A band of legitimate Mission District street vendors say they're being unfairly penalized for the illegal activity of others, and they were planning a protest march Friday at City Hall.
The 90-day ban on all street vending in the Mission, which began on November 27, has caused much pushback from permitted and legitimate vendors. They say they're making a fraction of the amount of money they were used to making, now that they've been corralled into two designated, off-street marketplaces that don't get the foot traffic of the 16th and 24th Street BART plazas.
As one vendor tells NBC Bay Area, he's making 200 sales a week now, instead of 200 sales per day. And the vendors say that all the illegal activity that the city wanted to stamp out is still ongoing.
The new designated vendor areas, established two weeks ago, are called El Tiangue (2137 Mission Street at 17th Street) and La Placita (the parking lot at 24th and Capp streets). And as part of a new marketing campaign by the city, called Shop the Mission: Las Posadas Holiday Shopping, shoppers at either of the two vendor areas will receive a limited edition game piece designed by local artists which can be used to enter a raffle on December 9, at Mission Loteria’s Noche Festiva at Plaza Adelante (2301 Mission Street, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.)
But the El Tiangue storefront, which has room for over 40 vendors, only had 10 trying to sell their wares there this week, as ABC 7 reported. And one vendor reported only making $10 a day there.
While there was a march planned Friday by disgruntled vendors, the city has made a new offer in addition to the marketing campaign: $1,000 in aid to each impacted vendor.
Mayor Breed tells ABC 7 of the grant money, "We don't want them to be penalized financially because of all the other stuff that is going on."
Some said they didn't want the money, they just wanted the ban lifted.
"One-thousand dollars — but it doesn't mean anything to us. With a $1,000, we can make [that] selling on the street in one week. Easily," said vendor Rodrigo López, speaking to ABC 7.
Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who pushed forward with the ban after several years of vending chaos around the BART stations, held a private meeting with some vendors Thursday, during which the cash grants were apparently offered.
"Everyone after that including myself, is angry," says López, speaking to ABC 7. "Because she doesn't listen to us and she said this is what I want. She was closed to negotiations and proposals."
The city has set up a website for the Shop the Mission campaign, which includes listings for several events including an "Abuelita Cook-off" next Friday, December 15 (5 p.m., Plaza Adelante at 2301 Mission Street near 18th). 10 amateur cooks will be competing to create their favorite holiday dishes, with cash prizes topping out at $1,000 for first place.
"Not only are we making our streets safer and more welcoming for residents and visitors, we are thrilled to launch this holiday campaign to lift up our local businesses and permitted street vendors,” said Ronen, in a statement.