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National Street Vending Initiative: Sunrise, Fla.

Victory in Sunrise!

Until 2014, food trucks were effectively banned in Sunrise, Fl. The Sunrise City Commission debated revamping its laws pertaining to food trucks beginning in 2012, with one commissioner and restaurant owner even proposing an outright ban.

More than 50 food truck owners banded together to create the South Florida Food Truck Alliance to defend street food vendors from anti-competitive laws and overregulation.

The Alliance, combined with IJ activism, pressured the city to reverse its virtual food truck ban in November 2013, resulting in a victory for food truck entrepreneurs. A new ordinance was passed allowing vending on private property.

There is still progress to be made, however. The law requires food trucks to obtain a special events permit every time they open for business, and limits private property owners to hosting six food truck events per year. Only three food trucks can gather together at a time as well, preventing food truck rallies from taking place in Sunrise.

“It is far from ideal, but it is a modest step in the right direction,” said Justin Pearson, managing attorney of IJ’s Florida office.

“Our hope is that this important first step will lead to additional changes in the future, especially when brick-and-mortar businesses see how food trucks help out local businesses — including restaurants — by attracting customers from out of town.”

Although there is room for improvement, this is a testament to the power of grassroots advocacy and the appealing logic of economic liberty.

Read IJ’s op-ed in The Daily Caller, “It’s time for the sun to rise on Sunrise food trucks.”

Wondering what else is going on in Florida? Find out how IJ is fighting for the rights of Hialeah street vendors to earn an honest living here.

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