Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Los Angeles v. Street Vendors

The NY Times, highlights a dispute between stret vendors and the city:

On the boardwalk of Venice Beach, the trinkets seem endless. There are glass pipes, copper necklaces, feather earrings and painted wooden skulls. 

[For years], artists have set up tables to sell their wares. But last year, after a federal court dismissed a city ordinance as unconstitutional, the number of vendors hawking mass-produced items like T-shirts and costume jewelry grew rapidly. Soon, local people said, it was impossible to see the ocean from what is officially called Ocean Front Walk.

A new ordinance that goes into effect on Jan. 20 is intended to forbid only those who are selling items that could be considered to have utilitarian value — that means art is allowed but T-shirts are not. Mr. Rosendahl said that several city and First Amendment lawyers have assured him that the law will stand up in court.

Steve Clowney

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