The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Street Vendors Oppose Proposal to Grade Food Carts

By DNAinfo Staff on March 31, 2010 6:49pm  | Updated on April 1, 2010 8:02am

By Gabriela Resto-Montero

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MIDTOWN EAST — Street-food vendors are speaking out against a proposed City Council bill that would require them to post letter grades based on inspections by the Health Department.

The bill, reintroduced by Councilman Dan Garodnick last week, would require street vendors to post grades the same way restaurants do.

While not opposed to the grading system, sidewalk food vendors already endure heavy inspections — up to two every month — said Ali Issa, a staff organizer for the Urban Justice Center’s Street Vendor Project.

"It's the constant checking that would open the door to all kinds of harassment," Issa said. "What we've seen is that the Health Department has given out tickets for extremely minor violations."

The proposal to force street vendors to post their letter grades was first introduced to city council last year, but the session ended before members could vote on it.

Garodnick felt recent passage of a bill requiring restaurants to post letter grades would add to the likelihood of the bill's success, OurTown reported.

As the bill heads to the Council for debate, Garodnick will remain open to working with street vendors to establish fair standards, said Dan Pasquini, a spokesperson for the councilman.

"We're certainly not looking to penalize vendors on technicalities," Pasquini said. "It's intended to be a transparency bill."