and win concrete improvements in the lives of vendors 


Each intern will be compensated $20/hour for 20 hours per week, for eight weeks totaling a stipend of $3,200. 

SVP is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to a diverse workforce that is representative of the communities we fight alongside and serve. People of color, women, immigrants, LGBTQ-identified individuals, and folks from low-income communities are strongly encouraged to apply.  

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 




We’re Hiring: Development Director

17 May 2022

The Street Vendor Project is at an exciting moment of growth and opportunity and is looking to hire someone for a new role, Development Director.  We are seeking a new team member who has the desire to work at a grassroots member-driven justice organization, lead, and implement fundraising efforts for our small and growing worker center.  

Application due date: May 31st, 2022. Applications submitted prior to this date will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  

Start Date: ASAP, or by June 15th, 2022


About the Position

The Development Director will play a key, strategic role in leading the Street Vendor Project to deepen its fundraising capacity, and serve as a critical thought partner with the organization’s fundraising team which includes the Director, Deputy Director, and part-time Event Coordinator. Reporting to the Deputy Director, this position will be responsible for all aspects of philanthropic support, including foundation, individual donor, and government fundraising: 

  • Collaborate with Deputy Director to strategize, craft, and implement SVP’s fundraising strategy.
  • Contribute to the development of processes to ensure a streamlined workflow from prospecting through grant closure, including an annual plan to ensure a timely and comprehensive response to existing grant deadlines as well as emerging deadlines for new funding opportunities.
  • Manage portfolio of foundation and government grant proposals and reports, including serving as the lead grant report and renewal request writer, developing budgets and financial narratives.
  • Manage an institutional donor profile, with a focus on deepening partnerships to secure renewed and expanded support.
  • Collaborate with leadership team on the planning and execution of meetings with foundation leaders/staff, and donor advisors, including researching and cultivate new relationships with foundation funding prospects, serving as the lead writer for concept notes, inquiries, and new applications.
  • Maintain grants and contracts calendar; develop and implement systems and strategies to maintain up-to-date information on the status of all existing grants as well as proposals; oversee grants and contracts file management. 
  • Develop the Advisory Board as ambassadors and fundraisers for the organization  
  • Support the Fundraising Committee and Event Coordinator in leading virtual and in person events.
  • Actively analyze and understand emerging needs within the organization and identify prospects and implement approaches to secure new funding.
  • Stay abreast of philanthropic trends and foundation, government, and corporate giving opportunities. Develop strategies to regularly monitor and prospect for new funding opportunities.



SVP is looking for a Development Director who:  

  • Understands the challenges immigrant workers face and is dedicated to movement building.  
  • Brings 3+ years of development experience working with foundations, government, and/or individual donors.
  • Is an excellent writer and relationship builder and can identify and speak to funder interests. 
  • Demonstrates airtight project management skills and the capacity to both plan in work advance and respond to timely new opportunities that may arise.
  • Outstanding attention to detail and accuracy – commitment to work product that is thorough, complete, and polished. 
  • Like most roles in a small organization, this role is flexible, and the exact duties may contain other tasks and duties in keeping with the general nature of the position

How to Apply

To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, and two references to by May 31st, 2022 at at 11:59 pm. 

Applications submitted prior to this date will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  



