Protect Rights of Street Food Vendors in Chicago

food truck

Target: Chicago’s City Council

Goal: Reduce the severity of street vending laws in Chicago.

The city of Chicago has some of the most severe laws concerning street vending nationwide. According to the outreach coordinator of the Institute for Justice (IJ) at the University of Chicago, not only are vendors banned from a majority of public places in the downtown area, but they are not allowed to park within 200 feet of any restaurant. Vendors are also restricted to selling between the times of 10am and 10pm and can only sell from certain types of vehicles. On top of all of these regulations, vendors’ food must be prepared before their trucks set out for the day.

In order to uphold these stringent laws, the Chicago Police Department has been taking drastic measures. The IJ reports that tickets for as much as $2,000 are being written and arrests are even being made to stop street vendors from selling their food. Both the laws themselves and the means by which Chicago is going about enacting those laws are unethical and must be changed. Entrepreneurship is being stunted, and Chicago’s vendors are not being given their due rights.

Though Chicago’s City Council has debated street vending laws for the past two years, no changes have been made. It is time that something is done. Both The University of Illinois IJ and the larger Institute for Justice are fighting to protect vendors’ rights. Support their cause by urging Chicago’s City Council to redraft the laws in place concerning the sale of street food.

PETITION LETTER

Dear Chicago City Clerk, Susan A Mendoza,

Entrepreneurship was once a valued ideal in America; however, given certain laws that have been enacted in the city of Chicago, citizen street vendors are being denied their right to persevere. It is not only unlawful, but it is unethical that Chicago’s street vendors are burdened by the grossly unjust laws of the city. With tickets for $2,000 being written and arrests being made, street vendors are being bullied into not selling their food.

The laws which are in place are too restrictive and demanding, and they must be altered. Street vendors should be allowed to park their vehicles in more places for longer periods of time, and should not be so limited in terms of the time window they are allotted to sell. Further, food trucks should be allowed to prepare their food throughout the day, and should be allowed to sell from some variety of vehicle types.

Please take into consideration their constitutional rights and ensure that Chicago street vendors are treated fairly.

Sincerely,

{Your Name Here]

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