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Street Vendors Decry City’s Move to Put Sanitation Dept. in Charge of Enforcement

Street vendors and their advocates are criticizing City Hall’s decision to move enforcement from the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) to the Department of Sanitation (DSNY), saying the shift could further penalize vendors, who’ve seen a recent uptick in city-issued violations.

The move is the most recent overhaul in how the city regulates vendors, many of whom operate without proper permits, the number of which has been capped for decades, making them hard to obtain. DCWP was put in charge of vendor enforcement under Mayor Bill de Blasio, though the NYPD issued the majority of vending tickets last year, City Limits’ reporting has found. Vendors and advocates have long pushed for the city to remove police from the process.

“Once again, our city rushes to create more enforcement measures for street vendors, but fails to reform the unfair and outdated regulatory system or provide opportunities for smaller businesses in the city to thrive,” said Sonia Pérez, a 52-year-old tamales vendor and organizer in Bushwick.

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