Through its National Street Vending Initiative, the Institute for Justice challenges anti-competitive laws that harm street vendors by unconstitutionally restricting their right to earn an honest living. The initiative helps vendors defeat such restrictions by bringing lawsuits in state and federal courts, equipping vendors to fight these restrictions through activism, and educating the public about the social and economic importance of street vending.
In 2015, IJ helped legalize food carts in Chicago and successfully challenged San Antonio’s protectionist laws against food trucks, ultimately leading to the city repealing its 300-foot ban on food trucks vending near brick-and-mortar restaurants. We also published Upwardly Mobile, a survey of licensed vendors in America’s 50 largest cities as well as an in-depth economic case study of New York City’s vending industry.
STREET VENDORS: Does your city have laws that seem designed to keep you from competing with other businesses? Do these laws make it difficult—or even impossible—for you to run your business? If so, we can help. Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here, you can check out the initiative’s interactive map about our ongoing and past work in cities across the country, learn the about the experiences of street vendors who are fighting protectionist laws, read our educational publications on street vending and follow newsworthy developments about street-vending laws in cities throughout the United States.