Why Street Vending around LACC Swap Meet is not safe!

“Street Selling within 500 feet of the school is Prohibited under Municipal Code L.A.M.C. 42.00(b).
Violation of this code could result in your arrest, a fine up to $1000, and/or six months in jail.”

For schools located in the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Municipal Code prohibits vendors from selling items within 500 feet of the nearest property line of any school. The Los Angeles Municipal Code, 80.73 Unlawful Parking-PeddlersVendors states, “It shall be unlawful for any person to stop, stand, or park any vehicle, wagon, or pushcart for the purpose of peddling, hawking or offering for sale there from any goods, wares, merchandise, fruit, vegetables, beverages, or food of any kind, on any street or sidewalk within 500 feet of the nearest property line of any school.”

This is the LAW! We didn’t make this up. We are not opposed to Street selling legally! We are opposed to selling outside the swap meet, which hurts the swap meet and all its sellers!

No permits allow sellers to sell within 500 feet of a school!

Having a street vending permit allows vendors to sell in most places EXCEPT where prohibited by law.

Selling on Marathon, Monroe, Vermont, or Madison is against the LAW and UNSAFE!

We have invited the street sellers to join us since we re-opened over a year ago, and only a handful have taken us up on it. The rest continually take away business from the inside vendors, cause safety issues, block the sidewalks and set up on private property. The section of land between the street and the sidewalk is the responsibility of LACC, not the City of Los Angeles. This means that no one is permitted to sell on the street, period.

Some Facts.

Vendors inside are trying to feed their families.

Each week we have captured Street Vendors on video:

  • Dumping their trash in the structure illegally.
  • Selling beer on the street in front of the swap meet.
  • Arguing with our staff about how they are entitled to use our restrooms.
  • Park illegally in our parking structure.
  • Leave their trash on the street.
  • Impede the sidewalk with tents and items, causing a tripping hazard and limited access to our entrances.
  • Sleeping overnight in their vehicles so that residents can’t find a parking space.

More Fiction vs. Facts:

  • We turn the sprinklers on the street vendors.
    • There are no sprinklers. They were destroyed by street vendors six months before we took over.
  • We harass street vendors.
    • We have never harassed street vendors. We don’t even talk to them.
  • We have gentrified the swap meet.
    • The same sellers and food trucks that have been there for years are still there. We are committed to keeping the swap meet the way it’s been for almost 25 years.
  • We kicked out vendors for no reason.
    • We have an incident report we complete when a vendor violates a policy. After multiple incidents, we will then ban a vendor. Safety is our priority.

In the past month alone, the police have been called out twice due to violence and/or harassment on the street (not in the swap meet), and attendees have complained to us that we are not providing security on the street. We are not LAPD or the Sheriffs. We have no jurisdiction over the illegal street selling that continues to grow in size. We have requested assistance from the City, which has been an uphill battle.

If you support the street selling on the streets surrounding the swap meet, know that this hurts the swap meet itself and the vendors that pay to be inside. Where are the activists for the legitimate sellers who have been in the swap meet for years or decades? Or is this the new normal, support breaking the law, and who cares about the vendors who follow the law, pay the booth fees and show up week after week?

We even offered a complimentary weekend to test the waters; only a handful took me up on this offer over six months ago!  I have personally met with street vending advocacy leaders who, after meeting with me, were supportive and agreed that our situation is not like other areas of the city where street sellers are harassed. They don’t support what has been happening outside our swap meet either.

Everyone has a right to feed their families and do an honest day’s work but not at the expense of the swap meet vendors who are also trying to feed their families. NEVER before the pandemic would you see a street vendor set up around the swap meet, so why is it okay now? It’s not!

My wife and I were asked to SAVE the swap meet from indefinitely shutting down. We did not sign up to battle street vendors that refuse to abide by the laws and cause safety concerns. We have people arguing with us that we need security on the street. That is LAPD’s job, not ours.

Please do not support the street sellers on Monroe, Marathon, Vermont (between Monroe and Marathon), and Madison

if you care about keeping the Swap Meet open.

Thank you!

Phillip Dane