Monday, June 21, 2010

The Mayor Changes Tune to Same Song

Some folks are pretty pissed at Mayor Bloomberg because of his apparent flip from pro-Food truck to simply being anti-Introduction 272. Granted I was pretty amped to see the letter from his Office of Legislative Affairs outlining the abject stupidity of this legislation but the letter clearly leaves the door open to other regulation from the city.

Most of the letter states that food trucks must obey the law (including not feeding the meter, which many trucks currently do…) but calls Council Member Lappin’s legislation too punitive. In other words, while Mayor Bloomberg supports greater regulation, he does not support Introduction 272. Got to take your victories where you can.

Now, I can’t say I am surprised that the Mayor’s office provided this clarification. While he has said he won’t run for another term as Mayor (I still am unconvinced that he won’t just do it anyway), Bloomberg does need to keep NYC business happy, most importantly those who pay a majority of the business related taxes: the brick and mortar institutions and start-ups. He may make a run at another office at some point and he will need that support.

The Street Vendor Project asked on its Facebook page yesterday if this legislation is a blessing in disguise providing its membership new-found political standing and yuppie (yeah that would be me) support. However, if this Introduction 272 does become law, which is entirely possible due to the fact that most City Council Members want to get re-elected and need to raise money from local business leaders to do so, this process will all be for not. Jobs lost, creative food gone, our city’s mobile vendor industry decimated. And I won’t get to eat my Schnitzel on Fridays…which is a real bummer.

While many City Council Members clearly have their mind made up, the advocacy must continue. Call, write or walk into your City Council office and speak your mind. Who knows, the Member’s and their staff may actually remember that it is about the people who vote for them who make sure they keep their jobs and not about the people who provide campaign donations.

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