Thursday, January 27, 2011

Food Cart Vendors vs. "The Man"

Institute for Justice's Matt Miller launches challenge of El Paso's unconstitutional mobile vending prohibition that prevents food trucks from operating within 1000 feet of brick-and-mortar competition.

Should the city of El Paso, Texas, be allowed to turn itself into a No-Vending Zone in order to protect brick-and-mortar restaurants from competition?

That is the question to be answered by a major federal lawsuit filed today by the Institute for Justice—a national civil liberties law firm—and El Paso mobile food vendors. The attorneys and food vendors will be available for interviews immediately following today’s 10:30am news conference. The lawsuit launches the Institute’s National Street Vending Initiative, a nationwide litigation and activism effort to vindicate the right of street vendors to earn an honest living.

Practiced since ancient times, street vending is more popular than ever. The Economist magazine predicted that this year “some of the best food Americans eat may come from a food truck.” Vendors are the darlings of many food critics, and they even have their own reality show on the Food Network.

But El Paso, Texas, has recently made it illegal for mobile food vendors to operate within 1,000-feet of any restaurant, convenience store, or grocer. The city even prohibits vendors from parking to await customers, which forces vendors to constantly drive around town until a customer successfully flags them down--and then be on the move again as soon as the customer walks away.-El Paso Mobile Food Vendors File Major Federal Lawsuit Against City


  1. It is ridiculous. I miss the food trucks in Philly; there's nothing like that where I live in the south. It's amazing how afraid of competition the "free market" is.

  2. Yeah, that always bugged me. Companies lobbying the government to prevent competition and the state happily agreeing with some bullshit excuse about how they're looking after our well-being.

    It's exactly how the mob operates - minus the broken legs and bombings to send messages.


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