On Friday, September 19,2008, Judge Dennis Aichroth of the Los Angeles Superior Court, in Division One of the East Los Angeles Courthouse heard arguments from both side in the so called “TACO VENDOR ORDINANCE CASE.”
Previously, on August 27, 2008 Judge Aichroth had declared Los Angeles County Code Section 7.62.070 “unconstitutional” on various grounds, including ambiguous language, restraint of trade, not for the “public safety,” etc. The arguments on September 19th related to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office seeking to have the Judge reverse his decision. The motion made by the DA was for “Reconsideration” of the decision.
After granting the District Attorney the right to file certain “Declarations” by Deputies of the Sheriff’s Department, along with “Exhibits,” the Judge announced that he was NOT CHANGING HIS ORIGINAL ORDER of August 27th, holding Section 7.62.070 of the Los Angeles County Code UNCONSTITUTIONAL. The TACO VENDORS were represented by Attorney Philip C. Greenwald. The DA was represented by Deputy DA Steven L. Gates.
According to the website, the county decided not to appeal (Stupid blogger and your stupid autoformatting of fonts!). I liked Snufkin's idea about contacting the La Galeria Posada board, but I don't really know anything about that organization, and their website doesn't have any info, besides basic contact stuff. Does anyone want to draft a preliminary letter? Can you think of other organizations we could contact? It seems like there has to be some legal involvement, and I have no idea how we would get money for that. Maybe some taco-loving attorney would take the case pro-bono? That sounds like a great TV movie idea.
Here's a letter from that website:
Thank you for responding to our concerns regarding your recent ordinance affecting taco trucks in Los Angeles County. As residents of Northeast Los Angeles, we wholeheartedly support a thriving business community that includes “brick and mortar” restaurants. While we understand there are many conflicting interests involved, we are concerned the measures passed by the board of supervisors do not best promote the health and welfare of our community. Forcing hard working men and women, who we object to being classified as “peddlers,” to move too frequently to earn a sustainable income is not an effective means of addressing the health needs of the community. If the aim of this ordinance is the health of the community, you might consider stepping up inspections and more diligent enforcement of existing health codes. If the aim is to improve the welfare of the community, find a compromise that allows more established businesses to reasonably coexist with nascent restaurateurs and other local business owners. Criminalizing these vendors, for what previously was essentially a parking violation, fails to acknowledge the reality that these vendors are an established institution of Los Angeles County and provide an affordable option for families unable to afford sit-down restaurants. Additionally, the culture and community created by taco trucks is enormously beneficial to a neighborhood’s welfare, as it brings people out on otherwise abandoned streets.
If you truly feel that the honest and hardworking families who work in these taco trucks are detrimental to the community under current regulations, we would urge you to find a compromise that better serves your constituents as well as your business interests. A healthy compromise, that allows restaurants to compete without eliminating taco trucks from the landscape, could include preventing the trucks from parking within a specific distance of an open restaurant. Please consider how this ordinance will affect all of your constituents before removing something so loved in our neighborhoods.