SF Mission Street vendors asking city to delay air market ban

More than 100 street vendors are asking the City of San Francisco to pause plans to force them off Mission Street.

Those street vendors held a rally Wednesday saying they should be allowed to sell on Mission Street, but the city offered a tour of one of the facilities they say they're making available to those vendors.

Just about any day, you can find vendors selling their goods along San Francisco's Mission Street. Still, after the proliferation of vendors selling what appeared to be stolen goods over the last few years, Supervisor Hillary Ronen is implementing a new plan barring open-air vending markets from Mission Street and moving them to city-sanctioned locations starting Monday.

Now more than 100 vendors have banded together in an association, asking for help from the city and a delay of the ban until after the holidays.

In Spanish, Cesar Oyagata explained that he's been selling here for more than 25 years; that selling here adds to the vibrancy of the neighborhood, and he said especially now going into the holidays, selling here pays his bills. 


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"We work in an industry that if we don't work we don't make funds and we're living in a city that's very expensive for us," said Oyagata.

Santiago Lerma from Ronen's office said the supervisor is sensitive to the needs of the community, and that is why they've worked so hard to secure funding for market spaces.

"We have a lot of newcomers that have turned to vending to earn a living, feed their families, and pay their rent, which is why we went through significant effort to secure this location, spending a total of $500,000 for rent and construction for the three sites," said Lerma.

Vendors say their customers are used to finding them where they always have, in the plazas near the 16th and 24th Street BART stations, and that moving them means it will be harder for their customers to find them. 

"Over the years, our clients look for us here, they know that we're here," said Oyagata. "We've already built out clientele over the years."

Ronen's office says because of bad actors who've moved into the outdoor vending markets, they have to act now to protect the community. 

"The reason that we can no longer delay is because of the crisis on the street," said Lerma. "There's been already a murder affiliated with some of the fencing operations; there are constant assaults, there are batteries."

Once the ban goes into place on Monday, it will be in place for at least 90 days, and will then be re-evaluated to see whether it should remain in place.