Intro 1116 – Providing Revenue in a Critical Time

12 Nov 2020

City Council Legislation to Open Outdoor Dining Must Not Exclude Street Vendors

5 Jun 2020
City Council Legislation to Open Outdoor Dining Must Not Exclude Street Vendors
On Thursday, June 4th, The New York City Council Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing held a hearing on Intro 1957, a bill proposed to create temporary outdoor dining locations for restaurants in public spaces, as well as additional locations for food vendors. Restaurant owners, street vendors, small business advocates, Business Improvement Districts, and Council Members all testified citing their support of the bill proposed by Council Member Antonio Reynoso and Speaker Corey Johnson to open sidewalk dining for struggling restaurants. However, street vendors and supporters raised serious concerns that the proposal does not include language to preserve the existing spaces used by street vendors, risking the elimination of street vendor small business owners who contribute so much to New York City. 
“There is no doubt that small businesses across the City have been struggling in the economic fallout from the pandemic, especially those who have been left out from all government support, including many restaurants and most, if not all, street vendors.We are in favor of the legislation Intro 1957…but we are extremely concerned about how this plan and policy will be implemented. The legislation lacks the clarity of ensuring current vending spots will be protected, and vendors will not be displaced. The City Council approach must be inclusive of all small businesses, and ensure that supporting one group of small businesses won’t hurt any others… the last thing street vendors expect after this crisis is to be displaced for any reason,” said Mohamed Attia, Executive Director of the Street Vendor Project of the Urban Justice Center. 
Council Member Andrew Cohen, Chair of the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing, acknowledged throughout the hearing that equity for New Yorkers means ensuring street vendors, who have been excluded from all relief, are able to continue their businesses and contribute to New York City’s economy. He questioned the Commissioner of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg regarding how the administration would ensure implementation of this policy would not displace vendors and create conflict. Commissioner Trottenberg responded stating the Department of Transportation will not deliberately harm vendors, and Small Business Services Commissioner Jonnel Doris stated he shared the concern. However, there is no language yet included to protect mobile food vendors. Full video of the exchange can be found at 1:12:37 in the recording of yesterday’s hearing.  
There are approximately 20,000 New Yorkers who sell food and merchandise from the streets and sidewalks of NYC. Street vendors are primarily women of color, military veterans, low-wage immigrant workers who come from communities who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and who have reported income losses of 70-90%. As small business owners and workers, street vendors contribute an estimated $293 million to the city’s economy. Yet despite their critical role, street vendors have been excluded from disaster relief at every level of government, including New York City, whether it be due to their immigration status or the informal nature of their work. If vendors are displaced as a result of this program, then any “reopening” or “recovery” will look just as unequal as the effects of the pandemic.  
Sonia Perez, a street vendor from Bushwick, Brooklyn who sells tamales and a range of Mexican dishes, questioned why she would be unable to access the temporary permits being offered to restaurants. She testified through a translator, “I have my mobile food vendors license, which means that I have gone through health and safety training about how to safely prepare food. What I don’t have, however, is a permit to vend, but this is not for lack of trying – I have been to City Hall, I have spoken at Community Board meetings, but with the current lack of permits I cannot work safely vending in the streets. I get chased by police – all for trying to sell tamales in order to care for my family. I am afraid that if this bill Intro 1957 is to pass, without there being an opportunity for vendors who have licenses but not permits to work in public space, other vendors like me will be left out from recovery plans, in the same way we have been left out of all relief.” 
As New York City considers opening streets and sidewalks to restaurants to allow for business to resume safely, The City has the opportunity to reverse course and ensure vendors who make their living serving fresh and affordable food from our city’s streets and sidewalks play a central role in recovery efforts. There are several amendments to the bill that can ensure that vending spots are preserved.  
First, the bill should clearly state no “temporary outdoor dining permit” shall be granted for a location that includes space where a food vendor is currently operating or has operated before the pandemic. The actual permit should also state that food vendors must be accommodated in the public space, to avoid any inequality should a conflict arise.    
Other proposed ideas to ensure there is no loss of vending spaces should be to relegate restaurant dining to the streets as much as possible, so the sidewalks are free for pedestrians and vendors. If sidewalks are used for restaurant dining, then five feet of space, the width of the largest vending cart, should be preserved from the curb, for food vendors. This could be done by allowing restaurants to use the space usually designated for sidewalk cafes, with additional space depending on the sidewalk width.  
The Street Vendor Project supports the proposal to add additional spaces, which are currently restricted, for food vendors. This proposal be instituted on the dozens of streets that were restricted for vendors decades ago at the behest of real estate and corporate interests. Another option would be to repeal the antiquated Department of Transportation rule that prohibits food trucks from operating at metered parking spots and affording them the same rights as all other commercial vehicles. The Council could additionally look at amending the numerous sidewalk placement rules for vendors to make it a little easier for vendors to operate without fear of high fines and other enforcement actions. 
“We must explore all possible avenues to help our small businesses and restaurants survive but we can’t charge forward on recovery without a plan for our street vendors, especially those worried about losing the sites they fought for and established a years long footprint in,” Council Member Margaret Chin stated on social media, after questioning SBS Commissioner Jonnel Doris on how the plan would be inclusive of street vendors.  
In response to the architecture firm Rockwell Group’s renderings for restaurants making use of outdoor spaces to help their businesses, which erased vendors from city streets, architecture firm Fete Nature Architecture released images showing “a vision of an Open Street that incorporates spaces for the public that include both vendors and restaurants. Our two case studies look at how the Open Street can accommodate vendors – small businesspeople that are vital. An equitable city needs to have a welcome place for street vendors who are providing a convenience to the public while also providing a living for their families,” said Julie Torres Moskovitz, founding principal of Fete Nature Architecture, PLLC. 
Sketch of Berry Street, Brooklyn, showing street vendors and outdoor restaurant dining | Fete Nature Architecture
Sketch of Maria Hernandez Park in Bushwick, Brooklyn showing open streets with street vendors | Fete Nature Architecture

