Hello LACC Swap Meet Community,
I’d like to address in general terms the personal attacks on myself that seem to have escalated without provocation. These mostly stem from overly zealous social media people, including our newly elected Councilman Hugo Soto Martinez. Mind you, I have called on all of these “self-appointed activists” to show me any proof at all that my staff or I have ever harassed anyone on the street. None will do it because none can, including LA Taco and Edin Alex. There must be a video, an email, or something, right? There is nothing to show because these are all 100% fabricated stories.
I have been accused of sending people out to harass street vendors. Seriously? I have turned on the sprinklers on street vendors. How? There are no sprinklers on the property. I placed boulders on Monroe. Wrong again. They were part of the East Hollywood BID beautification program. Look around, and you will see they are on many of the streets in the community.
So why the attacks? Swap Meet vendors are fed up with having their sales stolen from them. People have been coming to the swap meet for 30 years, and they are not coming because there are street vendors. If the swap meet closes, it’s game over for the street vendors and the swap meet. If no one comes to the swap meet then all the vendors inside are now forced to sell on the streets too. It’s a lose-lose scenario.
The Infamous Petition to Relocate the Street Vendors. I did NOT write the petition. It was written by a swap meet vendor, and I was asked to help get that distributed. Yes, I did that. Why would I not? Over the past 30 years, NEVER were there street vendors on Monroe or Marathon nor on Vermont between these two streets. It’s simply common sense. There is also a City Ordinance that protects swap meets, flea markets, and farmers markets and clearly states “no street vendors within 500 feet”. I didn’t make the law, but swap meet vendors are tired of losing money due to unfair sellers on the streets outside the swap meet who benefit from the swap meet but do not contribute to it.
I have been accused of posting illegal signs. The green signs were posted about eight years ago by the City. Again, not me. I was not involved eight years ago.
Hugo Soto Martinez claims I posted fake No Parking Signs. Wrong again. I posted the permit for all to see issued by the Dept. of Transportation. LAFD was who requested I pull the permit in the first place.
Hugo Soto Martinez claims I hired someone to pretend to be an LAFD Inspector. Wrong again. LAFD Inspector Lamorris Wilcher is, in fact a real LAFD Inspector.
Gentrification. This is a good one. 97% of the vendors in the swap meet are the same ones who have been there for 20+ years! Do people not know what gentrification means?
Two years ago, I was asked to SAVE a swap meet from shutting down, and that is just what I did. I have no regrets, either. It’s just sad that people spew this vile stuff about me and sadder that people buy into it without fact-checking.
Here are some FACTS!
I have removed some vendors from selling at LACC Swap Meet because they are confrontational or unwilling to follow safety protocols. We had a vendor throw hot coffee in the face of another vendor. We had a vendor run over a female security guard and put her in the hospital. Another vendor was spreading rumors that the market was closing down and scared vendors from booking their spots. We still hear rumors about the market being taken over by Hugo himself.
This is also why the previous owners walked away from a business they started almost 30 years ago!
How am I harassing street vendors when I have only been to the swap meet eight times in two years?
The Take Away
Lying about someone can be damaging to their reputation and livelihood. It’s also ILLEGAL. False information can spread quickly, especially in the age of social media, and can have serious consequences for individuals and businesses. I and LACC Swap Meet, like any other individual or organization, have the right to protect our reputation and be treated fairly and honestly.
Secondly, spreading lies can also harm the wider community. When spreading false information about a business, it can discourage people from visiting or supporting them, which can ultimately have negative economic effects on the community. Inaccurate or misleading information can also lead to misunderstandings and conflict, which can further divide people and create unnecessary tensions.
To prevent the spread of false information, it’s important to fact-check before sharing anything online or in person. Take the time to research and verify information, and don’t rely solely on hearsay or rumors. It’s also important to be aware of biases and potential motives behind the information being shared. If something seems too good (or bad) to be true, it’s worth investigating further.
In conclusion, spreading lies about myself and LACC Swap Meet, or any other person or business, is not only unethical but also harmful to the broader community. Let’s strive to be honest, fair, and accurate in our communications and treat others with the respect and dignity they deserve.
In closing, to date, there has been no evidence of me harassing anyone. In fact, I have been attacked by numerous “so-called” activists and supporters of street vendors for going on two years, and they have nothing to back up their claims, but they are enjoying the additional followers on their platforms.
Ask yourself this question. Has any documentation at all been presented to back up a single claim about my staff or me?
Since 1991 I have been producing events that HELP street vendors and small businesses, offering them a safe and fun place to make a living. That will not change no matter how many wannabes try to trash my reputation because I can back up my story. Can anyone else?
Let’s stop with the attacks and the hate. I never asked to be thanked for saving a swap meet from shutting down, but I certainly never expected to be attacked for things I have not done.
Thanks for your time, and hopefully, by the grace of God, everyone can take a pause and see the truth from the storytelling for self-promotion.