The Informal Economy: De-Criminalizing Street Vending in Los Angeles | KCET
The Informal Economy: De-Criminalizing Street Vending in Los Angeles
For decades, many immigrants — primarily women — have been criminalized for supporting their families with street vending income.
Vazquez migrated to the U.S. from Colima, Mexico in 1994. After facing discrimination and lack of upward mobility in restaurant kitchens for years, she decided to return to street vending, something she has done since she was 8 years old. The entrepreneur-turned-activist quickly realized the challenges the street vending community faces in Los Angeles. More than 10,000 vendors, are criminalized for selling food on the street, making them vulnerable to harassment from police, customers and other business owners. Experts say employers in other sectors aren’t penalized as severely as street vendors are in the informal economy.
Vazquez has led the Legalize Street Vending campaign’s 10-year fight to give vendors rights as small business owners. In 2018, Gov. Jerry Brown legalized street vending in the state and Los Angeles City Council voted to legalize it in the city. As of today, however, the city has yet to issue permits to vendors.
Get the free PBS App
California is the world's fifth largest economy — yet, hiding in plain sight are workers who labor off the books, unprotected and unregulated. Follow four California workers organizing to find pathways for legalization and protection.
City Rising shows how gentrification is deeply rooted in a history of discriminatory laws and practices in the United States.
Clips & Segments
Quartzsite, AZ, is "America's Largest Parking Lot" and home to gem shows, swap meets and snowbirds.KCET Original
Griffith Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the United States. Its founder, Griffith J. Griffith, donated the land to the city as a public recreation ground for all the people — an ideal that has been challenged over the years.KCET Original
- KCET Original
During World War II, three renowned photographers captured scenes from the Japanese incarceration: outsiders Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams and incarceree Tōyō Miyatake who boldly smuggled in a camera lens to document life from within the camp.KCET Original
Huell has the adventure of a lifetime as he climbs Yosemite's formidable Half Dome.KCET Original
Huell travels to the Mojave Desert's El Mirage Dry Lake, one of the world's best spots for land sailors.
Before the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Azzedine Nouiri, the world champion in seated shot put, inspires his childhood friend Youssef to take on the challenge of qualifying for the Games despite their lack of means and formal training.