Street Vendor Community Needs in Response to COVID-19

17 Mar 2020

[Español abajo]

As we navigate together through this global public health crisis, the health and safety of New York City’s street vendors, frontline workers, and the communities they serve, are at the forefront of our minds. In an effort to follow the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the Street Vendor Project is working to find creative ways to support the needs of our members and their families and communities. We are doing this by suspending all physical outreach and transitioning all communication and engagement with our members to happen via phone calls, FaceTime chats, sharing information through our district-based group chats and other social media platforms. Additionally, we are working to connect them to vital city resources such as childcare, food banks, and helping them apply for small business loans, and ensuring they have access to multilingual COVID-19 information.  

In the midst of the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, we must think about the most vulnerable communities in NYC who cannot work remotely and are ineligible to receive unemployment benefits or other government financial support. Street vendors, day laborers, delivery workers and other precariously employed workers– many of whom are immigrants– have no choice but to continue to work. 

Street vendors are generally not eligible for state-sponsored benefits or support like paid sick leave and unemployment insurance, or even small business relief funds. For workers in informal economies, this is a dire situation, leaving many with fear and confusion as to how they will support themselves and their families in the days, weeks and months to come. 90% of our members are low-wage immigrant workers who rely on busy streets in order to survive day to day. Without a safety net to fall back on, they are forced to continue to work, risking their health and well-being in the process. 

In solidarity with small business owners and workers, frontline food service and delivery workers, and other particularly vulnerable workers, SVP is demanding emergency relief for informal economy workers and other precariously employed workers and small business owners alike via the following: 

Immediate Needs of Street Vendors 

  • Waive all late penalties for late sales filings for NYS Department of Taxation and Finance which are due on March 20th   
  • Immediate suspension of New York Police Department, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Parks Department, and Department of Consumer Affairs enforcement of street vendor compliance violations – regardless of whether the vendor has a permit or a license. Waive outstanding tickets issued since January 2020, as vendors won’t be able to work for the foreseeable future.  
  • Ensure street vendors and delivery workers are included in NYC Department of Education childcare plan for frontline workers   
  • Ensure workers who are employed by food cart or truck owners, including undocumented workers, are eligible for unemployment insurance and any forthcoming emergency relief funds 
  • Create granting opportunities via NYC Small Business Services for low-income sole proprietors that street vendors and other small business owners are eligible to receive   
    • Ensure that eligibility is not dependent on commercial rent payments  
    • Allow for a mobile food vending license or permit, general merchandise license, or proof of quarterly sales tax filings to be sufficient proof of sole proprietorship   
    • Allow for proof of income being at or below federal poverty levels as appropriate documentation of low-income status  

Broad demands for the Health and Safety of Frontline Communities 

  • Emergency Universal Basic Income at a minimum for low-income workers to receive direct assistance for the duration of the crisis  
  • Statewide suspension of rent, mortgage, and utility payments for the duration of the public health emergency 
  • Universal healthcare access for all, regardless of immigration status  
  • Moratorium on the Public Charge rule 
  • Cease all Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations across NYC to ensure undocumented immigrants can access vital resources in schools, hospitals, and places of worship. The immediate release of all immigrants from detention to stop the spread of coronavirus and help flatten the curve in New York City and New York State. 

