Mar. 25, 2023 By Zachary Gewelb
Officers from the 109th Precinct issued nine OATH summonses to unlicensed street vendors in Flushing and confiscated a wide range of merchandise ranging from food, clothing and costume jewelry on Wednesday, March 22, according to the NYPD.
The announcement comes after the precinct’s auxiliary police officers had distributed street vendor laws and information in multiple languages to local street vendors amid the city’s push to enforce existing regulations, including the no-vending zone that went into effect in 2018, to address the proliferation of unlicensed street vendors in downtown Flushing.
Earlier in March, Councilwoman Sandra Ung announced a petition calling on the city to enforce existing street vending regulations.
Ung was joined by Dian Yu, executive director of the Flushing Business Improvement District (BID), and concerned community members for a March 8 press conference near the Flushing LIRR Station on Main Street and Kissena Boulevard, where some vendors sell vegetables, fruits and clothing.
“I am encouraging everyone who is frustrated like us to sign this petition and show the city that people who live, work and visit here, support enforcement of the no vending zone and want our sidewalks to return back to the pedestrians they’re intended for,” Ung said at the press conference.
While Ung garnered plenty of support for her petition, some local street vendors called on the councilwoman to withdraw her petition and to instead work together to establish a pathway to formalize street vending in downtown Flushing.
On March 15, more than 40 vendors gathered outside of Ung’s office, located at 135-27 38th Ave., where they shared their experiences and advocated for street vending reforms.
“We are simply hardworking, low-income Chinese immigrants that struggle to get by in our home neighborhood of Flushing. We vend because of old age, physical disability, being single parents, and piling debts, and wish to work with dignified working conditions,” the vendors said in a statement. “We vend in Flushing because this is our community, our culture, and we work hard to support our families to make a life here.”