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The city’s long-awaited sidewalk vending rules are finally moving forward.
After nearly three hours of public comment, the city’s Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee approved rules to regulate sidewalk vending. The draft law includes vending restrictions to certain streets in downtown, Little Italy and some beach areas.
It establishes a permitting process and assigns enforcement responsibilities to the city’s Code Enforcement Department and park rangers, as opposed to the police department, something vendor advocates asked for early on. It also encourages the creation of “entrepreneurship zones,” designated areas for vending.
The meeting’s public discussion highlighted how divisive the subject has become for San Diegans, writes Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. The proposed ordinance is expected to go for the City Council’s OK in March.
Business owners and beach area community members who spoke during the meeting said the proposed law did not go far enough. Some pointed to public safety concerns and others spoke about the trash produced by vendors. A handful also expressed that vendors pose unfair competition to tax-paying businesses.
Advocates and vendors said that the policy did not go far enough to ensure economic equity and that some rules were too restrictive. They encouraged the commission to make changes and ensure that restrictions around operation hours and distance requirements are supported by data.
“Local street vendors are not the enemies and they’re being unfairly treated, targeted and marginalized,” said North Park resident Patricia Mondragon who spoke in favor of street vending. “We should be encouraging entrepreneurs and protecting their right to sell in the public square like everyone else in business does and not placing unnecessary and unlawful restrictions.”
Mexican Government Announces Arrests Following Journalist’s Murder
Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador confirmed Wednesday that three people have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the death of Tijuana journalist Lourdes Maldonado López, the Union-Tribune reports.
Mexico’s sub-secretary of public safety referred to the suspects as “presumed material co-authors” and didn’t elaborate on the murder but said they arrived in Maldonado’s neighborhood hours before the shooting, waiting for her to get home. The U-T also reports that Baja California’s attorney general hasn’t ruled out other suspects.
Maldonado was one of two journalists killed in Tijuana in less than a week’s time, both of whom had sought government protection in recent months.
Border reporter Sandra Dibble wrote last week that while Mexico has become one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, it had been nearly 18 years since such an attack occurred in Tijuana. The crimes are rarely solved.
In Other News
- A team of La Jolla scientists is studying why some people don’t get sick despite repeated, prolonged exposures to COVID-19. (ABC 10 News)
- The San Diego City Council voted to approve a series of housing reforms largely meant to expand housing, while also making concessions to single-family home owners. The new package will provide incentives to developers, but also curbs granny flat regulations. (Union-Tribune)
- Does this count as news? It’s our newsletter, why not. Voice of San Diego was awarded the Free Speech & Open Government Award by the First Amendment Coalition for our series Year One: COVID’s Death Toll. FAC gave us the award “for ensuring access to COVID-19 death records through both public records litigation and shoe-leather reporting.”
This Morning Report was written by Andrea Lopez Villafaña, Jesse Marx and Will Huntsberry. It was edited by Megan Wood.