Additionally, we want to share the following resources and actions with our community members: 


Mientras navegamos juntos y juntas esta crisis global de salud pública, el bienestar y seguridad de los vendedores ambulantes, trabajadores de primera línea de defensa, y comunidades a las que estas personas sirven, están en primer plano en nuestras mentes. Con intención de seguir las recomendaciones de distanciamiento social dadas por del Centro de Control de Enfermedades (CDC por sus siglas en inglés) para apoyar a parar la propagación de COVID-19, el Proyecto de Vendedores Ambulantes (Street Vendor Project) está trabajando para encontrar maneras creativas de apoyar las necesidades de nuestros miembros, sus familias y comunidades. Se está realizando esto al suspender todo alcance organizativo físico y transicionando todas nuestras comunicaciones y citas con nuestros miembros a  llamadas telefónicas, chats de FaceTime, al compartir información mediante nuestros chats de grupo en cada distrito y por medio de nuestras plataformas de medios sociales. Adicionalmente, estamos trabajando para conectar a nuestros miembros a recursos vitales en la ciudad como el cuidado de niños y niñas o bancos de comida, ayudándoles a aplicar para préstamos para negocios pequeños, y al asegurarnos de que tienen acceso a información multilingüe sobre el COVID-19.

En medio de esta pandemia sin precedentes, debemos pensar sobre las comunidades más vulnerables en Nueva York quienes no pueden trabajar a distancia y son inelegibles para recibir beneficios de desempleo u otras ayudas económicas por parte del gobierno. Vendedores ambulantes, jornaleros, trabajadores de entrega a domicilio y otros trabajadores en situaciones precarias–muchos quienes son inmigrantes–no tienen otra opción que continuar su trabajo.  

Vendedores ambulantes generalmente no son elegibles para beneficios por parte del estado, o para apoyos como el pago por ausencia laboral por enfermedad y seguro de desempleo, o hasta fondos de alivio económico para negocios pequeños. Para trabajadores en economías informales, esta es una situación calamitosa, dejando a muchos con miedo y confusión sobre cómo podrán cuidarse a sí mismos y sus familias en los días, semanas y meses que vienen. 90% de nuestros miembros son trabajadores migrantes con salario bajo quienes dependen en calles concurridas para poder sobrevivir de día a día. Sin una red de seguridad para su apoyo, están forzados a continuar su trabajo, arriesgando su salud y su bienestar en el proceso. 

En solidaridad con propietarios de pequeñas empresas y sus trabajadores, con trabajadores en servicios alimenticios de primera línea y de envíos a domicilio, y con otros trabajadores particularmente vulnerables, el Proyecto de Vendedores Ambulantes (SVP por sus siglas en inglés) demanda alivio de emergencia tanto para trabajadores de la economía informal como para otros empleados en situaciones precarias y dueños de pequeñas empresas a mediante de:

