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Peddling Uphill

Peddling Uphill

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Published by: Street Vendor Project on Aug 21, 2009
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 AREPORTBYTHE STREETVENDOR PROJECTOF THE URBAN JUSTIC CENTER, 2006
Peddling Uphill
Areport on the conditions of street vendors in New York City
 
www.streetvendor.org2
The Street Vendor Project
The Street Vendor Project of the Urban Justice Center is a membership-based, vendor-led, grassroots organization of more than 500 New York City street vendors from all back-grounds. Our mission is to provide a unified voice for vendors across the city in a move-ment for economic justice and civil rights. We hold legal workshops to educate vendorsabout their rights and responsibilities under the law. We work with policy makers to helpthem understand the important role street vendors play in the life of our city. We also helpvendors grow their businesses by facilitating access to small business loans and training.We believe that, in a city that increasingly resembles a suburban strip mall, there shouldstill be a place for ambitious and hard-working individuals to come to New York and makea living selling things on the street.
Acknowledgements
This report was written by Sara Sluszka and Sean Basinski from the Street Vendor Project.The surveys were conducted by Judi Mukarhinda, SVPstaff organizer, and the followinginterns and volunteers: Nathan Brustein, Hai-Ching Yang, Brien Van Wagner, Sarah Yahm,Matt Furshong, Binan Xu, and Ryan Devlin. Jessica Arabski, Molly Coe and AlexaRosenberg helped edit and produce the report.Thank you to Daniel Rabinowitz, professor of statistics at Columbia University, andSuzanne Wasserman, associate director of the Gotham Center for New York City Historyat the CUNYGraduate Center, for reviewing our findings and providing their valuableinput. Special thanks also to Jason Patch, assistant professor of sociology at QueensCollege CUNY, for offering his helpful comments and mapping assistance.The Street Vendor Project’s all-vendor Board of Advisors was instrumental in shaping thesurvey and making it relevant to our mission: Khaled Abouelkhair, Emad Ali, Mohammed Ali, Zenab Bangoura, Luther Bolden, Moustapha Cisse, Janis Collado, Josue Echavaria,Diba Gaye, Sophia Laskaris, Mohammed Miah, Mbaye Moussa, Angelo Vega, Jr., MichaelWells, and James Williams.Thanks also to Doug Lasdon, Executive Director of the Urban Justice Center, for histhoughtful advice and unwavering support for SVP.Funding was provided by the Rose & Sherle Wagner Foundation, the Whistler Trust,Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and the many individual donors who support our work.The findings and conclusions in this report do not necessarily represent their positions.Cover photo courtesy of Rebecca Lepkoff.© Street Vendor Project of the Urban Justice Center, 2006.Street Vendor Project666 Broadway, 10th Floor New York, NY10012Phone:646-602-5679
Street Vendor Project
 
Table of contents
Executive Summary
.........................................................4
Introduction
......................................................................5
History of vending in New York City
..............................5
Findings
Who are street vendors?...................................................6What do they sell?.............................................................7Why do they vend?............................................................7Where are they from?........................................................9Education and family........................................................10Earnings and working conditions.....................................11
Challenges
What problems do vendors face?....................................13The laws...........................................................................13The tickets........................................................................14The courts and fines........................................................15Police misconduct............................................................16Businesses and BIDs.......................................................17Summary..........................................................................18Recommendations...........................................................18 Appendix A: Methodology................................................20 Appendix B: Survey..........................................................21
www.streetvendor.org3
Conclusion
Street Vendor Project

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