Thursday, August 18, 2011

Taco Truck Regulation Redux -- Don't Mess with our Tacos (and Mobile Chefs)!

As we previously reported, taco truck regulation has increased coincidentally with the national concern with immigration from Mexico, a land filled with some true fans of the taco.  Rumor even has it that the capital of the state of California, Sacramento is considering a change to its food truck ordinance to deal with the taco truck "problem."

A clinic of the University of Chicago Law School, well-known for its law-and-economics approach to law, has started a campaign to defend street vendors in Chicago.   Should the city of Chicago be allowed to turn business districts into No-Vending Zones to protect brick-and-mortar restaurants from competition? That is the question that surrounds a grassroots campaign being launched earlier this week — My Streets! My Eats!  by the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship. The Clinic, which brings together law students to assist low-income entrepreneurs, will advocate for freedom for "mobile chefs" to prepare food on-the-go and serve their customers wherever they can do so safely.

Taco expert (and law professor) Ernesto Hernández
 will be speaking at the Second National Street Food Conference in San Francisco next Monday on a panel tantalizingly titled "The Life and Death of the Great American Food Truck." See Professor Hernández's scholarship on the subject here. The conference is being organized by La Cocina, a nonprofit with a laudable mission: "to cultivate low-income food entrepreneurs as they formalize and grow their businesses by providing affordable commercial kitchen space, industry-specific technical assistance and access to market opportunities. We focus primarily on women from communities of color and immigrant communities. Our vision is that entrepreneurs will become economically self-sufficient and contribute to a vibrant economy doing what they love to do."


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