Necesidades inmediatas para vendedores ambulantes

  • Renunciar a toda penalidad por tardanza a la presentación de ventas para el Departamento de Finanzas y Taxes del estado de Nueva York, las cuales tienen una fecha límite de presentación a marzo 20. 
  • Suspensión inmediata de la ejecución de multas a vendedores ambulantes por violaciones de reglas por parte del Departamento de Policía de Nueva York  , el Departamento de Salud, el Departamento de Parques, y el Departamento de Protección al Consumidor–sea o no que el vendedor ambulante tenga permiso o licencia. Renunciar multas pendientes que se han dado desde enero 2020, ya que vendedores no podrán trabajar en un futuro inmediato. 
  • Asegurarse de que vendedores ambulantes y trabajadores de envíos a domicilio estén incluidos en el plan de cuidado de niños y niñas del Departamento de Educación para trabajadores de primera línea de defensa. 
  • Asegurarse de que trabajadores quienes estén empleados por propietarios de carros y puestos de comida, incluyendo a trabajadores indocumentados, sean elegibles para seguros de desempleo y para cualquier fondo monetario de alivio por emergencias. 
  • Crear oportunidades de becas por mediante de la entidad de Servicios para Pequeñas Empresas en Nueva York para propietarios de bajos recursos y que vendedores ambulantes tal como otros negocios pequeños sean elegibles para recibirlas
    • Asegurarse que la elegibilidad no sea dependiente en pagos de renta comerciales.
    • Permitir que una licencia o permiso para venta ambulante de comida, licencias generales de mercado, o prueba de entrega de taxes trimestral sean suficiente prueba de la propiedad. 
    • Permitir que la prueba de ingresos bajo o a nivel federal de pobreza sea documentación apropiada de estatus de bajos recursos.   

Demandas generales para la salud y seguridad de comunidades en primera línea de defensa

  • Ingreso universal de emergencia básico por lo mínimo para trabajadores de bajos recursos  para recibir asistencia directa durante la duración de esta crisis
  • Suspensión de renta, hipoteca, y pagos por servicios públicos durante la duración de la emergencia de salud pública
  • Acceso universal de cuidado de salud para todos, sin importar el estatus migratorio
  • Moratorio a la regla de cargo público 
  • Cesar toda aplicación de operaciones por parte de ICE a lo largo de la ciudad de Nueva York para asegurar que inmigrantes indocumentados puedan acceder a recursos vitales en escuelas, hospitales, y templos. La liberación inmediata de todo inmigrante en detención para parar la propagación del coronavirus y ayudar a aplanar la curva de avance del virus en la ciudad y el estado de Nueva York. 

Adicionalmente, queremos compartir los siguientes recursos y acciones con miembros de nuestra comunidad:

The future is female

29 Oct 2019

Street vending is hard — and even harder if you are female. That is what we found in our interviews with 50 women vendors, conducted over this past year. We collected their responses to a series of questions, and yesterday published a report, Vulnerable in Itself, laying out the issues faced by our women members. Women are less likely to have permits, for example. And nearly half of women vendors told us they feel unsafe at work. The report included recommendations for both the City and SVP ourselves to better serve female vendors, so please read it. 

You can also check out some of the press it generated here, here, and here (en Espanol).



Breaking myths and working together

20 Sep 2019

The myth that street vendors harm restaurants and other shopkeepers has been used to stall progressive change for years, most notably by Mayor de Blasio. In 2017 we stuck in his own honorable hand a summary of all the academic research that has been done on this issue. What else can we do?

This week we launched an effort to show that the vast majority of restaurant and deli owners are supportive of vendors. Why listen to the real-estate-backed industry lobbyists when we can talk directly to restaurants, many of whom got their start as food trucks or pushcarts? We are, and on Wednesday we did an event in Sunset Park, with local restaurant owners themselves, to kick off this effort. Narrative change is slow, but it bends toward the truth, right? We released this video and we got some nice articles in Patch and on NY1 Noticias on the theme. Stay tuned for more.

We’re not movin’

6 Aug 2019

The key thing about vendors is that they work in the public space – where the rules are decided not by a private landlord, but by our democratically-elected officials. However, some landlords think that THEY get to determine what happens on our public streets and sidewalks. Often this means evicting street vendors with illegal sidewalk furniture.  Imagine showing up for working and finding these in your spot? No thank you!

Vendors are not taking it any more, and as far as SVP has a say in the matter, will not be bullied by big real estate. Recently, on Broadway and 31st Street in Manhattan, a Business Improvement District installed a row of sidewalk obstructions to displace vendors who had been working there, in some cases, more than 35 years!  We did a press conference yesterday to draw public attention to this issue, and to demand these planters be moved. Read about it in the Wall Street Journal, AM New York, and Curbed.