The Street Vendor Projectwon an important victory onJune 11th, when an UpperEast Side landlord’s unjustcase against Eduardo Urbina,a general vendor on ThirdAvenue, was dismissed inState Supreme Court.The case claimed Urbinafed pigeons outside the Pier Ihome furnishings store, anddemanded $50,000 in dam-ages. Urbina denied the pi-geon feeding but still wascaused mental stress by thecase, which required him tomiss many days of work toattend court appearances. Inaddition to the law suit, thebuilding regularly threatenedUrbina and called the policeand health departments.Luckily, Urbina had keptcareful records and taken pho-tos of other people feeding thepigeons right where he sets uphis table! Witnesses from theneighborhood came forward,agreeing to testify for him.Soon, Urbina was circulatinga petition at his table, collect-ing hundreds of signatures.He then turned to the StreetVendor Project, which linkedhim up with Milbank Tweed,a high-powered downtownlaw firm. With Milbank onthe case filing lengthy legalbriefs, the landlord quicklychanged its course, droppingits request that Urbina moveacross the street. When Ur-bina stood firm, the buildingfinally agreed to withdraw itscase, never to harass Urbinaagain.
Special thanks to Elena Agarkova from Milbank Tweed for working so hard onUrbina’s case.
ing their licenses - eventhough no license is requiredto sell books.After writing tickets, thepolice added insult to injuryby illegally seizing the books.Luckily, after the Street Ven-dor Project called to policeheadquarters at One PolicePlaza, the vendors were ableto recover the books from theprecinct the following day.Two book vendors from Wil-liamsburg, Brooklyn, are back in their spots after their mer-chandise was illegally seizedby officers from the 83rd Pre-cinct on June 27th.Angelo Vega and EdgarScott, who have sold instruc-tional books near the cornerof Broadway and FlushingAvenue for 4 years, were ap-proached by officers demand-Vega, a former carpenterwho volunteers every morn-ing at nearby Woodhull Hos-pital before setting up histable, refused to be scaredaway “This officer is goingout of his way to bust mychops,” he said. “He even saidI couldn’t fly the Americanflag at my table. That wasuncalled for. It was just doneto discourage me.”
Pigeon Case Dismissed
Vendors’ Books Seized, Recovered
General Vendor Eduardo Urbinadeclares sweet victory in his case.Book vendors Edgar Scott and AngeloVega proudly display their wares
(they must have a permit tovend within 350 feet of anypark) and school personnel(vendors must stay 200 feetaway from any school).But as the vendors ex-plained, with 1,300 schools inNYC and nearly 4,000 parksproperties (everything fromCentral Park to the tiniestsliver of ground),
nearly every piece of land
in the City isofficially off-limits to vend-ing. Also, many vendors wereconcerned with the safety of children: the school vendingrule, which keeps the trucksaway from schools, onlyforces many children to crossbusy streets. Many Mr.Softee vendors also felt thatthe restrictions against themare not uniformly enforcedagainst other vendors.
Big thanks to Doc Guishard,of the Mr. Softee garage for arranging our meeting.
Mr. Softee Vendors Confront Restrictive Regulations
The Project met with 20 icecream vendors at the Brook-lyn Mr. Softee garage on June13th, in order to learn moreabout their problems and tolend our support.In addition to the foodvending laws, ice creamtrucks must deal with parkingand sound regulations, likethe restrictions on how oftenthey may play their music.Ice cream vendors are alsotargeted by Parks officers
We always need vendors,their families andsupporters to help translate,to assist other vendors atECB hearings, make posters,make phone calls, schedulevendor meetings, work onthe newsletter, you nameit !!
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